Older cave-holes like me will remember the commercial for Shake ‘N Bake that I’m referencing in the title of this post. I used to love that sodium laced shit. I’d beg my grandmother to use it on our Friday night chicken as an occasional switch from her regular chicken seasoning of garlic powder, salt, and paprika. Every once in a while, maybe two or three times a year, she used it, and I was in heaven! I don’t know why, but shaking food in a bag to coat it is fun! When I got older and started cooking for myself, pork chops in Shake ‘N Bake was one of the few things I could cook. That’s right folks, the ol’ Caveman wasn’t the gourmet he is today. The need for cooking on paleo has turned me into a good cook. Since the day I decided to go paleo, the biggest obstacle was overcoming my fear of the kitchen. My knife skills still suck, but the food tastes gooooooood!!!! So four years into my paleo journey, recreating Shake ‘N Bake is something that comes relatively easy for me. Not as easy as using Shake ‘N Bake itself, but still pretty easy.
So here are the main ingredients for real Shake ‘N Bake for pork chops:
enriched wheat flour
partially dehydrated soybean and cottonseed oil
(less than 2% of the following)
spice (whatever the hell that means)
caramel color (Mmm, yum, color!)
Read labels, folks. According to the government, you can call practically anything “natural” simply because it exists in nature. Natural flavoring is usually nothing more than chemicals, imported from New Jersey. Dextrose, or anything -ose, is usually sugar. So they use sugar, and sugar as two ingredients. No sugar on the caveman diet, folks. One of the worst things you can put in your body. That includes the raw organic honey I use from time to time, as well as any other fake paleo sugar, like coconut sugar, agave, maple, etc. It’s all just sugar, so stop looking for approval to use it in your meals from the paleo police. If you want though, by all means, use it, just understand that it’s a cheat ingredient.
And if you want to know my thoughts on salt, just go to my page and search for salt (or click HERE, you lazy bastards). I’m tired of talking about salt, so read about it yourself. All I recommend is, if you DO eat salt, use an organic salt, like sea salt, that doesn’t require major chemicals in its production, like most conventional table salts.
As far as “coloring” goes, I just used spices that mimic the color of Shake ‘N Bake.
My paleo Shake ‘N Bake has the following ingredients (and they’re all organic, all the time):
almond flour (from sprouted almonds if possible)
And this is how it turned out:
Ugga-Bugga! Served it with some lemon broccoli rice. Delicious. The cooking instructions remained the same as on the box:
"Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Moisten with water 6 to 8 (1/2-inch thick) bone-in or boneless pork chops.
1. Shake moistened chops, 1 to 2 at a time, in shaker bag with one packet of coating mix. Discard any remaining mix and bag.
2. Bake at 425 degrees F in ungreased or foil-lined 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan until cooked through.
1/2-inch thick bone-in or boneless: 15 minutes. Do not cover or turn pork during baking. Bake thicker chops 5 to 10 minutes longer.”
My pasture-raised boneless chops were thicker (like 1 inch!), so I baked them longer. The trick is to not go so much by 50 year old cooking instructions on a box, but go by meat temperature. The old days of pork cooked to 140 degrees or more are gone! Cook them to 130 degrees and they’ll be juicy and tender. It’s a trick my buddy Jonathan taught me, when I made a pork loin back in 2010.
My Paleo Shake ‘N Bake Pork Chops were so good, I had 2!!!!! That’s a little more meat than I’m normally comfortable eating in one sitting, but I couldn’t stop myself. I thought, “I’ll just have one bite of a second chop…” and before I knew it, GONE! Maybe I’ll try this cooking method with chicken in the future, or just mix up the spice blend from time to time according to my mood. Give it a try yourselves and let me know how it comes out!