The Zenbelly Cookbook Sneak Peek: Cocoa Chili Pork Shoulder

Posted by on Jun 5, 2014 in 21DSD, Dinner, pork | 4 comments

The Zenbelly Cookbook Sneak Peek: Cocoa Chili Pork Shoulder

The Zenbelly Cookbook, an epicurean’s guide to paleo cuisine
is available for preorder!

paleo cocoa chile pork shoulder

To celebrate the release of my very first cookbook, I will be sharing a recipe from it every week, so you get a sneak peek of what’s to come! And if you’re already excited, you can, of course preorder it HERE.

What can you expect from The Zenbelly Cookbook, you ask? Good question! Here are the things I’m most excited about:

  1. How To’s: The beginning pages of The Zenbelly Cookbook are chock full of tips and techniques, complete with step by step photos to go with them. You’ll learn everything from how to source quality ingredients, to how to hold a knife, to how to cut up a whole chicken.
  2. Photos: 2 per recipe! Each recipe in the book has an ingredients photo (like the one below) and a plated photo (like the one above) I had so much fun doing both of these shoots, but mostly the ingredients shots. There’s something about organizing things neatly that brings me zen. Plus, I love how it gives a visual “before”, so you can see all of the ingredients you’ll be using. I hope you love them, too.
  3. Recipes! Duh, I know. But I’m so excited to share these recipes with you. While there are some favorites from the blog that just had to be included (like NY Style Pizza Crust and No Joke Chocolate Cake), about 100 out of the 110 recipes are brand new.
  4. Menus: I’ve included several menus for you, including an adventurous Thanksgiving spread, and a fancy multiple course dinner party menu that you can make 98% of ahead of time. Imagine how impressed your guests will be when you present them with an incredible dinner, all the while being nothing short of cool and collected. HOW DO YOU DO IT?! (Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me!)

I’m very excited to be sharing these little sneak peeks with you, and will plan on posting one every Wednesday for the next few months. So stay tuned, and subscribe if you don’t want to miss a post! (Don’t worry, I’ll never share or sell your email address, and the only time you’ll hear from me is when I post a new recipe, or have news directly relating to this blog or the book)

This week, I’m sharing my recipe for cocoa-chile pork shoulder. The cocoa spice mix is just the thing to bring out the flavors of the pork, and a squeeze of lime at the end gives it the perfect brightness. I think you’re really going to love it, especially the lack of prep time it requires! For slow-cooker lovers: This recipe could easily be adapted using the instructions in Nom Nom Paleo’s Slow Cooker Kalua Pig recipe.

paleo cocoa chile pork shoulder

cocoa-chili pork shoulder

prep time: 10 minutes | cook time: 3 to 4 hours | serves: 4 with leftovers 

1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
⅛ teaspoon chipotle powder
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 pounds pork shoulder
5 to 6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 lime, halved
small handful of fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)

• Preheat the oven to 300°F.
• In a small bowl, mix together the salt, smoked paprika, cocoa powder, coriander, chipotle, and
cinnamon. Rub it all over the pork and place in a Dutch oven. Scatter the garlic cloves in the pot.
Cover the pot and place in the oven.
• Cook for 3 to 4 hours or until fork tender. Allow to cool slightly before pulling it apart with two
forks. Squeeze with fresh lime juice before serving. Garnish with the cilantro leaves, if using


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  1. I pre-ordered. Can’t wait. I’m still remembering the amazing dinner you made at Chris Kresser’s book launch party. Thanks for writing a cook book. :-)

    • Thanks, June! I’m so glad you enjoyed the dinner, and I appreciate your support! :)

  2. I just forked this meat apart and I can’t wait to dig in! So easy and so fabulous. Can’t wait to use this with the tostada recipe too. Your cookbook can’t get here fast enough for me! Thanks for posting this– letting all my paleo friends know about it.

  3. What can I cook this in if I don’t have a dutch oven?

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Enter your email address to get Chef Simone's Free eBook: Essentials; Zenbelly's guide to mastering the basics. 11 simple recipes to boost your kitchen confidence and help you cook like a pro