Tag Archives: Holidays

Porketta (GAPS/SCD/GF)



Porketta is a childhood favorite of mine.  I remember having it around the holidays…the local grocery store sold it ready-to-bake.   I can only venture a guess that it was laden with MSG and other nasties that I don’t care to eat…and who really wants all that in their food anyhow?  I recently found a recipe for it in the December 2012 issue of Food and Wine magazine (this link shows the step by step for you) and decided I had to make it.  I made a couple mild adaptations for us GAPSters.  I’ll share the recipe as it was written as well as my adaptations, and you can decide what best suits your tastes and/or dietary needs.

Anyhow, I’m jumping the gun a bit.  I just put it in the oven an hour ago, and I have no proof it will turn out good yet, but it smells fabulous so I’m venturing a guess it will be fine. 🙂  And I felt compelled to share.  Also, I messed up on it and missed a step…and I just realized that I forgot the garlic too (GASP!) but it will hopefully turn out stellar anyhow.  I’ll probably add a little raw chopped garlic after I slice it.  Nobody’s perfect! 🙂

Porketta (GAPS/SCD/GF):   

**Note that total prep time is 2 days for brining and seasoning.  In my rush…I missed this so only brined for a day and did not have time to season for a day.  Just thought I’d better point that out in case there are other sloppy cooks out there too who don’t always read as thoroughly as they should…ha ha.

BRINE:  10 rosemary sprigs (I used dry)

10 bay leaves (again, I used dry)

3 heads of garlic, smashed

1/3 c. juniper berries (I purchased bulk Frontier brand from the local co-op)

3 T. black peppercorns

2 T. fennel seeds

1 T. crushed red pepper

1 1/4 c. kosher salt (I used canning salt, which appeared to have no other ingredients than salt.  I am too cheap to burn through that much of my Real Salt in one recipe! :-))

1/4 c. sugar (see below but personally, if I chose to use sugar, I’d use something like rapadura which is more unrefined)

2 T. honey (****Note to GAPSters…I omitted the sugar and just used the same amount of honey + this 2 T.)

One 9 pound meaty pork belly with skin (I special ordered my pastured beauty from a local farmer…)

RUB:  1 1/2 T. fennel seeds

1 tsp juniper berries

3/4 tsp black peppercorns

3/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg (in a perfect world I would have had this but I didn’t so I just used powdered nutmeg!)

3/4 tsp crushed red pepper

3 T. finely chopped rosemary (I used my coffee grinder for this)

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1)  BRINE THE BELLY:  In a large pot, add the rosemary, bay leaves, garlic, juniper berries, peppercorns, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper and 1 gallon of water.  Bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes.  Add the salt, sugar/and or honey and stir until dissolved.  Pour the brine into a large roasting pan and cool.  Add the pork belly, skin side up.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2)  MAKE THE RUB:  In a small skillet, toast and fennel, juniper and peppercorns for a minute or two.  Cool, the grind to a powder (again, I used a coffee grinder, works slick).  Stir in the nutmeg, red pepper, rosemary and garlic.  Drain the pork belly, pick off spices.  With the belly skin side down, rub the meaty side with the spices.  Refrigerate the pork uncovered overnight.

3)  BAKE YOUR PORKETTA!:  Before roasting, I rolled mine up (from the short end) and tied it tightly with cooking twine at 2″ intervals, and put it in a roasting pan.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake covered in a roasting pan for one hour.  Then, lower the heat to 300 degrees and roast for 2 hours and 15 minutes longer, until the skin is deep brown and crisp and an instant read theremeter inserved in the center registers 185 degrees.  I’ll leave it covered until the last 1/2 hour or so, and then bake uncovered, to let it brown up.  (And I frankly have my doubts about this timing…this is a big hunk of meat!  So, use your own discretion and allow enough time for your own purposes…I’m just guessing it will take longer.)  Anyhow…when it’s finished, transfer the porketta to a cutting board and let it rest for 20 minutes.  Remove the twine and slice 1/2″ thick.

I wish I had broccoli rabe – I think that sauteed rabe with garlic would be heavenly with this…but I don’t have any so I think we’ll settle for buttered carrots tonight.

A couple of tips offered by “Food and Wine” magazine:  This porketta can be prepared through Step 5 and refrigerated overnight.  They also recommend for leftovers:   Folded into an omelet with goat cheese and  scallions…or a sandwich with ciabatta bread, melted provolone and sauteed broccoli rabe for any bread eaters out there. 🙂  We can’t eat goat cheese or ciabatta bread around here…but that does sound good!!!

And a tip offered by me:  If you can’t find these spices and herbs locally, Mountain Rose Herbs has a great selection and I think you can find it all here.  I am not an affiliate at this time, and am offering this info as a public service only.

Have a Happy New Year!!!

This post was shared at Cooking Traditional Foods Traditional Tuesdays; Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays; GNOWFGLINS Simple Lives Thursday; Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday;


Minty Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows (GAPS/GF/Dairy Free)


We love cocoa around here, and being on the GAPS Diet isn’t going to stop that.  Dr. Natasha says that after you have had some healing take place…cacao powder is OK.  It is up to you to decide if you’re ready…so here goes.  This is also a great dairy free cocoa option.

Minty Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows (GAPS/GF/Dairy Free)

1-8.75 oz box of coconut cream (I get mine here…although unfortunately…they are out of stock right now.   You could sub out coconut milk, and probably just use slightly less water.  I didn’t try it this way so that’s just an educated guess. :-))

5-6 c. filtered water

1/2 c. raw honey

1/4-1/2 c. cacao powder (depending on how chocolatey you like it)

1/4 tsp peppermint extract (Flavorganics brand is GF)

Put all ingredients in pot, mix until smooth, heat thoroughly.  Voila!          (6-7 servings)


We topped our cocoa with these fabulous marshmallows from The Urban Poser…they are AWESOME!!!!!

We sipped our cocoa tonight and snacked on these awesome Raspberry Hamantaschen cookies from Elana’s Pantry.  Mine looked nowhere near as pretty as hers…but they sure were good. 🙂

I would like to add a disclaimer.  With the hamantaschen cookies – I swapped out honey for agave to make them GAPS legal.   And yes, we used honey for the cocoa and marshmallows…on GAPS it is the only allowed sweetener.  We are totally used to it…however…if you think you’d find the flavor “too much” and don’t have to worry about GAPS legalities…please feel free to use something different.

This post was shared at:  The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania; The Prairie Homestead’s Homestead Barn Hop; Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesdays; Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays; The Tasty Alternative’s Allergy Free Wednesdays; Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays; Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter; GNOWFGLINS Simple Lives Thursday; Real Food Freaks Freaky Friday; Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday; The Liberated Kitchen’s GAPS Friendly Fridays; The Cultured Palate’s Tasty Traditions;

Homemade Salted Caramels and a Safety Lesson (GAPS, dairy free, gluten free)


Tonight I had a great idea…homemade ice cream and caramel topping!!!

I got the ice cream going in our Cuisinart, and then made the caramel (I got my inspiration for the caramel from this post at The Nourished Kitchen, and tweaked it to be dairy free):

1 c. coconut milk or cream

roughly 1 c. raw honey

Celtic sea salt

Combine in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.  I boiled for about 20 minutes or so, and I stirred periodically.  I did not go by temp this time, so I don’t have a temp for you.  It will cook way down and get thicker and…well…caramel colored.

I put it in a bowl to cool in the freezer so it would be ready when the ice cream was done.  And that, folks, is where it all went South.  I pushed the bowl in too hard to cram it into my very full freezer and some sloshed over the side.  On my fingers.  Yeah, ouch.  And then some.  Note to self – caramel on skin tends to solidify quickly.  Especially when you run cold water over it.  At least I can laugh about it now, although that might be the pain killer talking…

So…after coming home from the ER with my 3rd-degree-burned finger, the caramel was all ready to eat.  The ice cream was a wash…put away in the fridge to try again another night.   But man, was that caramel good.  I ended up just scraping it out of the bowl in chunks.  In a perfect world where one does NOT end up at the ER after a freak caramel accident, I would butter a pan and spread it out to cool in the fridge.  But hey, this worked too.  I sprinkled Celtic sea salt on the top as well.  Not the prettiest pic I’ve ever taken, but you get the point.  Everyone loved it around here…

And my safety lesson for the night is BE CAREFUL when making caramel.  Put it to cool somewhere level and secure, keep your fingers and all other body parts out of it, and make sure your kids won’t get into it until it’s cooled off.  And enjoy!!! 🙂

This post was shared at Butter Believer’s Sunday School; The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania; The Prairie Homestead’s Homestead Barn Hop; Real Food Forager’s Fat Tuesdays; Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays; Cooking Traditional Foods Traditional Tuesdays; Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays; Frugally Sustainable’s Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways; The Nourishing Gourmet’s Pennywise Platter; GNOWFGLINS Simple Lives Thursday; Real Food Freaks Freaky Friday; Food Renegade Fight Back Friday; The Liberated Kitchen’s Grateful GAPS Holiday Foods; 21st Century Housewife’s Gallery of Favorites; Cultured Palate’s Tasty Traditions;