Paleo Recipes for Primal Survival
Contents: Sauces, Rubs and Marinades: pg 3-34
Side Dishes and Snack Foods: pg 35-84
Meat Dishes (for main course): pg 85-214
Soups and Stews: pg 215-229
Sweet Treats: pg 230-241
Sauces and Rubs and marinades:
Spicy Red Pepper Coconut Sauce Servings: One cup Time in the Kitchen: 10 minutes Ingredients:
• • • • • • • •
2 garlic cloves 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (or half a jalapeno, for a less spicy sauce) 4 scallions, chopped 1 tablespoon butter, melted (15 ml) 1/4 teaspoon salt (1 ml) 1 roasted red pepper 1/4 cup coconut milk (60 ml) 2 teaspoons lemon juice (10 ml)
Instructions: Blend the garlic, jalapeno, scallions, butter, salt, and red pepper in a blender until well combined. Pour in the coconut milk and lemon juice and blend until smooth.
serve warm or at room temperature.
Pesto vinaigrette Fresh basil, garlic, olive oil and a drizzle of nut oil mimic the flavors of pesto in this innovative vinaigrette that will add healthy fat and memorable flavor to any salad. Servings: One cup Time in the Kitchen: 10 minutes Ingredients:
• • • • • • •
2 cups loosely packed, roughly chopped fresh basil leaves (500 ml) 2 garlic cloves 1/4 teaspoon salt (1 ml) 3 tablespoons lemon juice (45 ml) 2 tablespoons macadamia or walnut oil (30 ml) 3/4 cup olive oil (175 ml) Optional add-in: 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (75 ml)
Instructions: Combine basil, garlic, salt, lemon juice, and nut oil in a food processor until finely chopped.
Scrape down the sides, then with the blade running slowly drizzle in the olive oil. After all the oil is added, process for another twenty seconds to finish.
Oregano Mint Marinade What you’ll notice first when you whip up this marinade is how great it smells. Fresh oregano and mint, raw garlic, and drizzle of coconut oil will fill your kitchen with eye-opening aromatics. Steak, chicken, pork, lamb…it doesn’t matter what you’re cooking. Rub it down with this marinade first and let it rest at room temperature for just 30 minutes. Servings: Enough marinade for one pound of meat Time in the Kitchen: 10 minutes, plus 30 minutes to marinate Ingredients:
• • • • • •
Juice of two limes 3 tablespoons liquid (melted) coconut oil (45 ml) 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped (120 ml) 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped (60 ml) 1/4 teaspoon salt (1 ml)
Instructions: Mix all ingredients together (or instead of chopping by hand, blend the ingredients into a paste in the blender). Pour or rub the marinade into the meat. Let the meat marinate at room temperature for thirty minutes before cooking.
Dry rubs can contain however many spices you want to add. They also usually contain salt, although you can leave this out and simply salt the meat to taste after it cooks. You can add equal amounts of each spice, or add more of a specific
spice so its flavor dominates. How much rub to use on a piece of meat ultimately comes down to personal preference, but a good place to start is 1-2 tablespoons per pound of meat. Many people feel that whole spices you grind yourself right before using have more flavor, but pre-ground spices are fine, too. Since the spices will be subjected to heat while cooking the roast, you don’t necessarily have to toast any of the spices beforehand to bring out the flavor. The rub can be applied right before cooking and like the name suggests, should be rubbed into the meat, not just sprinkled on top.
Cardamom Orange Rub
• • • • •
1 tablespoons cardamom 1 tablespoon dried orange peel 1 teaspoon dried ginger 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper
Cocoa Cinnamon Rub
• • • • • •
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tablespoon cumin 2 teaspoons cinnamon 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons black pepper 1 teaspoon allspice
Herbs and Garlic
• • • • • • •
2 tablespoons dried dill 1 tablespoon dried parsley 1 tablespoon dried thyme 1 tablespoon dried rosemary 1 tablespoon dried garlic 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon
Spicy Paprika Rub
• • • • •
2 tablespoons paprika 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon dried garlic 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Primal BBQ Sauce
Perfect for grilled meat slathered in BBQ sauce and grilled to crispy, caramelized perfection
By using an array of warm spices, a little bit of hot sauce and honey and a tomato paste base flavored with tamari and vinegar, this is the perfect BBQ sauce for all grilling needs. This pairs well with any type of meat and is good enough to serve on the side for dipping. Makes 1 cup of sauce Ingredients:
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
1/3 cup (about 3 ounces) tomato paste 2 tablespoons melted butter 1/2 – 1 teaspoon hot sauce 1 – 2 tablespoons honey 2 – 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 teaspoons tamari 1/2 teaspoon mustard 2 tablespoons water 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper 1⁄2 teaspoon chili powder 1⁄2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Instructions: In a small bowl mix together tomato paste, butter, hot sauce, honey, vinegar, tamari, mustard and water. In another small bowl mix together allspice, cinnamon, pepper, chili powder, paprika and onion powder.
Mix the spices in with the wet ingredients. Brush on meat before grilling or dip cooked meat into the sauce.
Meat Loverâ€™s Guide to Marinating Meat
Most popular marinades are composed of three essential, basic ingredients: a fat (usually an oil), an acid (vinegar, wine, or citrus), and flavorings (spices, herbs, garlic). There are other ways to marinate meat, though, including using dairy or the tenderizing enzymes found in things like ginger, kiwi, papaya, or pineapple. Each “school” of marinades has its pros and cons. Proponents of the acidic method claim it breaks down the tough bonds holding proteins together. This is called denaturing, and denatured proteins form a loose mesh with their neighbors rather than tight coils. Initially, the loose mesh traps water and the result is a juicy, moist piece of meat, but too much acidic marinating can actually have the opposite effect. More than two hours in a highly acidic (pH around 5 or lower) marinade tightens the protein bonds, expels the trapped water, and results in tougher meat. To avoid this de-tenderizing, go a little lighter on the lime, the lemon, or the vinegar than you might be inclined. If it’s the flavor you’re after, you can always add the extra acid right before or after cooking. Otherwise, you might “cook” the meat (think ceviche, where the lime juice “cooks” the seafood) prematurely. Enzymatic marinades work by breaking down the connective tissue in meat. You can buy commercial meat tenderizers, but most of them are derived from papaya or pineapple, so I’d recommend just using the fresh ingredients themselves. As with the acidic marinades, you don’t want to use enzymatic marinades for too long. The meat won’t get tougher, but it may get excessively mushy (as opposed to just tender). Two hours is a good cut off time, to be safe. Dairy is the mildest marinade, and, given enough time to work, the most tenderizing. You’ll generally want to use Greek yogurt or buttermilk (something slightly acidic) – think Indian tandoori or Southern fried chicken. We’re not sure if it’s the mild acidity of the dairy that tenderizes the meat, or if it’s the calcium activating tenderizing enzymes in the meat itself (both theories have been floated around online), but we do know that it works. This obviously won’t be an option for Primals who avoid dairy altogether.
The best marinades are often the simplest, made with fresh, quality ingredients that just taste really good together. In a pinch, you can throw together a few items – say, olive oil, lemon, garlic, and salt – that mesh well in your mouth and be confident they’ll work as a marinade, too. Or, you can get complex and creative with a wide range of ingredients. For those of you who aren’t totally confident in your ability to create on the fly, we’ve put together a list of ten Primal-approved marinades for a variety of meats.
Cuban Mojo This is a powerful, highly flexible marinade. It pairs well with beef, pork, chicken, and fish, but the high acidity makes it easy to over-marinate. Don’t go over an hour with this one. Ingredients:
• • • • • • • •
Bulb (yes, bulb) of garlic, minced 2 tsp salt 1 tsp ground black pepper 1/2 cup orange juice 1/2 cup lime juice 1/2 cup lemon juice Zest from the citrus 2 tsp cumin
Method: Mix it all up and cover your meat completely. Remember, don’t marinate for longer than an hour.
Skirt Steak Marinade
This recipe is adapted from an Alton Brown recipe. We love his scientific approach to cooking, but his ingredients sometimes need a Primal adjustment. This is one of those times. Oh, and any thin cut of steak will do: skirt, flap, Milanese, etc. Ingredients: • 1/2 cup olive oil • 2 tbsp salt, dissolved in two ounces water • 4 scallions, cut in half • 2 big cloves of garlic • 1/4 cup lime juice • 1 tsp red chile pepper flakes/powder • 1 tsp cumin • 2 tsp honey Method: Mix it all up and cover your meat completely. Marinate in the fridge for an hour.
This works equally well for steak, pork, and chicken. Balsamic is one of the weaker vinegars, so you don’t have to fret too much over over-marinating, but given enough time it will break down and eventually toughen the meat. Ingredients: • A few splashes of balsamic vinegar • 2 cloves garlic, minced • Sea salt and black pepper to cover all sides • Thyme (fresh or otherwise) Method: Rub the meat with all the ingredients. This is more of a wet rub, but it will impart a lot of flavor. Leave the meat in the fridge for half an hour before cooking. If you want to reach more meat faster, go ahead and add some olive oil to the mix (along with more of everything else), which will allow for a more traditional, liquid marinade.
If you allow yogurt, this is a great marinade for chicken. Just give yourself plenty of time to let the flavors set. Ingredients: • Tub of Greek yogurt (FAGE is a good option) • 4 large cloves garlic, crushed and chopped • 1 inch piece fresh ginger, grated • 2 spicy peppers, minced • Juice from one lemon • 1 tbsp turmeric • 1 tbsp cumin • 1 tbsp coriander • 1 tsp cinnamon • 2 tsp paprika • Sea salt and black pepper Method:
Mix the ingredients together, leaving the salt and pepper aside. Salt and pepper the chicken, then coat liberally with the yogurt mixture. Marinade for at least half a day, or overnight.
Leg of Lamb Yogurt Marinade
You can certainly marinate an entire lamb roast, but you’ll want to at least butterfly the leg to get more surface area for the marinade to reach. Ingredients: • Tub(s) of Greek yogurt (FAGE is great, make sure you have enough to entirely coat the meat) • 1 tbsp coriander • 1 tbsp cumin • 1 tbsp black pepper (ground or cracked) • 1 medium-sized hot chile, minced and seeded (could be a Serrano, could be a habanero, could even be dried powder – your choice) • Juice from 1 lemon • 6 cloves of garlic, minced • 1 inch of ginger, minced • 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro • 1/2 cup freshly chopped mint Method: Mix everything together in a pan. Coat the lamb on all sides with the mixture, then place into the fridge to marinate overnight. Let it go for at least twelve hours, after which you can just pop the pan into the oven to cook. When it’s done, reduce the drippings/marinade over low heat until it’s a thick, creamy sauce.
This one’s really, really easy. It goes best with chicken or pork, but any meat should work well. Ingredients: One can chipotle peppers (with adobo sauce) Method: Skim the sauce from the can and cover your meat of choice. Marinate for two hours. Include the peppers if you’re brave.
Greek Style Lamb Marinade
This will go well with any lamb cut, especially the cheaper ones like shoulder (which, as a bonus, also happens to be extra fatty). Ingredients: • 3 cloves of garlic, minced • 4-5 tbsp fresh oregano (or 2 tbsp dried), minced
• • •
2 tbsp parsley, minced Grated zest from 1/2 a lemon, along with the juice Extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat the lamb)
Method: Mix the ingredients together. Salt and pepper the lamb, then slather the mixture all over it. Place in a bag or in plastic wrap inside the fridge for at least two hours.
Grilled Chicken Marinade
Ingredients: • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard • 1/2 cup olive oil • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (red wine vinegar works, too) • 1 tsp hot chile powder • Grated zest from an orange • Juice from the orange • Sea salt and pepper Method: Salt and pepper your chicken and fire up the grill. Mix all other ingredients together and coat the bird. Let it marinate for forty five minutes while the coals heat up, then slap it on the grill.
Thai Pork Chop Marinade
We say pork chop because it’s ideal, but any pork cut will do: loin, butt, belly. Ingredients: • 1/2 cup dry white wine • 1/4 cup lime juice • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger • 1 tbsp garlic, minced • 1 hot chile, minced and seeded (Thai, if you can get it) • 1 tbsp honey • 1 tbsp salt dissolved in a bit of water (instead of soy sauce) Method:
Cajun Blackening Spices:
Mix everything together and coat your pig in the stuff. This is a pretty potent marinade, so you only need to marinate for about half an hour. You can go up to an hour at a time, if you like.
This is the traditional seasoning recipe for Cajun Style Blackened Fish. Apply this rub on the fish and place it on an extremely hot cast iron skillet. Trust me when I say that this will be a delicious treat. Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Yield: Makes about 1/4 cup Ingredients:
• • • • • • •
2 tablespoons paprika 1 tablespoon ground dried oregano 1 tablespoon ground dried thyme 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper 1 teaspoon finely ground white pepper 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preparation: Mix together and store in an airtight container, in a cool, dark place.
Seasoning oil is another great way to add flavor to a pan cooked dish. A few things to remember when seasoning oil: Most ingredients (especially garlic) will burn if left in the oil for too long to achieve the most flavor place minced ingredient in cold oil in the pan and let it heat on low-med low with the oil once you notice the herb/garlic/citrus peel/ginger etc… starting to brown around the edges use a fork or slotted spoon to remove the flavor enhancer and your oil is ready to be cooked in. (keep crispy garlic tidbits to add back in as extra tasty garnish).
Cooking with Bones
Marrow is great but not all bones provide ease of access or enough yield to warrant a difficult extraction. Chicken backs, beef knuckles, ham hocks, chicken feet, lamb necks, hooves and any other animal-derived matrices of calcium phosphate and collagen fibers are all worth saving for cooking. The best part is that bones, feet, hooves, heads, and connective tissues are all pretty inexpensive, sometimes even free, parts of the animal. They also represent an entirely different realm of nutritional content than basic muscle meat. Bone is living tissue, not inert structure. Bone is rigid organ placing it squarely in the nutritional all-star camp of liver, heart, brain, kidney, and sweetbreads. Bone is full of minerals, mostly calcium and phosphorus along with sodium, magnesium, and other trace minerals. If the connective tissue – and most animal scraps and bones you use will have tendons, ligaments, and cartilage – is still attached, bones also include stuff like chondroitin and glucosamine, popular joint supplements that are the raw materials for bone and cartilage formation. Let’s do a quick rundown of all the other good stuff found in bones and, therefore, well-made bone stock:
• Bone marrow: bone marrow is one of the first “superfoods” our ancestors enjoyed. It’s fatty, with a bit of protein and loads of minerals. Even if you’re cooking spindly chicken bones, there’s going to be marrow, and that marrow will make it into your stock. • Collagen and gelatin – Most commercial gelatin comes from animal collagen already, so why not cut out the middle man and get your gelatin directly from bone and cartilage? The more collagen your bones have, the more gelatinous, rich, and viscous your stock will be – important qualities, especially if you intend to reduce your stock into sauces. Gelatin has been said to reduce joint pain and ulcers. • Glycine –Bone broth is rich in glycine. A non-essential amino acid but still good for the human body. • Proline – Proline is another non-essential amino acid found in bone stock. • Hyaluronic acid – Hyaluronic acid, is one of cartilage’s three glycosaminoglycans. It helps broth gel, it’s been used for years to treat race horses with osteoarthritis, usually as an intra-articular injection or IV ( Human trials still underway) • Chondroitin sulfate – Chondroitin sulfate is another glycosaminoglycan present in bone stock. It’s also a popular supplement for the treatment of osteoarthritis. • Calcium: Is the raw material for bone production and fortification, and bone stock might be one of the best sources of calcium around, especially for those who avoid dairy and don’t eat enough leafy greens. • Phosphorus – There’s also a good amount of phosphorus in bone stock, though I doubt Primal eaters lack adequate dietary phosphorus (there’s plenty in meat). Still, it’s a nice buffer. • Magnesium – Magnesium is pretty lacking in the modern diet. Fatty fish like mackerel offer good amounts, as do leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, but most people, Primal folks included, could stand to take in more magnesium.. •
Sulfur, potassium, and sodium – Stock has these minerals in mostly trace amounts, but they’re all
important for health. Sodium isn’t really an issue for most people, but potassium is undoubtedly important and often lacking. Both are crucial electrolytes. •
The best way to extract all that boney goodness is to cook with them, and that means making
stock (or broth; from here on out, I’ll just say stock, but the two are pretty similar, with broth technically being derived from meat and bones, and stock from just bones •
Different bones require different consideration:
• Add a couple shots of apple cider vinegar to your stock. This aids in the extraction of minerals without really altering the flavor. • Roast your bones beforehand. This adds color and flavor. For big bones like beef, 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes usually works. For chicken, just use roasted carcasses. • Don’t throw bones away. Even if you just ate a couple bone-in chicken thighs, save those measly little bones! Freeze them and keep adding to your collection until you’ve got a respectable amount. • Don’t be afraid to simmer long and slow. Smaller animals require less cooking time to extract nutrients, so chicken can probably go for twenty hours and produce a quality stock, but beef or lamb bones can go for several days, provided you keep the heat low and watch the water level to prevent burning. • Add feet, especially chicken feet, for added collagen – and more gelatin. • If it’s a delicious joint supplement you’re after, look for actual animal joints to throw in. Knuckles, especially, have tons of cartilaginous material and snappy ligament that will break down in the water. • When dealing with the bigger bones from ungulates, sometimes the heat and the water need a little assistance. To really get the good stuff: • stick the bones in a sturdy bag and smash them with your sledgehammer ). Then put the shards in the stockpot. Another option is to remove the bones after half a day or so and go to work with a smaller hammer, a chef’s knife, or even the food processor. They’ll have softened considerably, and you’ll be able
to chop them up into bits for quicker, more thorough extraction. Either method is affective and the difference is that huge. Always try to make time to get into those bones. • Once your stock has cooled in the fridge, only skim the fat if you’re prepared to store or use the stock right away. That layer of fat is protecting your broth from adulterants, whether they’re random fridge flavors or bacteria. • Speaking of fat, I’d toss poultry fat. It’s a relatively high-PUFA animal fat, and a day of simmering has probably damaged it beyond repair. If you’re stewing bones with more saturated animal fat, though, you should absolutely save the fat layer. • Veggies are optional, but tasty. They add flavor, and the classic mirepoix blend of carrots, onions, and celery is always a welcome addition. Herbs work well, too, Try thyme, bay leaf, and whole peppercorns, with maybe a sprig or two of rosemary added. If you’re doing herbs and veggies, add them toward the end of cooking, especially if you’re doing a marathon two-day stock making session. . Even if you don’t seek out bones specifically for cooking, you’ll end up with plenty as leftovers. In fact, I’d suggest opting for whole animals or bone-in segments; the meat tastes better, it stays fresher longer, and you get some cooking bones when it’s all done. When you roast a chicken, you’ve got an entire skeleton to work with. When you cook a bone-in leg of lamb on the barbecue, you’ve got a big femur left over. Chicken Breast and steak is okay sometimes but the primal eater shouldn’t live on muscle meat alone. Give homemade stock a try. If you eat animals, you should have access to their bones, and you should never throw those bones away.
How to Render Bacon Fat
Rendering bacon fat is as easy firing up a skillet and cooking bacon like you normally would. Place a few pieces of thick, nitrate-free, uncured strips on the surface of a cast-iron skillet and cook until crispy. Once bacon is done, remove it and place it aside
If youâ€™re not planning to eat the bacon by itself, though, and are just cooking it for its fat, there is a more strategic method. Freeze the strips for 10-15 minutes prior to cooking, then cut the bacon into small bits. While the pieces cook, the increased surface area helps to render the fat more fully (which just means less of the fat stays on the bacon itself), and the bacon pieces come out much leaner. (You can then add these crispy bits to salads or side dishes for a delicious flavor.)
Whatever you decide to do with the bacon, the drippings are what weâ€™re after. Pour or spoon the fat from the skillet (carefully!) into a can, shallow bowl or wide-mouth glass jar, like the one pictured. If you donâ€™t refrigerate the fat right away, it will be OK but will take longer to solidify.
As far as safety goes, grandmas the world over will tell you that they’ve kept their bacon fat in a coffee can next to their stove for extended periods of time without any ill effects, but I like to keep mine in the fridge. Even when I’ve filtered the fat and am sure there is no residual meat in the container that can easily go rancid I still hedge my bets and throw it in the fridge. Fats are pretty obvious about their expiration, so if it airs of badness, don’t hesitate to discard the batch and start over.
Side dishes and Snacks:
How to Make Your Own Jerky
In the modern world it’s hard to get more “primal” than dried meat. Jerky is essentially strips of lean meat that have marinated and dried. The result? Tasty, rich, salty and pumped with about twice the protein gram per gram of regular “hydrated” meat. To boot, you’ve got a snack that travels well under varied circumstances. The best jerky is made from whole-muscle meat, homemade or in small batch varieties. There is some great small label jerky out there. Meat shares from small farms often include it. To try out a few varieties, farmers’ markets are a great place to pick up some of the real deal. But there’s real pleasure and a very primal sense of accomplishment in making your own. But rest assured that the endeavor needn’t be the tedious, complicated effort many people think it is. Sure, the overall time commitment involves several hours, but most of it is plain old “dry” time. But don’t I need a dehydrator or smoker? Nope. If you have an oven, consider yourself set. Many longtime jerky connoisseurs actually find oven-made easiest and on par taste-wise. If you’re, in fact, using a dehydrator or smoker, simply follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you’re going the oven route, we’ve got some tips.
The Devil Is In the Details (of prep, that is)
Tip #1: Go for a meat with next to no fat. This is not the time to look for marbling. When it comes to jerky: fat just doesn’t work. It goes rancid – unhealthy and, well, downright unappetizing. Jerky can be made from beef, venison, bison, and (less often) pork, turkey, and chicken, ostrich, and salmon. Beginners might start with beef for simplicity and availability sake. An easy and common cut is flank steak. London broil cuts are a good option as well. (As always use clean, grass-fed meat if you can. To save time and frustration, you can always request that the butcher do the trimming and cutting for you. Go for long, ¼ inch strips cut across the grain for tenderness. A tip for trimming your own: put the meat in the freezer long enough to firm up but not harden and then get out a sharp chefs knife. The next step involves the marinade. You’ll get a lot of advice on marinades. A million different opinions, actually. In addition to the marinade recipes themselves, there’s the marinade method. As the folks at Oregon State University tell us, the USDA recommends that jerky meat “be heated to 160 degrees F before the dehydrating process in order to destroy pathogenic microorganisms.” Some people dry in the oven at this temperature, but another method for heating is the “hot marinade” option. Instead of letting the meat “soak” overnight in a plastic bag, you can boil your marinade mix and drop in your meat strips for a minute or two. Rest assured that a lot of people swear by this method just for the taste itself. If you’re using conventional meats, going the safe route is a good idea. Raised, grassfinished might present less risk. The safety of wild meats like venison often depends on factors as various as overpopulation to butchering mastery. As for marinade recipes, chalk it up to personal taste. This is a humble suggestion to get you started in your experimentation.
For a 2-lb cut:
¼ cup low sodium soy sauce 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 1 Tbsp. liquid smoke 3 minced or crushed garlic cloves 2 ½ tsp. onion powder 2 tsp. hot chili powder ½-1 tsp. each of salt and black pepper (Hint: For a hotter taste, add red pepper flakes or hot sauce. To add a hint of sweetness, include a Tbsp. of honey.)
The Heat Is On Again, if you’re using an oven, you’ll use the power of the dry heat to dehydrate the meat over several hours. Lay the strips across clean wire racks or a broiler pan, and place in the oven. You’ll want to put a lined pan in the oven a couple rack bars lower than the strips in order to catch the drippings. If you don’t have racks that will hold the strips, line backing sheets with aluminum foil, and lay your jerky strips on the pans. Make sure the strips don’t touch. Particularly if you used a hot marinade, you can use a lower temperature (150 degrees is common) for 6-8 hours. Turn strips half-way through cook time. Jerky is done when it’s darkened and cracks when bent. (It shouldn’t break apart.) Allow to cool completely at room temperature.
Call It Good Once the strips are fully cooled, it’s time for storage. Homemade jerky won’t store long at room temperature. Vacuum sealing is your best bet for this option. The packaging will allow you to bring the jerky with you on that longer backpacking trip minus the fuss and worries. In the meantime, your best bet is refrigerator or freezer storage. Wrap or vacuum seal in plastic, and store for 2-3 months in the refrigerator. (Freezer storage, provided you’ve wrapped the jerky well to prevent frostbite, will buy you a few more months.) There you go. A nice big batch will give you plenty of portable protein nourishment for days walking on the trail.
Alternatively: Box Fan Cool Dry Jerky Wet-Jerk Ingredients
about 2 pounds beef (I use flank steak, most fat removed)
1/2 cup tamari (wheat-free, fermented soy sauce) or coconut aminos if you avoid
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp honey (optional if avoiding added sugars)
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp fresh-ground black pepper
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1 tbsp crushed chile flake (optional, but adds some slight spiciness)
about 2 pounds beef (again, flank steak with most fat removed)
2 tbsp fine sea salt
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp crushed red chile flakes
2 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chile powder
One 20 inch by 20 inch box fan
4 cotton-based air filters per recipe
2 bungee cords that are long enough to hold the fan/filter combo together without
a sharp knife and a cutting board
a gallon-size plastic bag
a bowl big enough to hold all the meat
paper (or blood stain okay terry cloth) towels
The Instructions 1. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap and put in the freezer. You want to check it after about 2 hours, but depending on the thickness it might take as long as 4. When it is partially
frozen through, but not rock-hard, take it out. This makes it MUCH easier to cut into strips.
2. While the meat freezes, place the all the other ingredients for the jerk into the baggie. Mix them up really well.
3. When the meat is partially frozen, cut into even strips. Aim for around 1/4″ thickness. Don’t worry about the length, but make sure you are going along with the grain of the meat.
4. Add the meat to the jerk mix in the baggie, remove as much air as possible and mix it around thoroughly to evenly distribute the jerk. Place it in a bowl just in case it leaks, and let it percolate in the fridge for at least 4-6 hours (overnight is fine).
5. When you are ready to get it to dehydrating, set up your processing center:
You’ll want several layers of paper (or terry) towels, even if you are using the dry-jerk, since you’ll want to get any extra liquid/jerk off of the beef before you lay it out to
dehydrate. You’ll pour the meat out of the baggie for easier access, use the towels to get the liquid off ( if you are using paper towels you can still use the same ones the whole
time, so you won’t be wasting a ton of them, maybe 4-6 sheets on each half depending on the size of the sheets). Once they are reasonably dry, you’ll lay them out on the air filters
so that they don’t touch. Here’s what they dry-jerk set looks like:
And the wet-jerk :
When youâ€™ve loaded up all of the filters, you will place one empty filter on top of the stack
to keep everything together, and then stack it on top of the box fan. Put the filters on the side that has the air pushing out, and use the bungee cords to secure the filters on the fan (from the top to the bottom seems to be the most secure position).
When you are done, take it somewhere safe from animals and plug it in. Set a timer for 8
hours, and then check it every hour after that. It can take anywhere from 10 to 14 hours to cure, youâ€™ll be able to tell from the texture (dry but not desert-like, and still a little chewy).
Hereâ€™s the finished product: Dry on the left and wet on the right.
I would suggest playing with your jerk recipes to find something you like. Having
something with a lot of salt (or something high in sodium like tamari) is important to encourage dehydration, the ingredients for taste are interchangable.
Crispy, Fatty, Melt-In-Your-Mouth Porchetta
Porchetta is the ultimate meal for pork lovers. Crispy, crackling pork skin; fatty, melt-in-your mouth pork belly; and moist shoulder (or loin) are rolled together in every bite. It’s pork, three ways, in one amazing dish. When made strictly according to tradition, porchetta is a massive culinary undertaking: a whole, bonedout pig is stuffed with its entrails, herbs and spices and slow roasted in a wood oven. As amazing as this may sound, it’s not exactly manageable for most home cooks. Which is why easier versions of porchetta, like this one made from pork shoulder (or loin) wrapped in pork belly, have become so popular. This recipe for porchetta still takes a little time and effort, but boy, is it worth it. Once you hear the fatty, juicy pork crackling in the oven and your house fills with the intense, meaty aroma of porchetta you’ll know you’re in for a treat. First, get your hands on some skin-on pork belly, which you may have to special order. This thick slab of skin, fat and meat is the most delicious part of the whole dish. Next, decide if you want the middle of your porchetta to be shoulder or loin – this recipe uses shoulder because it’s less expensive and often more flavorful. Lastly, decide on your herb and spice rub. This recipe plays it safe with a traditional blend of salt, pepper, garlic, fennel seeds and rosemary, but you can add even more flavor with fresh herbs, red pepper flakes and citrus zest. Everything is rolled up into an impressive roast that rests overnight in the refrigerator then cooks for several hours. The skin will be so crisp that it will shatter at the touch of a knife. The inner layers of belly and meat so tender, that they’ll fall apart in your mouth. Serves: 8 to 10 Time in the Kitchen: 45 minutes of prep, 8-12 hours of refrigeration and 3 hours of cooking time Ingredients:
• 1 4 to 5 pound piece of fresh, skin-on pork belly (1.8 to 2.3 kg) • 5 to 6 pounds pork shoulder, butter-flied to an even thickness of 1-inch (ask your butcher to butterfly it for you) (2.3 to 2.7 kg) • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds (30 ml) • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns (15 ml) • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary (15 ml) • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt (25 ml) • 3 garlic cloves, minced • 3 tablespoons olive oil (45 ml) Instructions: Toast the fennel seeds and peppercorns in a dry skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Let cool then pulse a few times in a coffee grinder with the rosemary until the texture is finely ground but not powdery. In a small bowl, use a fork to mash the spice mixture with the salt, garlic and olive oil to form a paste. Other seasonings that can be added to this mixture are roughly 1/2 cup (120 ml) or more of finely chopped fresh herbs, a teaspoon (5 ml) of red pepper flakes and a tablespoon (15 ml) of orange or lemon zest.
Lay the pork belly skin side up. Using a sharp knife (or utility knife) carefully score the skin in a tight crosshatch diamond pattern, cutting down to the fat but not through it (about 1/4 inch/6 mm deep). The skin can be a little hard to cut through, but scoring it is essential if you want the skin to become as crispy as possible. Flip the belly over, skin side down, and score the meat side in the same crosshatch diamond pattern. Rub a little bit of the spice and garlic paste all over the pork belly. With the pork belly lying skin-side down, lay the butter-filed pork shoulder on top of it. Spread the remaining spice mixture on the side of the pork shoulder thatâ€™s facing up.
Leaving the pork belly alone for now, just roll the shoulder up as tightly as possible so it looks like a long, fat pork loin. Put the rolled pork shoulder near the middle of the pork belly and fold the belly all the way over the shoulder.
Roll it once so the two ends of the belly overlap just slightly and the shoulder is completely covered in a draping of belly fat.
**If there’s a gap on the underside because the pork belly doesn’t reach all the way around, that’s fine. Or, if you just have a small piece of pork belly, simply drape the belly over the top of the shoulder. Once the pork belly is snugly around the shoulder, use cooking twine/string to tie the belly to the shoulder in 2-inch/5 cm intervals as tightly as possible. This is easiest with two people; one person holds the porchetta together and one ties the strings. If the ends of the rolled pork are uneven and pork belly or pork shoulder is hanging out, use a kitchen shears to trim the ends of the belly or shoulder so they are even. Transfer the porchetta to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Sprinkle a light layer of salt on top. Refrigerate the pork uncovered overnight. The next day, bring the roast to room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 450 ºF (232 ºC) Put the porchetta in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Turn the heat down to 325 ºF (163 ºC) and continue to roast the porchetta until a thermometer stuck into the middle of the roast registers between 150 ºF (66 ºC) and 160 ºF (71 ºC). This will take around 2 to 2 1/2 hours more. Let the porchetta rest for 30 minutes before slicing thinly. To reheat porchetta leftovers the next day, heat up slices under the broiler until the fatty layers are soft and supple again.
Crunchy Primal Crackers
Moderation is still key with nut crackers. But they are far better than Triscuits and Wheat Thins. Just don’t forget: Occasional snack – good. Dinner plate of nut crackers – not so good. Primal Crackers are something you can make at home with just a few ingredients. Two that have great flavor and the crucial crunchiness that makes a cracker a cracker are Sunflower Sesame Crackers and Almond Crackers. Sunflower Sesame Crackers have a definite crunch and earthy, sesame flavor. Almond crackers have a crispy texture and neutral flavor that can be changed in a million ways. This recipe is the simplest base, using easy-to-find blanched almond slivers to make almond flour and dried dill for flavor. Following the recipe and technique below, you can make almond crackers with any flavor you desire: plain, fresh herb, garlic, spicy cayenne and cinnamon are just a few ideas. Now, next time a cracker craving strikes, you’ll be ready. Ingredients:
• • • • •
2 cups (8 ounces) raw blanched almond slivers 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon dried dill 1 egg, whisked 2 tablespoons olive oil
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a food processor mix nuts, salt and dried dill until nuts reach desired consistency. For textured crackers, leave nuts in tiny pieces. For smooth crackers, blend until nuts reach a flour-like consistency.
Add egg and oil and pulse just until incorporated.
From here, you can shape the crackers in one of two ways:
For a thin, crunchy cracker flatten the dough between two sheets of parchment paper (sold in the same aisle as plastic wrap and aluminum foil) then use a rolling pin to get the dough as thin as possible. Remove the top sheet of parchment paper and set the other (with the dough on top) on a cookie sheet. Use a knife or pizza wheel to cut cracker shapes. Or, for a thicker cracker with a rounded shape, wrap the dough in a large piece of parchment paper and shape it into a log about 9 inches long and 1-2 inches tall. Use a knife to slice thin pieces of dough into crackers. If the dough is too soft, put it in the freezer for 10 minutes, then cut.
Bake crackers for 10-12 minutes. Let cool completely before eating.
Fiddlehead Ferns With Bacon, Browned Garlic and Onion, and White Wine Reduction
Ingredients: 1/2 pound Fiddlehead Ferns 12 oz applewood smoked bacon
1 medium onion 1 large clove garlic 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc) Butter Salt and pepper
Method: I started by preparing the ferns as mentioned in yesterdayâ€™s post: a 3-4 minute roiling boil blanch followed by a cold water bath. At the same time, I cut up the bacon into 1 inch pieces and started cooking it over medium heat.
Once the bacon is getting nice and crispy and is about five minutes from finishing, saute the ferns in a large tablespoon of butter in another pan over medium-high heat. Once the baconâ€™s done and the ferns have been cooking for three minutes, toss in another dollop of butter and add the garlic (chopped). At this
point, remove the bacon, pour out about 2/3 of the rendered fat into a container for later use, and then toss the chopped onion in the rest of the bacon fat over high heat.
Watch this carefully, as the onions will burn quickly. Keep stirring the onions while watching the ferns and garlic. When the garlic is starting to brown, pour in the wine and let it reduce. The onions should be done by now so go ahead and take them out before they burn. As the wine reduces, you may want to add a bit more butter as a thickener. Plate the ferns and top with salt, pepper, bacon, and onions. It’s a pretty filling dish by itself, or you could serve it alongside a piece of grilled meat, like a lamb leg steak. If you can’t find Fiddlehead Ferns or would rather not fork over the money ,you can substitute chopped asparagus spears and leave everything else the same. If you live near a local fern source (or feel like foraging in the Oregon forest), you really have no excuse not to try it out. It’s a really easy. The best thing about this is that it’s relatively wide open for additions or subtractions. This dish goes well with some crushed red chile pepper for heat, or with some grated aged Gouda to add a sharp bite to the white wine reduction. Fresh herbs like thyme or parsley might help, too.
Mushroom and Bacon “Risotto”
The rich flavors of bacon and mushrooms dominate this dish, turning riced cauliflower into a super-flavorful side. Cauliflower risotto is fantastic served with a main course of roasted chicken, salmon, or thick, juicy pork chops. The recipe below is great without any additional ingredients, but if you’re really craving comfort food then fatten the risotto up a bit. Generous amounts of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or butter (or both) will do the trick. A garnish of fresh herbs like basil, parsley and chives add color and flavor. Like traditional risotto, this dish shouldn’t be overcooked. Stop when the cauliflower is al dente. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a bowl of mush. Still flavorful, mind you, but lacking the crisp-tender texture that makes cauliflower risotto really good. Servings: 4 Time in the Kitchen: 35 minutes Ingredients:
• • • • • • • •
2 heads of cauliflower, cut into small chunks (bottom stem and leaves trimmed off) 4 to 6 pieces of bacon, cut into small pieces 1 small yellow onion or large shallot, finely chopped 2 stalks of celery, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or thinly sliced 3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced thinly (340 g) 1/2 cup chicken stock (120 ml) Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, butter, finely chopped fresh herbs (optional toppings)
Instructions: In small batches, put the cauliflower chunks into a food processor. Process until the cauliflower has the consistency of rice. Set aside. Cook the bacon in a wide pot or skillet over medium-high heat. After a few minutes add the onion/shallot, celery and garlic. If the bacon hasn’t released enough fat, add a little bit of olive oil or butter to the pot. Sauté for 3 minutes then add the mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes more. Again, if the pot seems dry, add more olive oil or butter. Season the mushrooms lightly with salt and pepper.
Add 8 cups of cauliflower rice. If you have slightly less than 8 cups, donâ€™t worry about it. If you have more, reserve the extra for another meal.
Add the chicken stock. Put a lid on the pot and cook the cauliflower for 5 to 7 minutes until tender but not completely mushy.
Before serving, flavor the risotto with generous amounts of one or more of the following: grated cheese, butter, fresh herbs.
Call them what you want – latkes, vegetables pancakes, fried-deliciousness – they’re a holiday treat many of us crave this time of year. They’re also traditionally made with potatoes, a food some of us Primals feel better avoiding. The tuber’s low-moisture and high-starch content creates a crispy exterior and fluffy interior when fried in oil. The high starch
content, unfortunately, is also the reason the insulin resistant are better off turning to less starchy vegetables to satisfy latke cravings. Although latkes made with vegetables like carrot, turnip, daikon radish and zucchini will never be quite as crispy as potato latkes, they are darn good in their own right. The flavor of each vegetable is mild enough that you’ll still feel like you’re eating a latke, yet the latke is turned into something new and interesting. Zucchini latkes are mildest of all, the carrot and turnip are slightly sweet and the daikon version has just a hint of spiciness. Try some kohlrabi latkes too. Traditional latkes use flour as a binding ingredient; unnecessary filler that doesn’t need to be replaced with anything. Eggs will bind latkes together just fine, as long you squeeze as much moisture out of the vegetables as possible before frying. This is easily done after the vegetables are grated (it can be helpful to lay towel inside a sieve and place grated veggies on top and let gravity work for you before squeezing). Simply wrap a thin dishtowel around the grated vegetable and squeeze. A surprising amount of moisture will drip out. It also helps to make vegetable latkes that aren’t too big, otherwise they’ll fall apart while frying. To further alter from traditional latkes, why not add a sprinkle of cinnamon to carrot latkes or diced scallions and tamari to the daikon radish? Maybe a little curry powder to the turnip or fresh herbs to the zucchini? Ingredients:
• • • •
3 cups grated carrot, turnip, daikon radish or zucchini 2 eggs, beaten Pinch of salt and pepper Oil for frying
Instructions: Wrap a light weight dishtowel around 1 cup of grated vegetable at a time and squeeze as much water out as possible.
In a bowl, mix grated vegetable with egg, salt and pepper. Start with the two eggs per 3 cups of grated vegetables to bind the latkes. After frying a few, add more egg as binder only if necessary.
Heat 1/2 cup oil over medium to medium-high heat. Toss a pinch of grated vegetable in the pan â€“ youâ€™ll know the oil is hot enough if it starts sizzling immediately. Scoop 1/4 cup or less of grated vegetable into your hand and form into a very loose patty. Set the patty in the hot pan and press it down gently with a fork. Cook at least 2-3 minutes on each side, until nicely browned.
You can keep the oven at 250 degrees and keep latkes warm inside the oven while you cook the whole batch. If the oil becomes dark or begins to smoke, it is necessary to dump out the oil, wipe out the pan and start fresh before frying more latkes. Enjoy!
Homemade Deli Meat This recipe requires time (most of it hands-off) but very little effort. Cover the meat with a little syrup and salt, refrigerate 48 hours, bake low (250 ºF) and slow then chill before slicing. What emerges is a chicken breast transformed into a smoother, suppler version of its regular self. The meat has the same sweet and salty flavor of store-bought deli meat; it’s delicious sliced thinly for snacking or cut into thick squares for a salad. Servings: 4 Time in the Kitchen: 2 1/2 hours, plus 48 hours to brine Ingredients:
• • • •
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or approx. 1 pound of total meat) (450 g) 4 teaspoons pure maple syrup (20 ml) 1 tablespoon kosher salt (15 ml) 1 tablespoon dried herbs or spices (optional) (15 ml)
Instructions: Put the syrup, salt and any seasonings that you like in a sealable plastic bag.
Add the chicken breasts and rub the syrup and salt into the meat. Release as much air as possible, seal the bag and refrigerate for 48 hours, turning the chicken breasts occasionally. Rinse the chicken off with water then soak in a bowl of cold water for 1 hour. This removes excessive saltiness. Preheat the oven to 250 ºF (120 ºC) Pat the chicken dry. Pound the breasts into thin even slabs. Roll each slab up and tie it with twine. (Pounding and rolling the meat isn’t entirely necessary but it helps the meat cook evenly and allows you to slice the meat in even rounds after it’s cooked.)
Place the rolled breasts on a parchment lined or well-oiled baking pan. Bake for 1 hour or until the meat temperature is 165 ยบF. (74 ยบC) Remove the twine and let the meat cool completely in the refrigerator before slicing.
Cuban Picadillo is basically a sloppy joe without the bun. But picadillo has a little more pizzazz, thanks to the sweet and piquant flavor combination of raisins and olives simmered with ground beef and tomato sauce. Picadillo is home cooked comfort food, the type of easy weeknight meal The blending of sweet and acidic ingredients is also a big part of Caribbean cuisine. Traditionally served over rice and beans (and sometimes, plantains) Primal Picadillo can be served over cauliflower rice or simply heaped in a bowl with nothing else. Itâ€™s also pretty great next to eggs for breakfast. Servings: 4
Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour Ingredients:
• • • • • • • • • •
2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml) 1 onion, finely chopped 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (680 g) 1 teaspoon dried oregano (5 ml) 1 teaspoon ground cumin (5 ml) 8 ounces tomato sauce (240 ml) 1/2 cup pitted green olives (75 g) 2 tablespoons raisins (30 ml)
Instructions: Over medium-high heat sauté the onion and green pepper in olive oil until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and the ground beef. Season the beef with salt and pepper, oregano and cumin.
When the meat is browned but still a bit pink in the middle, add tomato sauce. Simmer 20 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Add the olives and raisins and simmer 10 minutes more. Serve.
Breadless Cauliflower and Mushroom Stuffing
The name says it all. The attributes that make stuffing so popular â€“ a mild, comforting flavor and rich, indulgent texture â€“ can be achieved with all sorts of different ingredients. This recipe is a buttery blend of cauliflower, mushrooms and leeks baked until soft and caramelized and covered with an intensely nutty blend of hazelnuts and fresh herbs. For this recipe toasting the hazelnuts really benefits the dish, toasting is not necessary in all recipes but for this one it is worth your time.
• • • • • • • • • • • •
3/4 cup butter (or olive oil) 1 pound crimini mushrooms, cut in half 1 leek 2 stalks celery 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets 1 cup hazelnuts 2 lemons 1 teaspoon lemon zest 2 garlic cloves 1 tablespoon fresh thyme 1/3 cup roughly chopped parsley 1/2 teaspoon salt
Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a sauté pan over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup of butter and sauté mushrooms, leek and celery for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms soften a bit. Combine with cauliflower florets in a 13×9 inch rimmed baking pan.
In a food processor, combine hazelnuts, juice of one lemon, lemon zest, garlic, thyme, parsley, salt and 1/4 cup of melted butter.
Pulse until the mixture is well-blended and the hazelnuts are in tiny pieces, but itâ€™s not nearly as smooth as a paste. Spoon the mixture on the top of the cauliflower and mushrooms and mix well.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, stirring occasionally. Raise the heat to 375 degrees and bake another 35-45 minutes, stirring several times so the stuffing does not burn or stick to the pan. It is these last 35-45 minutes that are crucial to finishing the dish. The hazelnuts will brown and lose moisture, becoming caramelized and a bit crunchy again. This stuffing can be baked a day ahead and then covered and re-heated before serving. Right before serving, squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon top and add more salt if needed.
Zucchini Chips with Spicy Salsa
Chips can be made out of any number of vegetables. Parsnips, beets and rutabagas work well so do zucchini and yellow squash. If you have a dehydrator use that but if you don’t you can use the oven! Making chips of any kind in an oven is a bit tricky. To get a crispy, crunchy chip that isn’t burned, the slow method is best. And by slow, we mean practically a whole day at your oven’s lowest possible heat level. Some people recommend leaving the door slightly cracked so air can circulate. If you don’t have that kind of time, try this fast
method: slice zucchini thinly, dip in egg white and then a light coating of coconut flour. Bake in a 425 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 minutes, flipping once. This will make a flavorful and fairly crunchy chip. For even more flavor, add onion powder or grated parmesan to the coconut flour. However, it can’t be denied that by far the easiest and most fool-proof way to make chips is in a dehydrator. You can walk away and let the dehydrator do the work without worrying about the chips staying soggy or burning to a crisp. They come out crispy and crunchy every time, which is exactly the texture we want when a snack-attack strikes. Chip Ingredients:
• • • •
1 or more large zucchini and/or yellow squash 1 dehydrator (or your kitchen oven) salt (optional) onion powder (optional)
Instructions: Cut squashes into 1/2 inch slices. Season lightly with salt, onion powder or any other spices you like. Dehydrate in the dehydrator. If you’re using an oven, set oven to low, place squash directly on the racks and let them dry. It may happen over night, or may take a couple of days.
Serve with home-made “roasted” salsa. Salsa Ingredients: • 6 roma tomatoes • 2 bell peppers • 3 jalapenos (more or less for hotness) • 1/2 onion Chop veggies into medium to large chunks, coat with olive oil and roast in oven at 400 degrees until lightly roasted. Add: • • • •
4 cloves garlic 1 tbsp olive oil 1 lime, juiced cayenne pepper sauce to taste
Lightly pulse in food processor until chopped. OR: Chop veggies into small pieces by hand, mince garlic, place in a bowl and mix in olive oil, lime juice and cayenne pepper sauce.
Ginger and Lemongrass Meatballs with Braised Scallions
Ginger and lemongrass meatballs are so moist and flavorful that they donâ€™t require added sauce. Just serve the meatballs on a plate with a side of braised scallions for dinner or stash them all
in the fridge for some high-protein snacking. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Using lamb ground lamb in lue of beef is a great way to ingest some essential nutrients: B vitamins, niacin and zinc, and it’s one of the richest sources of CLA(conjugated linoleic acid). If you want to make these meatballs entirely out of lamb, go for it. Just be extra careful not to overcook them, as it’s easy to overcook lamb resulting in a tough rather than tender meatball. The two tablespoon of water in the ingredient list is to aid in keeping meatballs extra tender and moist. Don’t worry about the meat holding together, it will. Don’t skip the fish sauce either. It gives these meatballs mouthwatering umami flavor and saltiness (so don’t shake in more, fish sauce is a strong flavor). Servings: 30 small meatballs Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour
• • • • • • •
1 pound ground lamb (450 g) 1/2 pound ground pork (230 g) 1 egg, whisked 1 carrot, grated 1 stalk lemongrass 3 cloves garlic 1 1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (3.8
cm) 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves (120 ml) • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves (240 ml) • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce (20 ml) • 2 tablespoons lime juice (30 ml) • 2 tablespoons water (30 ml) Braised Scallions • 1 bunch of scallions (about 16 stalks),trimmed • 1 tablespoon butter (15 ml) • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (15 ml) • 1/2 cup of water (120 ml) • Salt •
Instructions: Preheat oven to 375 ÂşF (190 ÂşC). In a large bowl combine the ground meat with the egg and carrot. Peel away the tough outer leaves of the lemongrass until a softer, pale yellow inner stalk appears. Cut off the bulb at the end of the stalk and discard. Thinly slice the lower half of the stalk for this recipe; the greener, upper half will be too woody and tough to use. In a food processor, combine the lemongrass, garlic, ginger, basil, cilantro, fish sauce, lime juice and water. Blend until finely chopped, scraping down the sides a few times.
Gently mix the lemongrass/herb mixture into the ground meat. Form about 30 1-inch diameter meatballs. Donâ€™t pack them too tight; gently formed meatballs that seem a little loose are more tender than tightly packed meatballs. Place the meatballs on a broiler pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until just slightly pink in the middle.
Eat the meatballs immediately or keep them for several days in the refrigerator. Once cooled, the meatballs can also be frozen. To make the braised scallions, lay the scallions in a buttered or oiled 9Ă—13 rimmed baking dish. The scallions can be overlapping. Cut the tablespoon of butter into small pieces and drop over the scallions. Drizzle the coconut oil and sprinkle salt on top. Add the water to the pan and tightly cover the pan with foil.
Braise for 30 minutes (can be in the oven at the same time as the meatballs).
Choose Your Own Stir-Fry Adventure
Vegetables are truly the genuine and beloved base for traditional stir fry. The options are nearly endless. Chop up your own creative combination into bite-size pieces. One to two cups per person is a good place to start. Bok Choy Spinach Kale Turnip Greens Snow Peas Water Chestnuts Bamboo Shoots Bean Sprouts String Beans Zucchini Celery Cabbage
Celery Mustard Greens Mushrooms Cauliflower Broccoli Asparagus Bell Peppers (all colors) Chili Peppers Carrots Radishes Onions Lesser Known Tasty Tidbits Chinese Winter Melon Bitter Melon
Protein; Itâ€™s muscle-building, stick-to-your-bones goodness. Go for a stack-of-playing-cards size serving. Cut into bite-size pieces and cook in the wok/pan for best results. Feel free to also use precooked meat (i.e. leftovers). Chicken (light or dark meat or liver) Duck Turkey Capon
Squab Pork Sausage Spare Ribs (Pre-cook and serve over stir-fried veggies.) Beef Steak Salmon Shrimp Lobster Crab Clams Scallops Squid Halibut Red Snapper Sea Bass Trout Carp Scrambled Egg (Add after cooking.) Nuts (Almonds and cashews are most common. Add after cooking.) Seeds (Sesame seeds are common. Add after cooking.) Bean Curd/Tempeh (Weâ€™d recommend limiting bean curd, but include it in small amounts if youâ€™re a super fan. Cook as you would meat pieces.)
Traditional stir-fry cooks food very quickly at very high heat, whereas many at-home cooks modify the method by sautĂŠing at slightly lower temps more practical for the kitchen equipment (e.g. fry pans and regular stove) they have. Either way, youâ€™ll be cooking at high temps. Be sure to use an oil or fat that can take the heat for the actual cooking itself and add less hearty but flavorful oils at the end. Naturally refined oils, chicken fat, and light olive oil are common options. Chicken Fat Extra light olive oil Refined palm or coconut oil Refined avocado oil
Spice and Other Kicks
Spices, seasonings, sauces, and other liquid flavorings are often but not always added at the end of the cooking process. (Garlic and fresh ginger can be added first to flavor the oil and then uniformly be absorbed into the other ingredients.) For other spices and flavoring liquids, their late introduction leaves enough time for the flavor to be released without being watered down or too melded with the other flavors. Garlic Scallions Parsley Sherry Soy Sauce Sesame Oil Nut Oils Sweet Bean Sauce (hoi sin deung) Vinegar Ginger Curry Tabasco Sauce Oyster Sauce Celery Salt
Shrimp (or other seafood) Paste Salt and Pepper, of course Chicken, Beef or Fish Stock Citrus Juice (Add after cooking.) Looking for more in the way of how-to? We gotcha covered. Advanced and otherwise creative stir-fry cooks may have varying methods, but this should get the average novice well on the way to a great stirfry dish.
Basic Rundown Cut all meats and veggies into small, bite-sized pieces. (Meats can be cooked separately and then cut, but this is unnecessary if you cut your pieces small enough and use high heat.) Heat a wok or heavy fry pan without oil or liquid. Once heated, add enough oil to coat the pan. Lower the heat to medium and for 20-30 seconds heat the chopped clove of garlic and 1/3 onion. Stir these and all ingredients constantly. Add salt, pepper and meat. Return heat to high. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. (Note: At this stage, many cooks will remove the meat to add again later with the last ingredients but it is not absolutely necessary to do so). Add bite-size pieces of veggies that are thicker or take longer to cook (e.g. broccoli, carrot slivers, finely sliced red bell pepper, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and water chestnuts). You can also blanche larger or denser veggies prior to making the stir fry. Add 1 Tbsp. sherry. Cover and cook 1 minute without stirring. Add second group of veggies – greens and ingredients whose crispness you want to retain (e.g. snow peas, bok choy). Cook for one additional minute uncovered, stirring constantly. Add chosen spices and liquid flavorings (e.g. 1 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce, ¼ cup chicken stock) with teaspoon of cornstarch (no, a single tsp won’t kill you) if you desire a thicker sauce. Cook an additional 20-30 seconds. Top with scallions and dash of sesame oil if desired. Ultimately, the brief cooking time in stir fry should preserve the individual taste and nutritional “integrity” of all the ingredients in the dish. Each veggie, meat and other ingredient should retain its own flavor but come together “just enough” through the infusion of spice and essences. The result? A culinary symphony that’s always new, always varied and sure to please.
Inspired by Greek Moussaka, the flavors in this casserole of layered eggplant and ground meat are delicious. Plus, it gets even better the next day (great leftover or pre made dish). Moussaka can be eaten hot or cold ( though traditionally served heated).
Ingredients: • 1-2 large eggplants, peeled (optional) and cut into 1/4-inch slices • 1 bunch of kale, chewy lower stems cut off ( you can also use any hearty green leafy veggies you have) • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes • 1 onion, finely chopped • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or chopped • 1 pound ground meat (lamb is traditional) • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1/4 teaspoon allspice • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill • 3 eggs • 1 cup full-fat Greek yogurt • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese • olive oil, for sautéing • salt and pepper, to taste Instructions: Salting the eggplant is optional, but it will draw out moisture and prevent the eggplant slices from soaking up so much oil. After peeling (optional) and slicing the eggplant, place the slices in a colander. Sprinkle the slices liberally with kosher salt. Let the slices sit for 20-30 minutes (while you are preparing the other ingredients) until moisture appears on the surface. Rinse the eggplant thoroughly and blot dry. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add several slices of eggplant to the hot oil at a time and sauté the eggplant slices, turning as necessary, until soft and just lightly browned. Continue heating oil and cooking the eggplant until all the slices are cooked. Set the eggplant aside.
Boil the kale for 3 minutes. Puree the kale with the tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water in a food processor. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat and add onion and garlic. Saute a few minutes then add meat, cinnamon and allspice. Stir, so the meat browns evenly. After five minutes add the dill and the tomato mixture. Simmer until the sauce thickens, about 30 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
As the meat cooks, whisk together eggs, yogurt and nutmeg (you can add a little extra parmesan here if you like, it will add to the binding of the topping and the flavor). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a lightly oiled 2-quart square baking dish, place a thin layer of eggplant then cover with the meat. Layer the remaining eggplant on top, then the yogurt. Top with additional grate cheese if desired.
Bake 45 minutes, or until the top is set and golden brown. Let rest 20 minutes before cutting into the Moussaka.
Lamb Rib Chops with Parsley and Mint SauceThese
Lamb rib chops are tender morsels that only need a few minutes over a flame to crisp up before they’re done. Sear the chops in a cast iron pan, or on a grill, or under a broiler. They just might be one of the easiest cuts of lamb to cook and the meat is reliably juicy and flavorful. There’s no need to worry about a marinade, the meat has so much flavor on its own. This recipe serves the lamb with a fresh herb sauce that provides any extra flavor the delicate chops might need. Take time to finely chop and mix the sauce by hand. The chunky texture and fresh flavor taste better that way, instead of being whirred up in a blender. Don’t bother serving knives; the best way get all the tender meat and crispy fat off the bone is to eat with your hands and gnaw away. Servings: Three to four. Plan for at least two chops, probably more, per person. Time in the Kitchen: Thirty minutes Ingredients:
• • • • • • • • •
8 lamb rib chops 2 tablespoons coconut oil (30 ml) 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (250 ml) 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves (75 ml) 4 oil-packed anchovies, drained and very finely chopped Zest from one lemon 1/2 cup olive oil (125 ml) Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions: Combine the coconut oil and garlic, and rub into the lamb chops. Note that adding the garlic ahead of time means it will cook with the lamb and become really browned. If you’re worried about the garlic burning, then only rub the meat down with oil and then add the garlic to the pan during the last two minutes of cooking the chops.
Lightly salt and pepper the meat. Set aside. In a medium bowl use a fork to mix together the parsley, mint, anchovies and lemon zest. Drizzle in the olive oil, mixing and mashing the sauce with a fork. Set aside.
Heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat. The pan should be hot but not smoking when you add the chops, four at a time. Cook for about six to eight minutes total, flipping midway through. The outside of the lamb should be nicely browned and crispy. The middle should be rare to medium-rare. Cook the second batch of chops. Serve with the sauce.
How to Cook the Perfect Steak
Crisp and caramelized on the outside, but never burnt. A first bite that melts in your mouth as the savory, perfectly seasoned flavor of beef hits your palate. The rich, smoky aroma of animal fat dripping onto an open fire. That is a perfect steak. You don’t have to make reservations at an expensive steakhouse to reach this sort of steak nirvana. It can be yours any night of week in your own kitchen by following a few simple and painless steps.
Navigating the Meat Case First– you’ve got to buy the steak. To understand the meat case at a butcher shop, you must first understand your cuts of meat. Close your eyes and visualize standing in a field while looking at the side of a cow or steer. The first cut of meat behind the head is the shoulder, known in butchery terms as the chuck. Although flavorful, the often-used shoulder muscle is mostly tough and full of connective tissue. The meat from this section of a cow is less expensive and primarily used for slow-cooked roasts ( where its tough tissue takes time at low temps to break down). However, if you’re looking for a bargain, a top blade steak, also called a flatiron, is a flavorful, fairly tender chuck steak to throw on the grill. Next in the line-up, anatomically speaking, are the portions of a cow that butchers call the rib, short loin and sirloin. The meat from this top, middle area of the cow is the most tender, since the muscles move the least during a cow’s life (as compared to the shoulder, hind end and shank). From these three larger cuts come most of the steaks you see at the market.
These steaks are basically a prime rib roast cut into smaller pieces. A rib steak has the bone attached, but the more popular rib eye steak has had the bone removed. The rib eye is also sold as a Spencer steak (in the West) and Delmonico steak (on the East coast). Rib steaks usually have large pockets of fat, which add flavor and give the steak a moist, juicy texture.
Short Loin Steaks
Some people find a long, narrow and slightly triangular top loin steak to be less tender than a rib eye and miss the extra ripples of fat. Others think a top loin steak has just the right balance of flavor and tenderness, without being too fatty. When it has a bone, a top loin steak is known as a shell steak. When the bone is removed it goes by many names: a strip steak, Kansas City strip, New York strip and sirloin strip steak, (which, confusingly, comes from the short loin, not the sirloin) are all the same cut of steak.
Also cut from the short loin portion of a cow is the tenderloin, a portion of meat considered to be extremely tender (hence the name). Tenderloins are easy to recognize in the meat case, due to a long, cylindrical shape that’s thicker on one end then tapers down. A tenderloin is cut into many different types of steak, and all are pretty pricey. The thickest part (usually about 3 inches thick) of the tenderloin is cut into a steak known as chateaubriand. Filet mignon (also known as tenderloin steak) is cut from the meat behind the chateaubriand and is slightly less thick. Filet Mignon is thought to be the most tender part of the tenderloin, but on the downside, the flavor can be pretty mild.
Last but not least, the short loin gives us the t-bone, a steak named for, you guessed it, a “T” shaped bone that runs down the middle. On one side of the bone is meat from the top loin, and on the other is a thin strip of tenderloin. Some say this steak combines the best of both worlds: the tenderness of a tenderloin steak and the rich, “meaty” flavor of a top loin steak. If you’re really hungry or feeling particularly manly, skip the T-bone and go straight for the porterhouse, which is simply a t-bone steak with a bigger portion of tenderloin attached.
Sirloin Steak The sirloin is basically the cow’s hip. Sirloin steaks are usually fairly large but thin, and the meat is both moderately flavorful and moderately tender. Steaks from this region of a cow tend to be a good value. The most well-known among them are the top sirloin steak and the tri-tip, both boneless. Lesser-known steaks cut from the sirloin are the pin-bone, flat-bone, round-bone and wedge-bone steaks. Directly below the loin and sirloin, on the underside of the cow’s belly, is the flank. Flank steak is a thin, wide, boneless cut with a texture (grain) that looks very stringy. Cooked very quickly to medium-rare and sliced thinly against the grain, the chewy texture is less noticeable and you will be rewarded with rich flavor.
Seasoning the Meat
If a high-quality cut of meat is cooked correctly, you really don’t need much more than salt and pepper. Which makes one think that seasoning a steak is a very short topic, until of course, you consider the hotly debated “salt early” and “salt late” theories. The Salt Early Theory: Salting meat many hours or even days before cooking breaks down the protein in meat and makes it more tender. Initially, the salt draws out moisture, but over time the meat re-absorbs the moisture, which is now flavored with salt and therefore adds more succulent flavor to the meat. The Salt Late Theory: Salt dries meat out. Period. Don’t add it until immediately before cooking. In this debate, we take the middle road. In our experience, the salt early theory rings true with larger or tougher cuts of beef. For your average steak, salting about a half-hour before cooking is ideal and seasoning right before cooking works just fine, too. Before seasoning, always make sure to pat the steak dry. Some people like to brush the steak with oil (avoid olive oil, which can become bitter at high heats) or a combination of melted butter and oil before seasoning to help the outside of the steak brown. Season both sides of the steak, using a teaspoon or less of both salt and pepper. Remember, you can always add more seasoning after the steak cooks, but you can’t un-salt the meat. After seasoning, let the meat sit on the counter for a bit so it comes up to room temperature (a good rule of thumb is at least 10 minutes for every inch of thickness). If you want to branch out from salt and pepper, marinades and rubs can be used on any type of steak, but are an especially great way to bring flavor to less-expensive cuts.
Cooking Methods What we love about cooking steak on the stove is how easy it is to get a crisp, caramelized coating on the outside of the steak without over-cooking the middle. More often than not, this is harder to achieve on a
grill. Using a combination of the stove-top and the oven is a tried and true method for perfect steak. The question is, which comes first?
The most common method is searing the steak first on the stove, then finishing it in a hot oven. • Pat dry and season the steak. • Pre-heat the oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit. • When the oven is up to temp, drizzle a little oil in an oven-proof pan (cast iron works great) and then heat the pan on the stove over high heat for several minutes until it just barely starts to smoke (you can give the pan a head start by putting it in the oven while it preheats). • Drop the steak in the pan and let it sit without touching it for 3 minutes. Be prepared to turn on your fan or open some windows, as there will be smoke. • If the steak is stuck to the pan, it’s not done browning yet and needs a little more time. If it comes up relatively easily after 3 minutes, flip the steak. • Put the pan, with the steak in it, in the oven. • Let it bake for several minutes, then check by temperature or texture for doneness.
A small but vocal population of steak lovers swears by the “reverse sear” technique. The theory behind this method is that cooking the steak in the oven first will dry the outside of the steak while slowly cooking the inside and keeping it tender. If the outside of the steak is dry, it will then sear faster and more efficiently in a hot pan.
• Pat dry and season the steak. • Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. • Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet then put the steak on the cooling rack. This allows hot air to circulate around the entire steak. • Bake the steak until the internal temperature is 100-110 degrees. • Drizzle a little oil in a pan over high heat. Just as the pan begins to smoke, drop the steak in the pan. • Cook the steak for 2 minutes on each side. So does this method really yield a more perfect steak? We have to admit, it did brown the outside of the steak very nicely while leaving the inside really juicy and tender. As a bonus, you get nice grill marks from baking the meat on the cooling rack. Give it a try, and you be the judge. In some people’s minds, however, the only way to cook a steak is over an open flame in the great outdoors. Many of these same people consider grilling an art form that cannot be mastered overnight. It takes years of experimenting with different types of grills, different heat levels and cooking times and various seasonings and marinades. This may be true for some fanatics out there, but we feel pretty confident that you’ll get a great steak the first time out if you pay attention to a few key things. The “charcoal vs gas” debate is one that has gone for decades, and we think they both have their place. For convenience and the easy ability to control heat levels, a gas grill can’t be beat. For depth of flavor, charcoal usually wins out. Either way, you never want to put a steak on a cold grill. Wait until it heats up. For a gas grill, this is easy. Simply turn the knob to medium-high and keep the lid closed for 10-15 minutes. For a charcoal grill, the type of charcoal you use will affect the heat level as well as the flavor of the meat. Briquettes are easy to light, hold steady heat and are inexpensive, but they are also made with questionable additives that can give meat a chemical flavor. We favor hardwood charcoal (made from oak, hickory, mesquite, etc) for a natural, smoky flavor. Hardwood charcoal can be a little trickier to light and once it gets going it burns hotter and more unpredictably, which requires keeping a closer eye on the grill. A small price to pay, we think. There is no point in using hardwood charcoal and then dousing it in lighter fluid, which will make your meat taste like it was marinated in petroleum. Instead, use a charcoal chimney starter to stack and light the coals. Once the coals are lit (usually about 30 coals are needed to provide adequate heat) wait until they change from bright red to an ashy white, which usually takes at least 20 minutes. Spread the coals out, placing most of them on one side to create a high heat side and a few on the other side of the grill to create a low heat side. Cover the grill for about five minutes so the heat builds to medium-high. To test the heat, simply hold your hand a few inches above the grill. If you can’t hold it there for more then 2 seconds, you’ve got high heat. If you can hold it there for 4-6 seconds without pulling away, the heat is mediumhigh. Now, you’re ready to cook. Start by placing the steak (patted dry, seasoned and close to room temp.) over medium-high heat for at least 3 minutes without turning. This is about right for a 1-inch steak; thicker
steaks will need another minute or two. Flip, and grill the other side for another 3 minutes. This should brown both sides and bring the steak to the brink of medium-rare. To bring the steak up to desired doneness, move it to an area of the grill that has less-intense heat. Close the lid and cook for another 3-5 minutes before checking if it’s ready. Although flames add excitement to grilling, they do nothing for the meat but burn it. Move the steak away from flare-ups as soon as they occur. In general, try to move the steak as little as possible while it cooks – too much movement prevents the steak from searing and getting a crispy, brown coating.
Is It Perfect Yet?
A thermometer is the most accurate way to gauge if steak is done to your liking. Although your thermometer will probably tell you that 145 degrees is rare for beef, any chef you ask will tell you differently. Rare in a chef’s mind, meaning very pink, is closer to 125 degrees; medium-rare is 125-130; medium, 130-135 degrees; medium-well, 135 to 140 degrees; and well, 140 and above. You can also give the steak a poke with your finger. Rare is squishy, medium-rare is spongy, and medium-well is taut. The steak will continue to cook at least five degrees when it’s off the grill or out of the pan, so err on the side of taking it away from heat earlier rather than later. The final step, which should be included no matter how you cook your steak, is letting the meat rest before cutting into it. As the meat cools down the proteins begin to firm up and hold moisture, so when you cut into the steak all the juicy goodness won’t run out. About 8-10 minutes should do it, and a loose cover of foil or no cover at all is a much better choice than tightly sealing the meat up while it rests. If you’re like us, it takes at least 8-10 minutes to set the table and get everyone to sit down, so usually this step simply happens without having to think about it.
Foolproof Prime Rib! How To Buy, Cut, And Cook A Standing Rib Roast: Here’s how to buy, cut, and cook a prime rib roast that comes out perfectly every time. Not only is this recipe easier than most because omission of needless steps—it produces a tastier roast than most restaurants. How To Buy A “Prime Rib Roast” “Prime rib” is actually a colloquial name: the proper name is a “standing rib roast”, because not all rib roasts are USDA Prime grade beef. So the easiest way to start is to roll up to your local butcher’s counter and ask for a bone-in standing rib roast. Bone-In Or Boneless? Buy a bone-in roast if you can: the bones impart a bit of extra flavor to the meat. However, if you find a great deal on a boneless roast, that’s fine too. Prime or Choice? Prime grade will indeed be more tender…but I’ve never had a tough prime rib, even at Choice grade (the standard), and there’s a lot of Choice beef out there that doesn’t miss Prime by much. Look for the roast with the most ‘marbling’ (fatty streaks inside the meat). Bone-in rib roasts are sold by how many ribs they span. Two ribs is the minimum (one rib isn’t a roast, it’s a steak), and a two-rib roast will weigh anywhere from four to six pounds, depending on the size of the beef and which end of the primal they’re cut from. Each rib adds another 2-3 pounds.
How To Buy (And Store) An Entire Rib Primal You can often save a lot of money if you buy an entire rib primal at once—and if ribeye steaks are on sale, whole rib primals are usually even cheaper. A “primal cut” is one of the large pieces of meat into which a carcass is first disassembled during butchering.
In the old days, your local butcher would start with a whole carcass (or quarters, in the case of beef—a whole beef is too heavy to lift), disassemble it into primal cuts, and then cut the primals as their customers desired. Nowadays, most beef is disassembled into primal cuts at the packing plant, vacuum-packed, and shipped to your local supermarket in the plastic, whereupon the butcher opens the package and cuts it into the steaks and roasts you see at the counter. Note that, strictly speaking, a “rib primal” includes the short ribs. However, in practice, every US packing plant I’m familiar with splits the short ribs into a different primal from the ribeye (called “fore ribs” in the UK), probably because it’s much smaller and easier to pack for transport. (Short ribs plus the ribeye are a long and awkward shape: see below.)
An entire grass-fed rib primal. Note the ribeye on the right, the short ribs on the left, and the scrap of inside skirt stuck to the ribs. Yes, the meat from it was delicious! A bone-in rib primal will contain seven ribs’ worth of rib meat. Depending on the size of the beef, it can weigh anywhere from 1422 pounds—but 18-20 is typical in my experience. Anyway, it’ll most likely come in a big vacuum pack, like this:
That's about twenty pounds of beef.
How To Cut A Rib Primal Into Standing Rib Roasts I usually cut the primal into two 2-rib roasts and one 3-rib roast, taking the 3-rib roast from the small end (the loin end). Just cut straight through the plastic, like this:
The large end of the rib primal comes from the front of the beef, towards the chuck, and the small end comes from the rear, towards the loin. Yes, this one is boneless. Hey- it was on sale! (Note that there’s only one place to cut a bone-in primal, and sometimes it’s a bit tricky to get your knife between the bones. Look for the gap on the bottom. Sometimes that doesn’t work, and you have to make the cut all the way through from the top and then fudge the last part a bit.) Then, once you’ve split the primal into three roasts, lay three sheets of plastic cling wrap out on a big table. Put one of the roasts on one of the sheets and roll it up. Then repeat for the other two sheets, alternating the direction you wrap it each time.
Just leave the original plastic wrap on as the inner layer. Repeat this step for the second roast. Make sure the plastic wrap is well-sealed, write the date on each roast with a permanent marker, and put them both in the freezer. It’s always a good idea to write the date on meat you put in your freezer. Vacuum-packed meat will last over a year, but paperwrapped or cling-wrapped meat should be eaten before six months pass. “But what do we do with the third roast?” you ask. Answer: we’re going to cook it! But first, we need some tools. Temperature Control Is Important: Your Mandatory Shopping List For Cooking A Standing Rib Roast You absolutely must have an accurate meat thermometer!The ones with the dial are not acceptable, as they’re often wildly inaccurate, and they usually don’t register below 130 °F (54.4 °C). Here’s the one I use: your mother probably used one just like it when you were little. They’re perhaps $6 with free shipping, so you have no excuse to skimp.
US readers can buy one here. (Note: If you have a fancy digital stove with the built-in temperature probe, that’s fine too.) Calibrating Your Thermometer It’s always best to verify the accuracy of your meat thermometer by testing it in boiling water. However, water only boils at 212 °F (100 °C) at sea level! I live over 6000′ (1830m) above sea level, where water boils at perhaps 201 °F (94 °C). Here’s a table, in both English(or imperial) and Metric units: Altitude, m
Boiling point of water, °C
0 (0 ft)
100 (212 °F)
300 (984 ft)
99.1 (210.3 °F)
600 (1969 ft)
98.1 (208.5 °F)
1000 (3281 ft)
96.8 (206.2 °F)
2000 (6562 ft)
93.3 (199.9 °F)
4000 (13123 ft) 87.3 (189.1 °F) Second, you must have an oven thermometer. Accuracy isn’t as critical here…but it’s a good idea to have one, as the settings on your oven dial can be completely unrelated to the actual
temperature inside your oven. I bought mine at the hardware store…but this one should work fine.
US readers can buy one here. Finally, you’ll need a roasting pan with a rack. I discourage the disposable aluminum ones, as they have an alarming tendency to collapse when you’re taking them out of the oven. Or, if you already have a 12″ cast iron or stainless steel skillet, you might have a rack you can place inside it. Defrosting! If you’re fixing a roast fresh from the butcher, you can skip this section. However, if you need to defrost it first, you’ll need to plan ahead. Note that the more slowly you can defrost meat, the less it’ll “bleed” and the better it’ll taste. (There is also the danger of bacterial growth at room temperature.) To that end, you’ll need to move a two-bone roast out of the freezer and into the refrigerator at least two days before you intend to cook it.Three and four-bone roasts will take three days: six hours per pound is a good general rule. If you forget this rule, you may suffer defrostration.
It's always smart to defrost on a tray or in a pan, as the meat is likely to leak some juices as it thaws. Even a vacuum-sealed bag can end up with little pinholes from being knocked around in the freezer.
How To Cook A Prime Rib/Standing Rib Roast Now that you have all the tools, this is the easy part! First, decide how you want your roast cooked, as this will determine the temperature at which you remove it. Rare: 115 °F (46 °C). Any lower and the fat doesn’t really cook. Medium rare: 130 °F (55 °C). Medium: 145 °F (63 °C)…but why would you want to do that? Step 1: Turn your oven to “BAKE”, and set the temperature to 275 °F (135 °C). I’ve experimented with lower cooking temperatures—but the cooking times start getting ridiculously long. Also, the fat doesn’t taste right to me, as if it never really melted. 250 °F (121 °C) is as low as I like to go.
Some recipes insist you need to tie the roast with string before cooking, but there’s no need. Rib roasts stay together by themselves, and all the string does is make you dig it out later. There are a lot of recipes that tell you to use higher temperatures, or to start with a “sear”. That just makes the outside hard and crusty. And I’ve experimented with several different herbal rubs and crusts—but frankly, prime rib is so delicious by itself that I’d rather taste the meat. Step 2: Remove the roast from the plastic wrap. Rinse the outside and pat it dry. Step 3: Place the roast on the roasting rack, bone side down. (If the roast is boneless, put the side down where the bones used to be.) Step 4: Insert the tip of the meat thermometer in the exact center of the roast, or as close as you can manage.
Ready for the oven! This particular roast is boneless, but the bone would be on the bottom if it weren't.
Step 5: Put the roast in the oven, with the thermometer facing outward so you can see it. Set a timer for 30 minutes. Note that it is not necessary to pre-heat the oven! Step 6: When the timer goes off, double-check that the temperature is approximately 275 °F (135 °C). If not, adjust accordingly. Step 7: Now that the outside of the roast is warm, take the roast out of the oven and lightly baste it with butter, coconut oil, tallow, or any other solid fat. This will keep the outside from developing a hard crust. Step 8: Put the roast back in the oven. Set a timer for one hour. Step 9: After one hour, check the temperature reading on the meat thermometer. Double-check the oven temperature, and adjust if necessary. Note that the internal temperature of the roast will start rising rapidly once it hits about 100 °F—so you’ll want to start checking it fairly often. A four-pound roast takes about two hours to reach 115 °F (46 °C) in my kitchen…but your experience may vary. Remember, there’s a very expensive piece of meat in the oven! It’s worth keeping a close eye on it. If you’ve got one of those fancy digital ovens with temperature probes, you can usually set an alarm to go off—but test it to make sure that it works (and that you can hear the alarm) before counting on it. Step 10: Once you see the internal temperature reach your target (115 °F – 130 °F), remove the roast from the oven. Step 11: Let it sit for about ten minutes. Drool.
It's difficult not to just tear into it with your hands and teeth. Step 12: You can optionally shave some of the brown “crust” off the ends—but if you’ve basted it at 30 minutes as per step 7, it won’t be hard and shouldn’t affect the taste much. Step 13: Slice, serve, and enjoy! If you’re bored with salt and pepper, horseradish is a delicious traditional topping.
Medium-rare, cooked to an internal temperature of 130 °F (55 °C).
Rare. This one was cooked to 110-115 degrees.
Shepherd’s Pie is comfort food at its best. Flavorful ground meat is mixed with a simple blend of peas, carrots and green beans (other veggies are okay too), and in this recipe topped with a creamy layer of buttery cauliflower puree. Once you’ve tasted the smooth texture and rich flavor of cauliflower whipped with butter you’ll want to start eating it straight out of bowl with a spoon. But for this recipe in particular it’s worth waiting to experience the whole dish together. Alone, ground meat and frozen vegetables may not seem like anything special. But when combined with
the cauliflower puree into Shepherd’s Pie, the result is a home style meal you will be grateful you have at the end of the day, also a great leftover dish. Ingredients:
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
1 head cauliflower 2 tablespoons butter 1-3 tablespoons cream (optional) salt & pepper taste 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 medium onion, chopped 1 cup frozen organic peas & carrots, thawed 3/4 cup frozen organic green beans, thawed 1 pound ground grass-fed beef or bison 1 tablespoon coconut flour or almond flour 3/4 cup beef stock or broth 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried 2 tablespoons butter
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Break the cauliflower into chunky pieces and steam until just tender.
Put in the food processor with 2 tablespoons butter and process until smooth. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Optional: Add cream 1 tablespoon at a time until smooth but still fairly thick. Set aside.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and sautĂŠ several minutes until soft. Add beef and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring to break up the meat so it browns evenly. Add peas, carrots and green beans and cook another five minutes.
Stir in the coconut flour. Add broth and herbs and reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from skillet and put into a 9-inch pie pan. Spread the cauliflower over the top.
Scatter 2 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces on top of the cauliflower. Bake 30-35 minutes.
Crispy Liver Hash Brown Patties
When most people think of beef liver, the next thing that comes to mind is fried onions. While liver and onions is certainly an easy way to serve this particular type of offal, it’s definitely not the only way. Beef liver has a stronger flavor than chicken liver, but in the scheme of things is still pretty mild. The flavor and texture of beef liver is at its best when cooked until firm but still a bit pink. However, even if you overcook these patties slightly they will still be moist and flavorful. The addition of grated potato, celery root, carrot and onion doesn’t so much hide the flavor of liver as it enhances it. Perfect for breakfast or dinner, delicious dipped in a little mustard, hot sauce, plain yogurt or better yet, garnished with sautéed onions and mashed lingonberries ( similar to cranberry, if you can’t find lingonberries make up a nice tart cranberry sauce instead). Ingredients:
1 pound minced beef liver 1-2 raw potatoes, peeled
• • • • • •
1 raw carrot, peeled A fist-sized piece of celery root, peeled 1 onion 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or 1 teaspoon dried A pinch of black pepper and salt 1-2 tablespoons melted butter or olive oil
Instructions: Grate the vegetables and mince the onion. Mix these with the minced liver. Add spices and melted butter.
Heat butter or oil in a pan and drop small portions of the liver mixture into the pan to form patties. Fry the patties several minutes on each side until nicely browned.
• 1 cabbage, grated • 2 carrots, grated • 1 granny smith apple, grated • 1/2 – 1 cup hazelnuts, crushed • 1/4 – 1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries • 1/4 cup white balsamic, white wine vinegar, or cider vinegar • 1 tablespoon warm water • 1 teaspoon honey • 1/2 cup sour cream • 1/2 cup mayonnaise • 2 teaspoons mustard • 1 teaspoon horseradish • Salt and pepper to taste • For a variation in color and taste try adding shredded purple cabbage, beets, broccoli shoots or kohlrabi (green/purple). Instructions: In a large bowl mix together grated cabbage, carrot and apple with hazelnuts and raisins. Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour over coleslaw. Mix well and enjoy!
Tender Lemon-Parsley Brisket
There’s no shortage of braised brisket recipes out there, each claiming to be the tastiest way to coax a tough piece of meat into a tender, melt-in-your-mouth meal. Most of these recipes are very good, but they also tend to be very similar. The meat cooks in some blend of wine/tomatoes/broth (and often, a sweet sauce of some sort from a jar) and then emerges hours later smothered in a thick, rich coating. This recipe for Lemon-Parsley Brisket gives brisket a makeover, changing the flavor entirely. Lemon is so often used with fish and poultry that it might seem like an odd choice for a big chunk of red meat. It turns out to be the perfect accent though, adding a light, zesty flavor to every bite. Combine the lemon – both its juice and zest – with a generous amount of garlic and loads of fresh, bright green parsley and you’ll
experience brisket in an entirely new way. Sure, it’s still a hearty roast with layers of crispy, fatty, tender meat, but the overall flavor is light and fresh. During the long cooking time, leeks literally melt into a silky sauce spiked with lemon juice and thickened by fat dripping off the roast. When you serve the brisket, spoon this sauce over slices of the tender meat. Garnish liberally with parsley and keep an extra lemon nearby. Chances are you’ll find yourself wanting to grate even more lemon zest on top. Servings: 8-10 Ingredients:
• • • • • • • • • •
1 4-5 pound brisket 4 to 6 garlic cloves 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 2 teaspoons lemon zest 1/4 cup olive oil Juice from three lemons 2 to 3 cups of water 4 to 6 leeks, dark green top removed, light green and white part cut in half, then sliced thinly 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Instructions: Finely chop garlic cloves on a cutting board and sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the salt on top. Using the flat side of a large knife, mash and grind the cloves until they turn into a paste (the salt creates friction that helps a paste form). Mix the garlic paste in a bowl with the remaining salt, pepper and lemon zest.
Vigorously rub half of this mixture all over the brisket. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large ovenproof cast-iron pot or other heavy pot with a lid, heat olive oil. Sear brisket on each side until nicely browned, but not so long that the garlic begins to burn. Remove the meat. Add lemon juice and water to the pot and bring to a boil. Use a spoon to loosen the bits of meat and garlic stuck to the bottom. Spread the remaining garlic paste evenly on top of the meat and place the brisket back in the pot. The liquid should cover the meat halfway, if it doesnâ€™t, add a little more water. Add the leeks to the liquid around the meat. Cover the pot tightly (if you donâ€™t have a lid, use foil) and cook for 2 to 3 hours in the oven, or until the meat is very tender. Remove the lid, sprinkle parsley all over, and cook for 15 more minutes without the lid.
The brisket can be eaten immediately but is also fantastic the next day. Make sure to slice the roast against the grain. When served, top with the sauce around the meat, more fresh parsley, lemon zest and sea salt to taste.
Italian Turkey Loaf Burger Serves: Makes 6 burgers Prep time: 8 mins Cooking time: 25-30 mins Turkey Loaf Ingredients: • 1 lbs turkey mince • 4 sundried tomatoes (chopped) • Small handful of olives (chopped) • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped • 3 teaspoons tomato puree • 2 teaspoons of mixed herbs • ½ teaspoon of sea salt Filling: • Avocado sliced • Lettuce • Cherry tomatoes sliced in half
Instructions: Pre-heat the oven to 350 째F (180 째C). To prepare your burgers place all the ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well with clean hands. Once thoroughly combined shape into six burger patties and place in an oven proof dish or grill pan in the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Allow to cool slightly and then slice and fill with layers of avocado, tomatoes and lettuce and a drizzle of olive oil.
Hazelnut Crusted Chicken with Stealth Coconut
Step 1 You can either forage for the hazelnuts, or go forage off the store shelf. Either way, after securing your hazelnuts (~8oz), place them on a baking sheet at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 mins. Set timer, go outside and run some sprints.
Step 2 Remove the skins from the hazelnuts and set aside. For best results, twist and squeeze.
Next, make multiple, smaller, asymmetrical versions of each hazelnut until a maximum particle diameter of 6,350,000 nanometers is reached using the stones below (or simply chop the nuts in the processor).
Step 3 – Skinny the Chicken It’s time to pound the chicken (no smirking kids). Choose your weapons, just end up with slabs of meat ¼½” thick.
Step 4 – Crust Combine ½ cup almond flour, ¼ cup coconut flour, 1 tsp each, salt and pepper.
Prepare your egg bath (3-4 whisked eggs) in a shallow, wide dish.
In another dish, mix your 6,350,000 nanometer hazelnut particles with ¼ cup of almond flour and ¼ cup of coconut flour, plus ¼ cup of pulverized shredded coconut (these are regular coconut flakes that are given a “beat down”, ground/chopped/pounded, just to make them harder to detect hence the “stealth” name in the recipe you can also use whichever coconut you like best).
Dust your flattened chicken breast with the mix on the left, dunk in the egg wash and finally, sprinkle lovingly with the last mixture press the mix into the chicken breast.
Step 5 â€“ Fire in the Hole! Take Âž cup clarified butter to medium heat, add chicken breasts. You want to brown the nuts and cook the flour a bit without drying out the chicken, about four minutes a side.
Step 6 – Artisan Mojo If you’re an anti-dairy Grok, that’s fine, but this is a nice treat if you don’t mind occasional dairy in your diet. What you’ll need: • 1 cup chicken stock • 1 cup white wine • ¼ cup diced shallots (or up to ½ cup) • ½ cup crème fraiche (if you don’t have access to crème fresh you can use a heavy cream and sour cream mixture). • 1 Tbl each: Dijon mustard, Italian parsley, thyme • S&P
Instructions: Heat the stock, wine & shallots, reduce in half, then add the crème fraiche and mustard, simmer some to thicken up a bit and finally, toss in the herbs and salt and pepper to taste. If you enjoy the flavor coconut, add ¼ cup coconut milk with the crème fraiche.
Cornish Game Hens with Egg and Sausage Stuffing
Cornish game hens are single-serving birds that roast in an hour or less. In this recipe the hens are simply seasoned with butter, salt and pepper then stuffed with a rich and satisfying blend of eggs, sausage and herbs. Servings: 4 Time in the Kitchen: 1 1/2 hours
4 Cornish Game Hens • 1 pound ground pork (450 g) • 1 teaspoon fennels seeds (5 ml) • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (60 ml) • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage (15 ml) • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided (60 ml) • 1 leek, thinly sliced • 1 cup thinly sliced celery (150 g) • 4 eggs, whisked Instructions: Preheat oven to 425 °F (218 °C). Pat the game hens dry. Set aside. Over medium-high heat brown the sausage with the fennel seeds, breaking the meat up into small pieces as it cooks. Season the meat with salt, pepper, parsley and sage. Transfer the cooked meat into a large bowl and set aside.
If there is not enough pork grease left in the pan, then melt 1 to 2 tablespoons of butter. Add the leek and celery and saute until the veggies begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add the eggs, stirring just enough to scramble the eggs until they are cooked through.
Mix the eggs with the meat. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Rub the melted butter all over the birds and season lightly with salt and pepper. Stuff each bird with the egg and meat mixture.
**Note that there might be some stuffing leftover, but if your hands have touched the raw hens then dipped into the bowl of stuffing, you won’t want to eat the extra stuffing. To avoid this, set 1 cup of the stuffing aside and use it only if needed to add more stuffing to the birds. Pull the flaps of fat at the tail end of the hens over the open cavity and skewer closed with toothpicks. Tuck wing tips under or cut them off. Roast the Cornish game hens on a rack in a roasting pan that’s large enough so the birds aren’t touching.
Roast for about 1 hour until cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thigh and into the center of the stuffing in the cavity reaches 165 째F (74 째C).
Stuffing Safety Tips Do NOT stuff the birds early and let them sit around before roasting, even if you store them in the refrigerator. Only add the stuffing immediately before roasting the birds. Ideally, the egg and sausage mixture should still be warm or hot when you stuff it into the hens. This helps the stuffing quickly heat up to a safe temperature in the oven, reducing the risk of bacteria growth. Make sure the temperature of the stuffing in the middle of cavity reaches 165 °F (74 °C) before taking the hens out of the oven.
Primal Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala is a staple in many Indian restaurants. Boneless chicken is typically marinated in spices and yogurt then baked, broiled or grilled and simmered in a creamy tomato sauce heavily laced with spices. The spices don’t necessarily make the dish spicy-hot, although they can. This version doesn’t seem spicy at first, but a slow burn starts catching up with you by the end of the bowl. This dish can also be served with cauliflower rice.
This recipe is made in two steps. The chicken bakes in the oven while the sauce simmers on the stovetop, then the two are combined. If youâ€™re tempted to start eating the chicken right when it comes out of the oven, itâ€™s understandable. Incredibly moist, deeply flavorful and bathed in a shimmering coconut milk sauce, it could be a meal on its own. However, adding the chicken to the thick tomato-based sauce creates a bowl of rich, aromatic Chicken Tikka Masala that will have you coming back for more â€“ which is fine, because this recipe makes a big batch. Plan to serve it to friends, or freeze some for another meal. Chicken Ingredients:
• • • • • • • • • • • • •
6-8 boneless/skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped (bottom stems cut off) 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 can coconut milk 4 tablespoons finely chopped garlic 4 tablespoons finely chopped or grated fresh ginger Small pinch cayenne pepper (or more, for a spicier dish) Generous pinch of salt (you can add more to the sauce later, if needed) 1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 tablespoon turmeric 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all the ingredients in a large baking dish. (The spices can stain pans, so Jillian uses a disposable lasagna pan.)
Bake the chicken, covered, for 1 hour.
While the chicken is baking, make the sauce. Sauce Ingredients: â€˘ 1/4 cup olive oil â€˘ 1 tablespoon coconut oil
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
2 yellow onions, sliced thinly 6-ounces tomato paste (or less, for a less tomato-y sauce) 1 can coconut milk 28-ounces canned/boxed crushed tomatoes in their juice 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic 1/2 cup water 2 teaspoons paprika 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cumin 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (an Indian spice blend) 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Instructions: In a large, deep pan over medium heat sauté the onions in the olive and coconut oil until golden brown, about ten minutes.
Add the remaining ingredients, mix well, and let simmer 20 minutes, stirring often.
When the chicken has finished baking, add it to the sauce on the stovetop. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve in bowls alone or over cauliflower rice.
If only all fast food was as delicious as shawarma, a Middle Eastern sandwich eaten on the go that’s made from slow-roasted meat and fresh vegetables wrapped in pita bread. This traditional street food tastes a million times better than any Big Mac ever could, but the best part about shawarma is that you can ditch the pita bread and turn the sandwich into a salad that’s just as satisfying. Yes, a salad is harder to eat on the go, but this shawarma salad is so good you’re going to want to sit down and savor it anyway. The main ingredient is meat and you can pick from chicken, beef, lamb, or goat. A blend of highly flavorful (but not in a spicy way) spices are what make the meat in this salad stand
out. No two shawarma stands use exactly the same blend of seasonings in their marinade, but a combination of allspice, cumin, paprika, black pepper and coriander will get you pretty close to meat that tastes like a the real thing. What’s harder to replicate is the juicy, fatty, slightly crispy texture of shawarma meat, but grilling does a fine job in a pinch. Traditionally, shawarma meat is cooked by layering many chunks of marinated meat on a vertical skewer that rotates in front of a flame. Pieces of fat are often added to the skewer to drip onto the meat, adding flavor and keeping the meat moist and succulent. As the meat cooks, very thin layers are shaved off and put into sandwiches, slowly whittling away at the giant chunk of rotating meat. Unless you happen to have a rotating vertical skewer at home, grilling over the open flame of a grill is the next best thing. A good, long soak in marinade will help keep the meat moist and tender on the inside, while the outside gets a little crispy. 4-6 servings Ingredients:
2-3 pounds of chicken thighs and/or breasts, lamb shoulder, or beef chuck 2 onions, cut into slices
• • • • • • • • •
3 tablespoons olive oil Juice of 1 lemon 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 teaspoon allspice 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon coriander 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 teaspoon paprika
If using chicken (especially breasts) you can also add 1/4 cup of plain full-fat yogurt to the marinade. This will tenderize the meat and make sure it’s moist. Salad: • • • •
Mixed greens Cucumber, sliced Tomato, sliced Parsley, roughly chopped
Dressing: Shawarma is usually slathered in hummus or tahini, but a simple squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil is all you really need for this salad. If you want to try tahini dressing, whisk together 1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste), the juice of 1-2 lemons, and a few crushed garlic cloves. Whisk water into the dressing until it reaches desired consistency. Add salt to taste.
Instructions: The meat can be left whole, which is more convenient, or cut into smaller pieces or thin slices that will soak up more flavor from the marinade. Make sure the slices are big enough to place on the grill without falling through. Put the meat and onions in the same dish and rub all over with the marinade.
Refrigerate 4 to 8 hours. Remove the meat from refrigeration a half hour before cooking and heat the grill to high. Grill over flames for 4-6 minutes, watching carefully, so that the outside becomes nicely browned and a bit crispy. Turn the heat to medium and continue to cook the meat with the grill lid on until it is cooked through.
Remove the meat from the grill and let it rest. Grill the onion slices until tender, about 4 minutes per side. Slice the meat as thinly as you can. Add sea salt to taste if needed. Toss with chopped parsley then combine in a bowl with greens, cucumber and tomatoes. Top with lemon and olive oil.
Chicken drumsticks are the perfect finger food for so many occasions. Delicious baked or grilled with only salt and pepper, drumsticks also quickly soak up the flavor in sauces and marinades. This balsamic glaze (which can do double-duty as a marinade) lightly coats the drumsticks rather than drowning them in thick sauce. As the glaze reduces, first on the stove and then in the oven, the flavor intensifies and becomes surprisingly bold. Balsamic-glazed drumsticks are tangy, slightly sweet and perfectly salty. The flavor is complex and interesting enough that you could serve these at a dinner party, but your kids are going to love them too. Eat these drumsticks warm from the oven or eat them cold, right out of the refrigerator. Either way, theyâ€™re finger lickinâ€™ good. Ingredients:
• • • • •
6-8 chicken drumsticks 3 tablespoons coconut oil (45 mL) 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (120 mL) 3 tablespoons tamari (45 mL or 1 1/2 fluid ounce) 1/2 to 1 tablespoon honey (15 mL)
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius) Coat the drumsticks with coconut oil. Place the drumsticks on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and fairly crisp. Combine the balsamic vinegar, tamari and honey in a saucepan and bring to boil. Let the mixture boil for 5 minutes or until it has reduced to about 1/3 of a cup.
Take the drumsticks out of the oven and pour the glaze on top. Bake for another 5 minutes then take the pan out of the oven and use tongs to roll the drumsticks around in the glaze (it will have thickened a bit more in the oven) and/or use a brush to coat them with the glaze.
Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro if you like. Let the drumsticks rest a bit to cool before eating, then dig in.
How to Grill a Whole Fish
The pleasure of cooking a whole animal, rather than an unidentifiable part, is a good reason to buy a whole fish. Itâ€™s also easier to tell if a whole fish is fresh. Look for shiny scales, clear eyes and bright red gills. The most convincing reason, however, is that whole fish just tastes better. A whole fish is much harder to overcook than a small fillet; the skin protects the delicate flesh from heat and keeps the moisture in. The bones add a little extra flavor, too. Throwing the fish over direct heat on a grill is a fast and easy cooking method that gives you moist, tender flesh, and crispy, salty skin every time. You may enjoy catching, cleaning, gutting and scaling the fish yourself. You can also have the dirty work done at the fish counter when you buy a fish. what type of fish you buy, the preparation and grilling method is essentially the same:
1. First, clean your grill really well and thoroughly wipe the grates down with oil to prevent sticking. 2. Cut deep slits spaced 1 to 2 inches apart along each side of the fish, to help the flesh cook evenly. 3. Season the inside cavity. Sprinkle a light coating of salt pepper. There isn’t a whole lot of room to stuff smaller fish, but at the very least you can add few slices of lemon and sprigs of your favorite herb. Other seasoning combinations to try: • Minced garlic with rosemary • Orange slices and paprika • Lime slices and cumin • Sliced green onion and tamari • Sliced red onion and basil • Minced garlic mashed with butter
4. Coat the outside of the fish liberally with olive or coconut oil, to help prevent sticking to the grill. Lightly salt for flavor. 5. Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Wait until the grates are nice and hot before setting the fish down. Steady, medium heat is best, otherwise the skin will burn before the fish is done. If possible, set the tail farthest away from the flames, as the skinnier, tail-end of the fish cooks faster than the rest.
Generally, a fish that weighs 1/2 to 1 pound will take about 5 to 7 minutes per side. Larger fish, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, can take around twice that amount of time. Another general guideline is 10 minutes of cooking per side, per inch of thickness. 6. Don’t move the fish too soon. If the skin is really sticking, it’s not ready to be flipped. When you think it’s ready, slide a long, wide spatula that’s been rubbed down in oil under the fish and flip the fish over.
7. If the skin does stick to the grill, which is hard to avoid entirely, don’t sweat it. The presentation might not be quite as pretty, but the fish will still taste just as good. 8. To test for doneness, insert a thin skewer or toothpick into the thickest part of the fish. It should slide all the way in easily. When fish is cooked the meat will flake easily with a fork and will appear opaque all the way through. The flesh should also pull easily away from the bones. That’s it – slide the fish onto a platter, garnish with extra lemon or lime slices and have at it. The last, best reason for cooking a whole fish is that little meat is wasted. Suck the meat from the bones, eat the tender, juicy cheeks under each eye, and snack on the crispy skin. It’s all good.
Parchment Baked Halibut with Parsley-Spinach Pesto
Parchment pockets are an easy way to simultaneously cook moist and tender fish, lightly steam veggies, and cut down on the amount of clean up after dinner. You don’t even need plates; just eat right out of the parchment.
Servings: 2 (with leftover pesto) Time in the Kitchen: 45 minutes Ingredients:
• • • • •
2 6-ounce halibut fillets (or other white fish) (170 g) 1 to 2 bell peppers, cut into thin slices or matchsticks 1 to 2 small yellow squash, cut into thin slices or matchsticks 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach leaves 1 large bunch of parsley, leave plucked or shorn off with a knife. A little bit of stem is okay.
• • • • •
1 tablespoon raw, unsalted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (15 ml) 1 small clove garlic 1 tablespoon lemon juice (15 ml) 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil (60 ml to 120 ml) Salt and pepper
Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 °F (204 °C). Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Prepare a small bowl of ice water as well. Blanch the spinach in the boiling water for 10 seconds. Drain. Drop the spinach into the ice water to cool. Drain and squeeze excess water out of the leaves. Finely chop the spinach and put it in a food processor with the parsley, sunflower seeds, garlic and lemon juice. Process until the parsley is finely chopped. With the blade running, drizzle in olive oil until desired consistency is reached. Add salt to taste. Cut two 14-inch squares of parchment paper. (35 cm) Create a small bed of bell pepper and squash slices in the middle of each paper. Set the fish on top. Season the fish and veggies lightly with salt and pepper.
Spread about 1 tablespoon of pesto on top of each piece of fish. There are many ways to fold the parchment into sealed pockets around the fish. Here is one: Fold over 1 inch (2.5 cm) of the paper on the sides that are closest to the short sides of the fish fillets.
Bring together the other two sides of the parchment, over the top of the long sides of the fillets. Fold these sides together twice to seal. Fold over and crimp the short ends of the paper to seal.
Set the pockets on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until fish is opaque in the middle. Open the parchment carefully to avoid stem. Garnish the fish and veggies with more pesto and serve.
There’s nothing easier than throwing a bunch of fresh ingredients into a pot and calling it dinner! This recipe is a primal twist on the classic Louisiana Creole dish. It includes three kinds of meat and a bunch of veggies that are all brought together in a savory tomato sauce. And of course it wouldn’t be Primal if we included the traditional rice, so it uses pulverized cauliflower as a rice substitute. Ingredients: 2 large chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces 1 lb andouille sausage, cut into ¼ inch thick slices
1/4 cup olive oil 1 cup onion, chopped 1 large bell pepper, chopped 2 cloves of garlic, minced crushed 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained 1.5 cups chicken stock 1/2 tsp dried leaf thyme 1 tbsp parsley (fresh is preferable, but dried will do in a pinch!) 1 tsp chili powder 1 large head of cauliflower 2 cups shelled, deveined and cleaned shrimp Salt and pepper to taste Method: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and lightly cook the sausage and chicken over medium heat. Once golden, add onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté until onion becomes translucent. Transfer items from the frying pan into a large pot. Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, parsley and chili powder and bring to a simmer. While the mixture is simmering (you’ll want to let it go for about 20 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally), place the cauliflower in a food processor and shred until it becomes the consistency of rice. Add the cauliflower “rice” to the mixture and simmer for another 15 minutes until tender. Add shrimp and simmer for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and adjust other spices as needed. Serve piping hot. Serves 6.
Pan-Fried Mackerel (or Sardines) with Spicy Tomato Sauce Deep-fry, pan-fry, broil or grill the fillets for just a few minutes and the flesh will be moist, almost creamy, with a crispy, salty layer of skin on the outside. If you’re not up for cooking fresh mackerel and sardines, all is not lost. This tomato sauce is pretty great with canned fish too. Servings: 2 Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour Ingredients:
1 pound fresh mackerel or sardines, cleaned (see below)
Marinade • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced • Zest and juice of 1 lemon • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml) • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (60 ml) • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (60 ml) • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint (60 ml) • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander (2.5 ml) • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (2.5 ml) Tomato Sauce • 3 garlic cloves • 1 small shallot, roughly chopped • 1 serrano or jalapeno pepper roughly chopped • 1 teaspoon paprika (5 ml) • 1 teaspoon cumin (5 ml) • 1 teaspoon coriander (5 ml) • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (a pinch) • 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro (15 ml) • 4 tablespoons olive oil, split (60 ml) • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (30 ml) • 1/4 cup water (60 ml) • 4 tomatoes, chopped Instructions:
Sardines can be eaten whole with the guts, bones and head intact, if you like. Mackerel usually taste better if cleaned and must be boned. You can ask the fishmonger to clean and bone the fish for you (if you want the head left on, make sure to tell them) or do it yourself.
If removing the head, use a knife or scissors to lop it off just behind the gills. Next, cut along the belly and open the fish. Scrape out the innards. Turn the mackerel over so the skin faces up. Push down along the center of the fish to pop the backbone out. Turn the fish over and use your fingers or a sharp knife to carefully lift the backbone away from the flesh. Remove any small, loose bones that remain. Mix together the marinade ingredients: garlic, lemon, olive oil, cilantro, parsley, mint, coriander and cumin. Cover the fish evenly with the marinade. Marinate 30 minutes at room temperature.
While the fish is marinating, make the tomato sauce. Using a food processor, blend the garlic, shallot, hot pepper, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cilantro and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into a paste. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the spice paste. Heat and stir for a few minutes then add the tomato paste.
Stir constantly for about 30 seconds then add the water. Stir to blend then add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt.
While the tomato sauce simmers, scrape most of the marinade off the fish. Pat the fish dry and lightly salt. Pour a thin layer of olive oil or coconut oil in a large cast iron frying pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, fry the fish in batches, about 2 minutes per side. To flip, carefully work a wide offset spatula under the fish, trying to keep the skin intact, and turn the fish, cooking it for 2 to 3 minutes more on the second side.
If the skin peels off, donâ€™t worry. Just let the torn skin crisp up in the pan then serve the pieces of crispy skin alongside the cooked fish. Might not look as pretty, but it will still taste great. Transfer the fish to plates, spoon tomato sauce on top and garnish with fresh herbs.
As if slow-cooked, tender, succulent pork wasn’t tempting enough, carnitas takes it one step further by caramelizing the pork in its own fat until the outside is perfectly browned and crisp. The crispy, tender morsels of pork that come out of the oven are hard to resist; it’s not unusual to eat so much meat right out of the pan that you’re full before the carnitas make it to the table. Cooking meat that is both tender and crispy might sound tricky but the only trick to making carnitas is getting out of the way so the meat can cook itself. The less you intervene, the better. Seasoned pork is braised in a pot of water until the meat is tender and the water is gone. Then the pork fat takes over, essentially frying the meat into a crispy, fatty, salty masterpiece. Carnitas is a great dish to cook ahead of time for quick weeknight dinners .Served with avocado, salsa or sautéed peppers it’s a meal that satisfies every time. Servings: 6 Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes active cooking time, 3 to 4 hours in the oven Ingredients:
• 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder/butt cut into five pieces. You can trim off a little bit of the fat or leave it all on. (1.4 to 1.8 kg) • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (7 ml) • 1 teaspoon cumin (5 ml) • 1 teaspoon chili powder (5 ml) • 1 cinnamon stick • 1 bay leaf • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced • 1 onion, chopped or thinly sliced • Water, for braising Instructions: Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (177 ºC). Mix together the salt, cumin and chili powder and rub all over the meat. Place the meat in a large, heavy pot with the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, garlic and onion. Ideally, the pot is large enough so that the meat is in a single layer. Add enough water to almost, but not entirely, cover the meat.
Put the pot in the oven, uncovered, and braise for 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Stir the meat just a few times while it cooks. Youâ€™ll know the pork is done when itâ€™s really tender, slightly browned and most of the liquid is gone.
Remove the pork from the oven. Put the meat on a cutting board and cut or shred it with your hands into thin strips. Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaf from the pot. Add the shredded meat back to the pot and return it to the oven.
Roast the meat, mixing occasionally, until the meat is as dark and crispy as you like it. (This process will go even faster if the meat is spread out on a roasting pan or baking sheet with any remaining liquid that was left in the pot. If time is tight, you can also put the meat under a broiler). If youâ€™re making carnitas ahead of time, cook the meat for 3 hours until tender. The final crisping up in the oven can be done right before serving the meat. The entire cooking process for carnitas can also be done on a stovetop but the oven is a little easier. A slow cooker can also be used to cook the meat until tender (add only about 1/2 cup of water). The meat can then be transferred to the oven to brown.
Spiced Pork and Butternut Squash with Sage
Spiced Pork and Butternut Squash with Sage is the perfect meal for a chilly day, not only because it’s hearty and comforting but also because the blend of autumnal spices warms the belly. Nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice and ginger aren’t just for pumpkin pie. This blend of spices also makes a delicious spice rub for pork. Pumpkin (or squash) doesn’t have to be left out entirely. In this recipe,
butternut squash is roasted to crispy perfection and served alongside the braised pork with a garnish of brown butter and sage. You can mix the spices together yourself, or to save time just use Pumpkin Pie spice blend from the store. Once seasoned, the pork simmers in broth for a half hour or so until tender. That same broth is mixed with coconut milkand quickly reduced into a savory sauce. The squash is roasted separately so the edges become crisp and caramelized, a texture that’s a nice contrast to the tender meat. The final step – browning butter with minced sage – should not be skipped. You’ll be amazed by how the rich, nutty flavor of this simple garnish takes the dish to a whole new level. Ingredients:
• • • • • • • g) • • • •
1/2 teaspoon allspice (2.5 ml) 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (1.25 ml) 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (1.25 ml) 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (1.25 ml) 1/2 teaspoon salt (2.5 ml) 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (1.25 ml) 2-3 pounds of boneless country style pork ribs or pork shoulder cut into 1-inch chunks (900-1350 1 butternut squash or pumpkin, weighing about 3 pounds (1350 g) 6 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil (90 ml) 1 teaspoon cumin (5 ml) 1 cup chicken or beef broth (250 ml)
• • •
1/4 cup coconut milk, or more to taste (60 ml) 2 tablespoons butter (30 g) 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage (15 ml)
Instructions: Preheat the oven to 375 °F (190 °C). In a small bowl mix together the allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the meat then rub it in. Set the meat aside.
Peel the squash or pumpkin.
To peel and cut a butternut squash or pumpkin: Cut the top stem off. Cut a little bit off the bottom too, so it sits flat on a cutting board. Using a sturdy vegetable peeler, peel off the skin. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds/stringy parts with a spoon. Cut the halves into slices then into chunks of the same size, about 1-inch square. Spread the cut pieces out in a large rimmed baking pan and coat with half of the coconut oil/olive oil and sprinkle with the cumin and a little bit of salt. Roast for at least 45 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the pieces are lightly browned and soft. Depending on the size of the pieces and how soft and browned you want them to be, you might keep them in the oven for an hour or slightly more. Put the cooked squash in a large serving dish.
While the squash/pumpkin is roasting, heat a pot over medium-high on the stove then add the remaining oil. Let the oil heat for a minute then add the pork. Cook for 5 minutes without turning the pork pieces so they brown, then stir the pieces and cook 3 minutes more.
Add the broth and bring to a boil. There should be just enough liquid to cover the meat, if not, add a little water. Turn the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The meat should be tender when itâ€™s done. Remove the lid and add the coconut milk. Raise the heat to high so the liquid boils and reduces a bit. After 5 minutes, turn the heat off and pour the pork and sauce over the roasted squash. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the sage. Fry the sage for 3-4 minutes, until itâ€™s slightly crisp and the butter is browned.
Drizzle over the pork and squash.
Slow-Cooked Coconut Ginger Pork
Using a slow cooker is one of the easiest ways to get a hearty, healthy meal on the table with very little effort. If it’s a hot summer day and you want to cook a big meal without turning on the oven, a slow cooker is the answer. If the weather is frigid and you’re craving comfort food, pull out the slow cooker. If you’re busy as all get-out and cooking is the last thing you want to do, the solution is …a slow cooker. A large cut of pork is slow cooked until tender and infused with the spicy, aromatic flavor of ginger, garlic and coconut milk. Salty, savory pork fat drips off the roast as it cooks, swirling with the ginger-scented coconut milk to create an incredibly flavorful broth. When coconut milk cooks for hours it loses its milky quality and looks more like coconut oil. Still, it adds a creamy richness to the broth and seeps into the meat, giving it a slightly sweet flavor. Unless you’re feeding a large group, meals from a slow cooker typically provide leftovers for days. On the first night, serve the succulent pork and rich broth in bowls filled with raw shredded cabbage or steamed cauliflower rice. The next day, shred the meat over a salad. After that, add the meat to a stir-fry or omelet or eat it cold straight out of the refrigerator Servings: 6-8 Ingredients:
• • • • • • • • • •
3 to 4 pound boneless pork butt/shoulder roast 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1 onion, peeled and cut into 8 chunks 1/2 can of coconut milk Lime wedges for garnish
Instructions: Mix together the coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Use your fingers to rub the seasonings all over the roast.
Place the meat in a slow cooker and surround with onions, garlic, ginger and the half can of coconut milk.
The roast will give off moisture and fat while cooking, doubling or tripling the amount of broth by the time the roast is ready.
Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 8 to 10 hours. Although both cooking temperatures give delicious results, meat cooked on low will be the most tender.
Crock Pot Pork-Stuffed Peppers
After a busy day, opening your front door and inhaling the savory, warm aroma of dinner cooking is a great feeling. Especially if you can take credit for it, even if you’ve been at work all day. The crockpot is a humble but ingenious kitchen appliance. If you can find the time to fill it with some assortment of meat and vegetables and a little broth or water, the crockpot will take it from there. While you head off to work or pull weeds in the yard or just lie on the couch and relax, the Crock Pot slowly works its magic. [ There is a difference between a Crockpot and a slow cooker; The slow cooker has a heating element base with a ceramic or metal dish that fits on top of it (meaning heats from the bottom). The crockpot is usually more cylindrical in shape, also with a dish that fits into it, and has a heating coil that starts in the center of the base but also radiates heat from the around the sides. The crockpot will typically cook food a bit quicker than the slow cooker but either can be used interchangeably in most recipes]. The green peppers will hold their shape while cooking and become individual little serving dishes filled with a mild but flavorful blend of ground pork and vegetables. Grated cauliflower seamlessly blends in and the carrots add a burst of color and a little bit of sweetness. The recipe calls for dried but try fresh if you can get it. If you don’t have these exact ingredients in your kitchen, don’t sweat it. The Crock Pot is very forgiving – yet another one of its attributes that we love. You can use ground beef or a combination of different ground meats. You could also use diced tomatoes instead of paste and a bold combination of spices for
those with a more adventurous palate. Left as is, however, this recipe will greet you at the end of the day with its comforting aroma. Ingredients:
• • • • • • • • • •
2 pounds ground pork (or a combination of pork and beef) 4 large green peppers 1 large onion 2 carrots 4 cloves of garlic 1/2 head of cauliflower 6 ounce can of tomato paste 1 tablespoon dry oregano 1 tablespoon dry or fresh tarragon Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions: Cut the tops of the peppers and clean the seeds out.
Arrange peppers in the Crock-Pot standing up and make sure they fit securely. Grate onion, carrots, garlic and cauliflower in the food processor. You can also just chop them into small pieces with a knife if you donâ€™t have a food processor.
In a big bowl, combine ground pork, shredded vegetables, seasonings and tomato paste.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Stuff the peppers with the mixture and arrange leftover meat between the peppers. Add half a cup of water, cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.
If you donâ€™t have a slow-cooker, the dish can be cooked in the oven, covered, for 1-2 hours.
Pork Chops in Creamy Turmeric Sauce
Pork Chops in Creamy Turmeric Sauce is a spicy (but not overly hot), sweet, tangy dish. It has complex flavor but very simple preparation. The sauce is also really versatile and likely to taste just as good over chicken, beef, or seafood. This is the type of recipe youâ€™ll make again and again.
Turmeric lends its deep yellow color and the earthy, peppery flavor often tasted in curries. It also adds a slew of potential health benefits to your meal. Coconut milk, lime, cilantro and jalapeño are the other major flavors, coming together in a bold and plate-licking good sauce. Pour the sauce over cauliflower rice, top it with a pork chop and then sauté or steam some veggies for a side. Dinner is served! Serves: 4 Time in the Kitchen: 30 minutes Ingredients:
• • • • • • • • • • • • •
1 can (13.5 ounce) coconut milk (400 ml) 2 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (30 ml) 1 tablespoon fish sauce (found in the Asian section of grocery stores) (15 ml) 1 small jalapeno, roughly chopped (optional) A handful of cilantro leaves 1 teaspoon turmeric, plus more to season pork (5 ml) 4 boneless pork cutlets or thin pork cops (1/2 inch thick or less) (13 mm) 1 tablespoon coconut oil (15 ml) 1 shallot, finely chopped 1 head of cauliflower Salt, for seasoning Butter, to flavor cauliflower rice
Instructions: Combine the coconut milk, garlic, lime juice, fish sauce, jalapeno (optional),1 teaspoon turmeric, and the cilantro in a blender. Blend the mixture into a smooth sauce.
If the pork isnâ€™t thin enough (1/2 inch thick or less) use a meat mallet to flatten the pork. Or, slice thicker pork chops in half to turn them into two thinner chops. Lightly season the pork with salt and turmeric. In a wide skillet heat the coconut oil. When the oil is hot add the shallot and saute for 30 seconds. Add the pork. Cook the pork only 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned.
Transfer the pork to a plate. Add the coconut sauce to the skillet. Use a spoon to scrape up any tasty bits of meat stuck to the pan as the sauce comes to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. While the sauce is boiling, make the cauliflower rice. Trim and roughly chop the cauliflower.
Process in a food processor until the cauliflower has the texture of rice (the cauliflower can also be grated by hand with a box grater).
Cauliflower rice can be cooked in a microwave for 3 to 5 minutes until soft or sautéed in a pan with several tablespoons of oil for 5 to 10 minutes until soft. Season with salt and butter. Add the pork and any accumulated meat juice back to the skillet with the sauce. Simmer just long enough to heat the pork back up. Serve the sauce and pork over the cauliflower rice. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro.
Cassoulet is often thought of as a massive undertaking that requires days to cook. It’s also often assumed that cassoulet can’t be made
without beans. In this Primal version, neither is true. In a few hours you’ll have one of the meatiest meals imaginable. Incredibly rich and hearty with layers of different flavors, this is a meal not to be missed. Cassoulet is made with all kinds of meat and can get a little pricey, depending on what you choose. This recipe is mid-range, as it blends pork shoulder and sausage, duck, and bacon. You can go all out and use more duck or evenduck confit. You can scale back and add more pork shoulder and no duck at all. Or, you can use lamb if you want. At this point, if you’re starting to feel like cassoulet is a casual one-pot meal that’s improvised depending on what’s on hand, then that’s good. This is not fancy French food, it’s French comfort food, so there’s no reason to be intimidated…even after you glance below and see how many ingredients and steps are involved. Don’t sweat it. This is an easy version of cassoulet. All the recipe really involves is buying a bunch of meat and vegetables, chopping them up, browning everything and then simmering for several hours. This is cassoulet for people who don’t have time to spend three days cooking, but still want a big flavor pay-off at the end. The beans usually found in cassoulet are replaced here with rutabaga, a root vegetable with a sweet, earthy flavor and creamy texture that is surprisingly close to beans. And oh, yeah, about that traditional bread crumb topping….you don’t really need that either. Try finely chopped oven-roasted cauliflower instead to give your cassoulet a toasted, buttery finish. Servings: Six to eight Time in the Kitchen: One hour of active cooking time, plus two hours of simmering Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoons butter (30 ml) • 1 pound pork shoulder, lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, cut into 1-inch cubes (450 g) (25 mm) • 1 pound of duck legs or breasts (breast works much better for recipe, unless you want to splurge and buy duck confit) (450 g) • 8 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced • 1 onion, finely chopped • 4 celery stalks, chopped • 2 carrots, chopped • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (30 ml) • 1 pound pork sausage (sweet Italian works well) cut into 1/2 inch slices (450 g) (12 mm) • 1/2 pound pancetta or bacon, cut into small pieces (230 g) • 2 cups whole peeled canned tomatoes, broken up with your hands (300 g) • 2 to 3 cups chicken stock (500 to 750 ml) • 2 rutabagas, peeled and chopped into 1/2-inch cubes (12 mm) • 1 bay leaf, 4 sprigs of parsley and 4 sprigs of thyme tied together with twine • 1/2 a head of cauliflower • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml) • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley (60 ml) • Pinch of sea salt Instructions: Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or other ovenproof pot (five quart or more) over med heat. Add the pork and brown on each side, about six minutes total. Remove the pork from the pot. Add the duck and brown, about eight minutes. Remove from pot.
When it cools, pull the meat off the bones (if using legs) and shred. If using the breast, simply slice the meat into chunks. The skin can be discarded or left on. It will add flavor to the dish, but also a lot of fat. Turn the heat up to medium-high under the pot. Add the garlic, onion, celery, carrot and fennel. Cook until lightly browned, about ten minutes. Add the tomato paste and mix well.
Add the sausage and pancetta/bacon to the pot. Cook five minutes until sausage is browned. Add pork and duck back to the pot. Add the tomatoes and simmer for ten minutes. Add two cups of stock, the rutabaga, and the bundle of herbs and bring to a boil. Push the rutabaga and meat down with a spoon so theyâ€™re mostly under the liquid.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for one hour. While the cassoulet is simmering, make the cauliflower topping. Preheat the oven to 400 °F (205 °C). Cut out the inner core of the cauliflower and slice the cauliflower thinly. Toss with olive oil. Lay the cauliflower in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake (don’t stir it!) until really brown and crispy around edges, about forty-five minutes. Take out and set aside. Chop up finely and mix with the parsley and a pinch of sea salt. Reduce the oven heat to 350 °F (176 °C) When the cassoulet is done simmering on the stove, remove the bundle of herbs. If you prefer a brothy cassoulet (rather than one with no broth remaining) then add the remaining cup of broth right now. Put the pot in the oven and bake, uncovered, for roughly one hour and fifteen minutes. There is no need to stir it. Sprinkle the cauliflower on top of the cassoulet. Place under the broiler for a few minutes to warm the cauliflower and brown the top of the cassoulet. Serve immediately or over the next few days – it gets even better with time.
Soups and Stews:
Minestrone-Inspired Soup with Quick Chicken Stock
Minestrone is Italian vegetable soup, a one-pot meal that provides the perfect opportunity to clean out the fridge. This hearty version is made with homemade chicken stock (and cooked chicken) that’s ready in about 30 minutes, to which you can add any vegetables you have on hand. This chicken stock isn’t quite as nutrient rich as stock that’s simmered for hours, but it still tastes so much better than canned stock. Plus, you’ll have enough cooked chicken for the soup and another meal. Minestrone is delicious with only the carrots, cabbage and kale this recipe calls for, but don’t hesitate to throw in other veggie odds and ends from the fridge. Zucchini, broccoli, root vegetables and green beans are all great additions. The more veggies you add, the less likely you are to miss the beans, pasta or rice that usually bulk up a bowl of minestrone. Serves: 8 Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour 45 minutes Ingredients:
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
4 tablespoons butter or olive oil (60 g/ml) 1 whole chicken, approximately 3 pounds, cut into pieces (1.5 kg) 2 leeks, thinly sliced 2 celery ribs, chopped 8 cups of water (1.9 L) 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (7 ml) 2 bay leaves 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns (2 ml) 2 tablespoons tomato paste (30 ml) 2 cups crushed tomatoes (500 ml) 4 carrots, chopped 1/4 to 1/2 of a green cabbage, thinly sliced 1 small bunch of kale, leaves thinly sliced (tough stems and middle rib removed) Plus, a few more cups of any other chopped veggies you have on hand
Instructions: In a deep pot, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter/oil over medium-high heat. Place 4 to 6 pieces of chicken in the pot, or as many pieces as you can fit in one layer. Brown the pieces of chicken on both sides. As the chicken browns, remove it from the pot and add new pieces until all the chicken is browned. Set aside.
Heat one more tablespoon of butter/oil in the pot then add the leeks and celery. SautĂŠ a few minutes until they begin to soften. Add chicken, water, salt, bay leaves and peppercorns. Bring the water to a boil and skim the foam off the top. Reduce the heat so the water is at a simmer. Partially cover the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes. (Note: if you like, you can remove the chicken breasts sooner than 30 minutes, so they donâ€™t overcook) Pour the soup through a colander that is setting over a large bowl or pot. The chicken and other solids will be caught in the colander and the broth will be saved in the bowl below.
Wash out the original soup pot. Over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the soup pot and the tomato paste. Stir the paste as it browns for one minute, then add the tomatoes. Simmer the tomatoes for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, to thicken. Pour the reserved broth into the pot with the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer then add the carrots, cabbage and any other firm vegetables you want to add. Simmer uncovered for at least 10 minutes, or until carrots and other vegetables have reached desired doneness. While the carrots and cabbage simmer, take the chicken meat of the bones. Slice up as much chicken as you would like to add to the soup. Save the rest for another meal. Add the kale and chicken to the soup pot. Simmer just a few minutes, to wilt kale and warm chicken. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Recipe Note: If youâ€™d like to freeze half of the soup, consider freezing the tomato-flavored broth and chicken, without any vegetables. Add fresh vegetables after defrosting and heating up the soup, for better texture and flavor.
Rich and Hearty Hungarian Goulash
For some goulash is beef soup with carrots, parsnips and potatoes. For others it’s a thick stew without a vegetable to be found. Whether it’s served as a soup or stew, with vegetables or without, Hungarian goulash must involve one thing: chunks of beef simmered in a paprika-laced broth until the meat is so tender you’ll eat it with a spoon. Simmering meat in a pot with a handful of other ingredients until it turns into a rich, thick, comforting meal isn’t a unique idea. The French have Boeuf Bourguignon. Texans have Texas Chili. What makes goulash different is paprika, and lots of it. Paprika is made by grinding up various types of dried peppers. The type of pepper determines how sweet or spicy the paprika will be. If paprika has a bright red color it’s likely to be sweeter and milder. When the color starts leaning towards brown and orange hues, watch out. It’s going to be spicy. Hungarian Paprika,
which is sold in sweet and spicy versions, tastes different than Spanish paprika (which is usually smoky) and regular generic paprika (which doesn’t have much flavor at all). If you can find Hungarian paprika, by all means use it for making goulash. It will give the dish a stronger flavor, one that is slightly sweet and pungent – a little bit like what the essence of a really flavorful red bell pepper tastes like. The mildest varieties of Hungarian paprika are often labeled as Különleges, Édesnemes, Csípmentes and Csemege. Things start getting spicy when you see Félédes, Rozsa or Eros on the label.
This goulash recipe also includes fresh bell peppers, tomato paste and vinegar for extra flavor, but a goulash purist will skip all three. If you take goulash very seriously, it’s all about the meat, onions and paprika. Like most hearty dishes that revolve around tender chunks of beef, goulash must be cooked slowly over the course of a few hours. If you really want to taste goulash at its finest, make a point of eating a bowl as leftovers the next day. The more time the ingredients spend together, the better they taste. Servings: 6-8 Ingredients:
• • • • • • • • • • • •
3 pounds boneless chuck cut into 1/2-inch cubes (pork or venison can also be used) 1/4 cup fat (lard, tallow, olive oil or butter) 2-3 white or yellow onions, chopped 3 tablespoons Hungarian Sweet Paprika 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 teaspoon caraway seeds 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1 green bell pepper, chopped 4 cups beef broth
Instructions: In a heavy deep pot (like a Dutch oven) heat half of the fat over medium-high heat. Add the meat in three batches, removing each batch from the pot after it browns. The meat doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through, just browned on the outside. Once the meat is out of the pot, add the rest of the fat followed by the onions and paprika. Stir the onions as they cook, for about five minutes.
Add garlic and caraway seeds. Add vinegar and tomato paste and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Add the meat back to the pot along with the salt and bell peppers.
Pour in the broth. The meat should be fully covered by liquid. If needed, add a cup or so of water. Bring to a gentle boil.
Simmer goulash, covered, stirring occasionally, for an hour and half, or slightly longer if meat isnâ€™t tender enough. If you want very little broth, you can remove the lid halfway through the cooking time. Serve alone in a bowl or over lightly sautĂŠed, thinly sliced cabbage or cauliflower rice.
Filipino Beef Kaldereta
Kaldereta is a Filipino stew with flavors influenced by three centuries of Spanish colonization in the Philippines. Tomato-based and traditionally made with goat or beef, potatoes, green olives and peppers, itâ€™s a filling, comforting dish. The really ingenious ingredient in Kaldereta is purĂŠed chicken liver. Stirred in at the end, chicken livers give the stew a thick, creamy texture and super-meaty flavor. This technique can be used with any of your favorite stew, chili or curry recipes. Make a batch of Kaldereta, freeze individual servings to defrost for lunches, Servings: 6 to 8 Time in the Kitchen: 3 hours Ingredients:
• • • • • • • • • • • •
2 pounds beef (stew chunks or short ribs) (900 g) 1/2 pound chicken livers, trimmed of fat and membranes (230 g) 1 onion, finely chopped 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1 to 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped 1 to 2 green bell peppers, finely chopped 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional) (5 ml) 1/2 pounds tomatoes, chopped (230 g) 6 ounces tomato paste 2 1/2 cups water or beef stock (475 ml) 2 bay leaves 1/3 cup pitted green olives (50 g) (optional)
Instructions: Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Heat a thin layer of oil in a sauté pan over mediumhigh heat. Brown the beef, in batches if necessary. Set aside. Season the chicken livers with salt and pepper. Add them to the pan. Cook, stirring often, until they are just barely cooked through and still pink inside.
In a food processor, puree the chicken livers until very smooth. Set aside.
Add the onion, garlic and chopped bell peppers and red pepper flakes to the pan. Cook until the vegetables soften, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste. SautĂŠ a few minutes more then add the water/stock, about 2 1/2 cups or enough to just cover the meat. Add the bay leaves.
Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for two hours or until the meat is fork tender. Stir occasionally during cooking. Add salt to taste.
Slowly stir the chicken liver purĂŠe into the Kaldereta until it blends in completely. Add the olives. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Primal Pumpkin Pie Filling
Hereâ€™s a recipe which, although less sweet than traditional (read: horrendously unhealthy!) pumpkin pie, is an excellent substitute that is sure to please the palate! Ingredients: 1.5 cups fresh or canned pumpkin (not to be confused with pumpkin pie filling, which comes presweetened.) 3 eggs 3/4 cup maple sugar flakes 3/4 cup coconut milk 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp powdered cloves 1/2 tsp nutmeg 1/8 tsp ginger Method: Mix all filling ingredients in a bowl. Pour into a lightly pre-cooked pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes or until golden.
Good Olâ€™ Fashioned Apple Pie Filling
Thereâ€™s nothing better than good olâ€™ apple pie (except marrionberry pie!). Ingredients: 3 cooking apples, sliced 1 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg 1 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces Method: In a large bowl, combine apples, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss until apples are evenly coated. Spoon into pie crust and dot top with butter pieces. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until apples are tender when pierced with a knife. Cool slightly before serving. To punch up the recipe, top with some chopped pecans.
Flourless Pie Crust Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups almond meal 2/3 cup coconut oil 1/4 tsp salt 5 tbsp (approximately) of icy water Method: Combine almond flour and salt in a mixing bowl, stir in coconut oil and mix until mixture resembles course crumbs. Mix in water, 1 tbsp at a time, until a dough is formed. Refrigerate until ready to use. When ready, roll out and place in a pie dish. Fill your favorite fruit (we recommend apples, but blueberries are also delicious) and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or until crust turns a rich golden brown.
Sweet & Tart Rhubarb and Berry Dessert Sauce
Rhubarb is simmered in butter, vanilla and just enough honey to sweeten it up without masking the tart flavor. Fresh berries are mixed in and then the sauce is spooned on top of full-fat yogurt or layered with homemade whipped (coconut) cream. The contrast of the tart, fruity sauce and rich yogurt or whipped cream truly tastes like an indulgent dessert. If you need a little crunch, sprinkle ground nuts or dried coconut on top. The bold flavor of this dessert makes small amounts really satisfying, so a little bit of the sauce will go a long way. Servings: 4-6 Ingredients:
• • • • • •
2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 teaspoons honey 3 stalks of rhubarb, peeled if needed and sliced thinly 1 cup fresh raspberries 1 cup fresh blackberries
Instructions: If the peel on the rhubarb is thick and/or stringy, you can peel it off before cutting the stalks up.
Melt butter with honey and vanilla over medium heat. Add rhubarb and simmer 10 minutes.
Add berries. You can remove the sauce from the heat immediately so the berries stay firm and fresh, or simmer for 3-5 minutes so the berries become soft and release their juice.
Serve over full-fat yogurt or with whipped cream or coconut whipped cream. To make homemade whipped cream, whisk a cup of whole cream and 2 teaspoons of vanilla by hand (or with an electric mixer) until soft peaks form.
Coconut Whipped “cream”
What You Need
Ingredients One 15-ounce can full-fat coconut milk 1 tablespoon sugar or more to taste (optional) 1 teaspoon vanilla or more to taste (optional) Equipment Large bowl Hand beaters or a stand mixer Instructions
1. Place the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator and leave it there until well-chilled; I left mine in overnight. 2. Open the can of coconut milk. There will be a firm, waxy layer on top.
3. Scoop out this firm layer coconut cream that has solidified at the top of the can. 4. Stop as soon as you reach the water at the bottom of the can; don't include anything but the solid cream. (You can use the water in smoothies, or just drink it straight.) 5. Place this cream in the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl.
6. Turn your mixer or hand beaters to high speed, and whip the coconut cream for 3 to 5 minutes. 7. Whip until it becomes fluffy and light, with soft peaks. Mix in sugar or vanilla, if using.
8. Serve with fresh fruit, pie, or cobbler.