Cook it Caveman-Style with the New Paleo Grilling Cookbook

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Mojo Pork Shoulder
  • Photo: Paleo Grilling
  • Mojo Pork Shoulder
I've never really gotten into the Paleo diet debate. Eating food in its most simple unprocessed form like our ancient ancestors did seems like a good idea, but I'm not sure that everybody who claims Paleo status isn't just looking for an excuse to eat more meat, like in the old Atkins diet days of yore.

But with their new book Paleo Grilling, authors Tony Frederico and James William Phelan offer more than 100 recipes for cooking like caveman, especially if that Neanderthal had access to a gas grill. Whether you use charcoal or gas, this book has some really nice recipes for grilling or smoking simple meat, vegetable and even dessert dishes. They emphasize using locally sourced products whenever possible, and also provide some drink recipes to accompany your grilled treats.

The Paleo preaching is actually pretty minimal and all located at the very beginning of the book. The authors' guide to grilling and recipes for homemade marinades, sauces, rubs and condiments are simple but creative. Other recipes include Grilled Pork Cutlets with Apple Saffron Compote and Sweet Potato Salad, Dijon Chicken with Arugula and Cherry Tomatoes, Grilled Swordfish with Jicama Mango Slaw, Grilled Lamb Steaks with Herb Gremolata, The Ultimate Paleo Burger, Bruschetta Deviled Eggs in Crispy Pancetta Cups, and Kicked Up Ketchup.

Whether you're a proponent of Paleo or not, Paleo Grilling is a pretty fine cookbook for anyone interested in improving their outdoor cooking chops. In fact, I've got an extra copy of the book (thanks to the fact that I thought they hadn't sent me a review copy when they already had, my bad ... ) which I would be happy to donate to a lucky Bites reader. I'm keeping the other one for my home cookbook library and have already prepared a couple of the recipes to great acclaim.

The authors have graciously allowed us to share an excerpt recipe, and I can personally attest to how delicious this Mojo Pork Shoulder dish is. Give it a try!

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Mojo Pork Shoulder

There are many types of mojos from many different places. Originally a Portuguese sauce, it is now claimed by people in al of the Caribbean and Southern United States as far north as North Carolina. This version pays homage to the flavors of Cuba, with lots of citrus and spice.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

For mojo marinade:
5 cups (1175 ml) orange juice
1 cup (235 ml) lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
Zest of 1 orange
10 to 12 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2 ounces (56 g) chopped fresh Cuban or Mexican oregano
1 bone-in pork shoulder (4 to 5 pounds [1.8 to 2.3 kg])

To make the marinade: Combine all of the marinade ingredients except the oregano in a large pot. Heat over medium heat until it barely simmers, then remove from the heat. Allow to cool completely, and then add the oregano.

Score the skin of the pork shoulder using a crosshatch pattern, cutting through the fat to the flesh. Place the pork shoulder in a glass dish. Reserve 1 cup (235 ml) of the marinade and pour the rest over the pork shoulder, cover in plastic wrap, and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and as long as overnight. When ready to cook, remove the shoulder from the marinade and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat the grill to medium heat. Place the shoulder on the rack above the grill, close the lid, and let cook for 3 to 4 hours. When it’s done, the internal temperature of the meat should be 160°F (71°C) and the meat should pull easily away from the bone. Transfer to a platter. While still hot, use two forks to shred the pork. Mix the shredded pork with the reserved marinade and serve.

If you'd like a copy of Paleo Grilling for your very own, just leave a comment below giving your take on the Paleo movement. We'll draw a winner next Wednesday at noon. If you're an anti and absolutely don't want the book, please let us know that too. But this book might just convince you to at least give it a try.

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