Smashed Plantain Pulled Pork Sliders (Paleo + Gluten Free)

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Smashed Plantain Pulled Pork Sliders! Ok, say that five times fast. This recipe was born because we went to a great little restaurant in downtown Bend called Barrio with some friends in town visiting us. On the menu they have these cute little pork carnitas sliders with fried plantains for the buns. They are super tasty, so we decided to make our own Paleo version using our crockpot pulled pork.

Two things we absolutely love are pork and plantains, so it is only natural to put them together for a tasty appetizer when you have guests over, or have a couple of them and make it a dinner. You can totally keep them simple, with just pulled pork and the smashed plantains, or add your favorite sauces and toppings. We like them simple, but have been known to add some mustard or Primal Kitchen Chipotle Lime Mayo! That stuff is so good! Just slap a little on (just about anything) and you’ll be glad you did!

Further Food Nutritionist Commentary:

As an edible oil that's pressed from the fruit, avocado oil a good carrier for other flavors and is high in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. In addition, it enhances the absorption of carotenoids and can be a great substitute for olive oil. While plantains look similar to the fruit banana, green plantains are actually a vegetable. Swap out potatoes for green plantains in stews or soups. Furthermore, plantains are a great source of vitamin A and C, which is needed for optimal eye health, normal growth, and to ward off infections and help the body better absorb iron.

By Nikki Nies, MS,RD, LD
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Smashed Plantain Pulled Pork Sliders (Paleo + Gluten Free)

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours 15 minutes
  • Servings: 4

Ingredients

2-3 cups pulled pork
2 green plantains
4-6 tablespoons avocado oil
Salt to taste

for the pulled pork:
3-4 lb organic bone-in pork shoulder
1 tablespoon Salt
1 tablespoon Pepper
1 tablespoon Garlic powder
1 tablespoon Onion powder
1 tablespoon Chili powder
1 tablespoon Smoked paprika
1 cup Chicken stock

Instructions

  1. First, prepare pulled pork according to instructions below.
  2. Next, prepare plantain buns.
  3. Start by scoring plantain peels lengthwise with a knife, and then removing the peels. Slice plantains into 1 inch pieces (each plantain will make 5-6 pieces).
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add in 4 tbsp avocado oil to cover the pan.
  5. When the pan is hot, add in plantain pieces.
  6. Cook plantains on one side for approximately 2 minutes, until browned on one side. Flip plantains to cook on the other side. Plantains are somewhat shaped like a triangle, so you will need to flip them twice to cook all three sides.
  7. Cook approximately 2 minutes per side so each side is browned. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate.
  8. Allow plantain pieces to cool for a few minutes until you are able to handle them. Smash plantain pieces with the bottom of a plate or other flat object to flatten.
  9. Once all pieces are flattened, heat skillet again to medium and add in more avocado oil if necessary to cover the pan.
  10. Cook flattened pieces 1-2 minutes per side, until browned and crispy but not burnt. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt.
  11. Make sliders by using the plantain pieces as a bun. Place some pulled pork between two pieces of fried plantains and dig in!

for the pulled pork:

  1. Place all of the seasonings in a small bowl and mix well to make the spice rub.
  2. Massage the spice rub all over the meat. You may have some left over if you have a smaller cut of meat.
  3. If you have the time, wrap and refrigerate the meat for 3 hours or as long as 24 to let the rub set in. If you are planning ahead, I recommend letting the rub set in. If you don’t have the time, just season the pork and start cooking.
  4. Place the pork into the crock pot, pour the chicken stock in.
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  6. Remove the pork from the crock pot and place it on a cutting board.
  7. Shred with two forks or tongs and serve.
First, prepare pulled pork according to instructions below. Next, prepare plantain buns. Start by scoring plantain peels lengthwise with a knife, and then removing the peels. Slice plantains into 1 inch pieces (each plantain will make 5-6 pieces). Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add in 4 tbsp avocado oil to cover the pan. When the pan is hot, add in plantain pieces. Cook plantains on one side for approximately 2 minutes, until browned on one side. Flip plantains to cook on the other side. Plantains are somewhat shaped like a triangle, so you will need to flip them twice to cook all three sides. Cook approximately 2 minutes per side so each side is browned. Remove and place on a paper towel lined plate. Allow plantain pieces to cool for a few minutes until you are able to handle them. Smash plantain pieces with the bottom of a plate or other flat object to flatten. Once all pieces are flattened, heat skillet again to medium and add in more avocado oil if necessary to cover the pan. Cook flattened pieces 1-2 minutes per side, until browned and crispy but not burnt. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Make sliders by using the plantain pieces as a bun. Place some pulled pork between two pieces of fried plantains and dig in! for the pulled pork: Place all of the seasonings in a small bowl and mix well to make the spice rub. Massage the spice rub all over the meat. You may have some left over if you have a smaller cut of meat. If you have the time, wrap and refrigerate the meat for 3 hours or as long as 24 to let the rub set in. If you are planning ahead, I recommend letting the rub set in. If you don’t have the time, just season the pork and start cooking. Place the pork into the crock pot, pour the chicken stock in. Cook on low for 8 hours. Remove the pork from the crock pot and place it on a cutting board. Shred with two forks or tongs and serve.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving:  Calories: 391; Total Fat: 42 g; Saturated Fat: 2 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 12 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 785 mg; Potassium: 79 mg; Carbohydrate: 35 g;  Fiber: 1 g; Sugar: 0 g; Protein: 85 g
Nutrition Bonus:
Vitamin C: 1%; Vitamin A: 29%; Iron: 3%; Calcium: 1%;
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