Braised Pork Chops with Apple and Fennel

Over last weekend, I finally made a recipe from The Paleo Approach Cookbook. I decided a while back to try out the Braised Pork Chops with Apple and Fennel. On the whole I was satisfied with the recipe, though it did take me considerably longer to prepare than it suggested.

Before I started the recipe, I preheated the oven, though I have a metric oven, and its thermostat is a bit out. instead of 300 degrees F, I preheated my oven to about 160 degrees C.

Another change I made, was to the spices. I was meant to mix 1 teaspoon of mace and cinnamon with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, but changed that because I wasn’t sure how hot they’d be, and I am very sensitive to hot spices. In the end, that wasn’t necessary, but I’m still pleased I did. Anyway, I ended up mixing 3/4 teaspoon of mace and cinnamon with the 1/2 of salt.


After I’d mixed the spices, I patted the chops dry with paper tower, and rubbed them with the spices. The recipe called for 4 pounds of pork chops, which is around 900g, and was meant to be around 4 chops. The pork chops sold by my butcher were rather large, so ended up buying 3 chops. They weighed around 860g. Here’s what they looked like after I’d seasoned them.


The recipe called for 2 to 4 tablespoons of lard melted in a large Dutch oven over a medium-high heat. I ended up using 3 tablespoons, as that seemed to sufficient to brown the chops. It required 4 to 5 slices of peeled ginger. Before browning the meat, I cooked the ginger slices for around 3 minutes, and stopped as they were starting to brown.

The recipe said brown the meat in batches, but as I didn’t want to crowd the pot, I browned each one individually for about 3 minutes each side. After I’d browned them, I set them aside.


The recipe required an onion, cut into thick wedges; and 2 large fennel bulbs, cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch wedges. So, after completing browning the meat, I added the onion and fennel. It said to stir frequently, and after 8 to 10 minutes, the vegetables should be starting to soften, and be slightly browned. I found I needed to cook for longer than 10. Actually, I’m not sure how long I cooked them for, as I forgot to put my timer on. But, I do know I cooked them for longer than 10. I found they hadn’t really begun to soften, or get brown, but I proceeded to the next step because I needed to eat sooner rather than later.

I needed 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1-2 inch chunks, for the recipe. I forgot to peel the apples, but the recipe didn’t appear worse because of the apple peel. So, after cooking the vegetables, it was time to add the apple, a bay leaf, and 1 cup of chicken bone broth. I could have used white wine instead, but I choose to use bone broth. After stirring, I added the pork chops along with the juices the pork chops accumulated while set aside, trying to nestle the chops in with the vegetables. I found this hard to do so.

After assembling the dish, I placed the pot into the oven and cooked for an hour. This is what it looked like after an hour.


I enjoyed the dish, though next time I’ll cook it longer than an hour, as that might make the meat more tender. I did find the chops a bit dry, but I think that’s the problem I have with pork chops. But, the spice mix was tasty, without being too hot for me. So, on balance, I will make this recipe again.



Cosmetic Fruit and Vegetable Standards

A few years ago I discovered that something like 30-50% of food grown in the west is thrown away, though I can’t remember the exact amount, and it does vary country to country. And, what actually made me very angry, was a good proportion of that food is thrown away for reasons other than it being past its sell by date. Its thrown away largely due to the cosmetic standards that large supermarket chains have imposed on the buying public. So, farmers grow food, but a lot is rejected by supermarkets, and the supermarkets only pay farmers for the percentage that meets the arbitrary, cosmetic standards.

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My Daily Paleo Diet

Like most people, I eat a varied diet, though, as I follow a Paleo diet (the Paleo Autoimmune Paleo or AIP) that means my diet is pretty much restricted to vegetables, fruit, meat, poultry, fish, offal (organ meats), good fat, and herbs and non-seed spices. So, consequently, I don’t eat grains, legumes, nightshade vegetables (ah, I do miss tomatoes, as they’re one of my favourite foods), and most nuts and seeds.

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Why No Grains On The Paleo Autoimmune Protocol

No Grains

Since I adopted a Paleo diet, I have not been eating grains. And, while I am no longer following the GAPS diet, grains are also forbidden on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (which I will refer to as AIP during the remainder of this post). But, whereas a more mainstream Paleo diet avoids grains since humans didn’t eat grains during the Paleolithic, on the AIP we are told not to eat them because they are highly allergenic and have relatively low nutritional content. So, today I will outline the some of the different reasons why those following the AIP should give up grain.

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Liver, Marvellous Liver

I have a confession to make: I used to be a confirmed liver hater. But now I love the stuff. While I don’t eat it every day, I consume it at least once a week, sometimes more. I just love how many nutrients it has, and how satisfied I feel after eating it. I mainly eat lamb, beef and chicken liver, as they’re the ones I find easiest to buy. I would eat others if available near me, but sadly not every sort I’d like to try is available.

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Fermented Vegetables: Fermented Carrots In Brine

I realised something the other day: I’ve fermented so many different beverages, and fermented lots of different vegetables, but I’ve never fermented any vegetables in brine. This is the method where you chop vegetables up into large chunks or leave whole, then add brine to cover. I am very surprised I have never used this method before , as it’s a lot easier to do than sauerkraut.

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Fermented Beverages: How to Make Water Kefir

Water Kefir Fermenting
Water Kefir Fermenting

Fermented beverages aren’t just very tasty, they’re also very healthy, and easy to make at home. In an earlier blog post I discussed how to make Kombucha, so today I’ll be outlining how to make my other favourite fermented beverage, Water Kefir. Like Kombucha, Water Kefir is a probiotic rich liquid that is both delicious and healthy. And, Water Kefir is simpler to make than Kombucha: only water and sugar, plus some Water Kefir Grains, are needed.

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Why I Don’t Practice Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is popular among people in the Paleo world. It involves restricting yourself to eating two large meals a day, often substituting coffee made with butter or coconut oil for breakfast, and instead eating your first meal of the day around midday, and your last around 6 or 7. But, I don’t practice it for many reasons. I did try substituting coffee made with ghee and coconut oil last year, a.k.a, a “bulletproof” coffee, but I was ravenous around one hour after my coffee, so I had to eat my normal breakfast soup. So, that ended my brief experiment with intermittent fasting. I have, after reading the Paleo Approach, discovered that there’s so many reasons why I shouldn’t even think about trying it again.

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