Category Archives: Beef

Beefy Soup

So many vegetables!

So many vegetables! I could just eat them raw.

I’ve been super lucky throughout my pregnancy. I’ve been very healthy through most of it. I’ve only had cravings for healthy food, mostly broccoli. I’ve been working on stocking up some pre made food for after I have my baby. I wanted to make something that would be great from before baby and recovery after baby. This soup is made with marrow bone broth and ox tail, along with a whole host of amazing vegetables. The extra iron and vitamins in the soup will really be beneficial for  any woman but especially the post labor woman in your life. After I made it I realized that I just and to have tomatoes! So I went back and added a few can of diced tomatoes, and some tomato paste. It really kicked up the heartiness of the soup. However, I don’t have any pictures of beefy soup 2.0 so just imagine how great it looks!

 

Beefy Soup

Bone Marrow Broth – go here for that recipe

7 ox tail pieces (give or take your own preferences)

1 medium onion diced

2 red bell peppers diced (about 2-2.5 cups for the next four ingredients)

1 small butternut squash diced

4-5 stalks of diced celery

4-5 carrots diced

a head of garlic chopped (yes a head, it’s recovery soup! garlic is good for that)

1.5 heads of kale ripped up.

1 tbsp black pepper

1 tsp hot peppers or cayenne (remember, recovery)

1 tsp parsley

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp smoky paprika

1/4 tsp majoram

1/4 tsp savory

(2-3 cans of diced tomatoes and 2 cans of tomato paste)

 

meat, meat, meat, yummy meat

Frist brown your meat in a very large stock pot. Everything will be going into this pot eventually so make sure it’s big. I like to brown the meat because it adds a lovely depth to the flavor. These ox tails had a thick side of fat, so I started with that side first to render some fat to cook them in. See? I’m smart. Brown all sides, and set aside.

this is where delicious starts

This is where the magic starts. The bottom of the pan will have all sorts of meat and fat stuck to it. By cooking the onions, the moisture will help loosen up that deliciousness, giving that depth I was talking about. Cook onions until they are starting to become translucent. Note they are not actually browning, that’s the good stuff stuck in the pan adhering now to the onions. Lucky onions.

so pretty

When your onions are soft, add the squash and the red peppers. Keep temperature at medium high and occasionally stir vegetables. Cook for about 4 minutes.

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Add in carrots and celery. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes.

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Add seasonings, meat, and broth. Look at all that dark rich goodness! Bring soup to a slow boil for about 15 minutes. Add in kale for last two minutes. You can also skip the boiling and cook on low for about an hour. When all the vegetables are soft and your meat is cooked through your soup is done. Now I said above that I decided this soup would be even better with tomatoes. I wish I thought of that first! Add about 2-3 cans of diced tomatoes and two cans of tomato paste when you add in your broth. It gives it a great rich color and really ups the flavor. But this soup was delicious just as it was, but even better with the tomatoes. I left the meat on the bones. It’s a preference thing. If you’d rather not have bones in your soup you can remove the meat after you boil it.

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beefy soup

This makes a ton of soup. I planned on that because I wanted to freeze a bunch for post baby meals. This is a great fall/winter soup that’s super hearty and would make a great gift for a friend in need of a bit of an immune boost.

 

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Beef Jerky

I know I’ve blogged about it before here. But, I recently made more beef jerky. Since I’ve become pregnant I’ve really had a diminished taste for things like salt and sugar. Most potato chips are too salty for me. So everything I make lately has a lot less sugar and salt in it. Now jerky is one of those things that you must have salt for. It preserves the meat. Below is the modified recipe. I ran out of cumin so mine didn’t have any but you should add it because it’s smart. I had smoky paprika instead of regular. I think it makes for a great smoky flavor with out the added chemicals of the liquid smoke.

Meat!

Jerky

1 lb of lean beef

1/2 tbsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp red pepper

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cumin (I forgot to get more but it’s good in the mix)

1/8 cup of soy sauce (use fancy tamari for gluten-free)
I’m going to try to play around with different flavors because I think I’d like to offer it for sale. This time around I attempted to run a cost comparison on the meat vs the final product. I think I can produce this at a reasonable rate.

For those that wish to make it themselves above is the recipe I recently used (notice the smaller amounts of salt and soy sauce). I think it gives plenty of great flavor without so much salt. Also no sugar! I don’t understand why all jerky contains sugar, drives me crazy. If you’re looking to save money get a larger lean roast. Partially freeze it, and cut it by hand. You need a pretty steady hand and a very sharp knife. Make sure to trim all the fat.

cut meat and trimmings

I saved my trimming for adding to ground meat or maybe awesome dog treats. Our local HEB sells very thin top round and Milanese style cuts of beef that are perfect for jerky if you don’t want to hand cut it. It does make life easier but you pay more for the precut meat. Mix seasoning well and pour into a zip bag with your meat. Make sure all the pieces are covered with the seasoning, then refrigerate over night.

mmm gooey

mmm gooey

you will soon be delicious

The time varies greatly on how long it takes to full dry. The thickness of the meat, the ambient humidity, and your dehydrator will all play a factor in this. If you check it every 1-2 hours your first time you’ll have a better idea how well your unit runs.

Playing Tetris with raw beef is fun!

The thinnest pieces will be finished at 4 hours the thicker ones at 8. I make sure to rotate the trays to allow for even flow of air every two hours. When I rotate I check the pieces for dryness. I also live in a very humid place so my times maybe longer than yours.

You can buy extra racks for it. It was a reasonable price and highly rated. I have no affiliation with this brand but I definitely would recommend it.

You can buy extra racks for it. It was a reasonable price and highly rated. I have no affiliation with this brand but I definitely would recommend it.

glorious dried meat

For storage we prefer to vacuum seal the meat into snack size bags. In a regular zipper top plastic bag, in our climate, the meat lasts around 2 months. (I found some in the back of the cabinet that had gone bad, so sad) but the vacuum sealed bags lasts longer than that.

I still have yet to find how long that is. The only preservative is salt so there will be a shelf life. But, if you’re stocking up for Armageddon, might I suggest vacuum sealing and then freezing? Otherwise for normal consumption a batch like this is fine in your cabinet until consumed.

T has taken to cutting it up and adding it to the homemade trail mix. Great clean energy all day long!


Burgerspiration

It’s hot. Oh you didn’t know summer was hot? *wink* Summer is for cooking outside and eating burgers! This burger more closely resembles a salad when done. I don’t really try to replace the bun with something paleo. I like to have lots of toppings on my burgers so it just ends up a mess anyways.

This glorious mess is tomatoes, onions, avocados, cheese (primal), bacon, lettuce, and a homemade mix of mayo and siracha. T had easy eggs on his too. The burger patties I seasoned with the quad of seasonings I use in EVERYTHING; garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt. The grocery store had thick delicious patties on sale so I didn’t mix them or shape them. Sometimes when it’s so hot, it’s nicer to do nothing.

The orange spikes are some mango that was also on sale! If fruit is cheap its in season and delicious.

People will rib you for not eating a bun at first. They will understand when you pile all the amazing stuff on top. I’ve actually done this at a few BBQs and had non paleo eaters follow suit because they wanted to fill up on the yummy stuff and not bread. So grab a fork and knife and dig into a burger this grilling season.

What are you favorite burger toppings?


Gyros

My friend Brittany over at B-ing paleo fabulous and I had a friendly little cook off for a going away party. Two of our friends are moving to Georgia to open up their own crossfit gym and they had a surprise going away party. Brian had said he wanted gyros. I thought it would be fun to bring these to surprise them and see our two takes on the gyro, Brittany agreed.

These are my gyros that I brought to the party. Brittany’s gyros are here on her site. We got to the party late so I didn’t get to try hers but they looked really good. She went with the authentic lamb meat. I used a combination of beef and pork. She did a pulled meat and I tried to go with ground meat on a rotisserie.

Brian was of course very diplomatic and said they were both great. So we may never know who won. It was; however, fun, challenging, and delicious. I think we might have to pair up again to try something else exciting Brittany makes such good food that she’s a good motivator.

Gyros

2.5 lbs of beef

.5 lbs of pork jowl (pretty much bacon)

1 onion finely processed and drained

1 tbsp of fresh thyme

1tbsp of fresh rosemary

1 tbsp of parsley

1 tsp of marjoram

1 tsp of red pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp black pepper

7 cloves of garlic

juice of one lemon

Tzaziki Sauce

1 can of coconut milk

¼ red onion

1 tbsp fresh mint

4 garlic cloves

juice of one lemon

To me authentic gyros are the kind that are ground and cooked over an open rotisserie. Then when you want some you shave off some meat and add fresh veggies, feta, and tzaziki sauce. So that is what I tried to do here. After some research into how to achieve this method I set forth. I blended all the ingredients until it was a paste.

Then I tightly wrapped the meat in plastic wrap.

It was kind of like twisting a candy wrapper to get it tight.

Then I placed a heavy cook book on top of that.

The point of all this is to make a tight compact loaf that you can then skewer and rotisserie. I refrigerated my meat loaf over night to let the flavors meld and to squish the daylights out of it. The next morning I skewered the meat and placed it in my rotisserie.

T had very pessimistic views about the meat staying on the skewer. I had my fingers crossed. I mean it worked for Alton Brown! But, T was correct. It fell off after a few minutes of cooking.

So I left it on the tray and let it cook for 1.5 hours at 350 until cooked through.

When it was done I sliced it thin. Traditionally you’d eat this with pita bread. I went with romaine lettuce to keep it primal.

To assemble you take a leaf of romaine, some slices of meat, red onion sliced thin, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta crumbles (omit if you are paleo), and the tzaziki sauce (traditionally a yogurt based dressing but again, I wanted to keep it as paleo as possible). Here is Brian enjoying his second gyro of the day. I was really happy with the final product. I think it had all the flavors that I was looking for in a gyro. Next time I might try to just cook it in a loaf pan.

Brian and Sabrina we will miss you and wish you the best of luck in Savannah!


Paleo Meatloaf

T sent me a text message today that said “meat puck s= f—-ing amazing”. I think that is as good an endorsement as any for this recipe right here. I used a food processor to grind up all the veggies and mixed a few different kinds of meat to make meatloaf. The hands on time is quick and would be a great make ahead meal that you can just pop in the oven when you get home from work. I made one regular loaf and 12 muffin sized (or meat pucks if you prefer). This is a great recipe for those of you keeping paleo and it’s great for kids who don’t like their veggies because there is a bunch in here, but you can’t tell.

Paleo Meatloaf

3 lbs of 80/20 ground beef (this was on sale but get whatever fat content you prefer)

16 oz hot Italian sausage

16oz ground pork

3 bell peppers (I used red and yellow)

4 small full sized carrots (mine were kind of thin for a full sized carrot)

2 yellow onions

1 head of garlic

4 eggs

1 can of tomato paste

3 tsp oregano

2 tsp salt

2tsp black pepper

2 tsp garlic powder

2tsp onion powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

In a food processor throw all of your veggies and blend. Make sure to trim off stems, seeds, and the skins first. In a large bowl mix the blended veggies with your meats, eggs, paste, and your spices by hand.

Transfer the mixture to a greased loaf pan. This will be where the bulk of your meat goes. In a muffin pan place the remaining meat. Cook at 400 until cooked through. Times will vary because of the size of each. The muffins/pucks will take about an hour, the loaf about 2.

Because there is a lot of vegetables in this recipe make sure to bake on a cookie tray to catch the drippings. I also advise to cover it with tinfoil because it will burn easier.

Everything is better with guacamole!


Marrow Bone Stock

While wandering the grocery isles I found some marrow bones. Now the kid in me cringes at all things “weird”. Eating bones and organ meat is “weird” to me. I want to be more open to this but I end up thinking way too much about it and then can’t eat it. This was how I used to be about meat on the bone. Couldn’t/wouldn’t eat it. Now I think bone in meat is much tastier and makes a great stock homemade stock.

I’ve never tried to make a beef stock before from marrow bones. But with the big push I’ve been seeing on paleo sites to eat nose to tail, I figured I’d give it a go. Besides, marrow bones didn’t look all that different than any other bone I’ve eaten off of.

First thing everyone who tries this recipe needs to know it that there is a definite smell to the bones while roasting and simmering. It’s very beefy. Yes, I described a beef product as beefy. The smell is very strong and I almost just gave it all to the dogs because I thought the bones had gone bad. The smell is apparently normal. I found out after a bit of perusing the web. It will lessen over the next two days. Yes, two.

This stock made almost 2 gallons and I will be using it this weekend for some French onion soup. But for now here is the how to.

Roast bones with a little salt and pepper for an hour at 400.

Place bones in a large stock pot and fill with water. Add about 2-3 tbsp of black pepper corns, and 3 bay leaves. Simmer on low for a day. Remove the bay leaves and add celery, carrots, and an onion. No need to chop the celery and carrots but you’ll want to slice the onion in half.

Simmer for another day. After two days of cooking, remove from the heat.

Strain the solids out. Pour into containers. Some people remove the fat others don’t.

I’m a leave the fat in sort of girl. The stock is a rich dark color, it smells   beefy and the vegetables made a great addition. I’ll let you know how it works as a soup this weekend.

 


Sausage, Meatballs, and Red Sauce

I got to visit my grandparents for Christmas this year. My grandma is Italian. Needless to say my pants do not fit now. My grandma makes wonderful Italian food. When we showed up there was a big pot of sausages and meatballs simmering on the stove. They’d been cooking all day. It was so good I think I ate half of it. This is my paleo version of it. This recipe is not quick and requires a lot of hands on time. You could take a short cut and use premade sauce or meatballs, but then you’d be cheating yourself on the taste.

Meatballs

3 lbs of ground beef (2 was 90/10 and 1 was 93/7 if you like more or less fat adjust accordingly)

3 eggs

2 tbsp of fresh Italian seasoning (I found this in a squeeze tube next to the fresh herbs)

2 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp onion powder

1 tbsp salt

1tsp black pepper

 

Mix meat and seasonings until combined.

Roll out meatballs. I like a larger meatball so this made 22 for me.

In a large stock pot brown all the meatballs in about 1 tbsp of olive oil. I used 10 store made (gluten free) sausages and cut them in half and browned them too. The meat is just browned not cooked through.

I had to freeze about 6 balls and 5 slices of sausage because they wouldn’t fit!

Place them on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven on warm. I wasn’t trying to cook them just keep them from cooling off.

Red Sauce

3 lbs of fresh tomatoes diced

3 cloves of garlic minced

1 onion minced

½ cup of red wine

2 tbsp of fresh Italian seasoning

1 tsp of garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 small can of tomato paste

That right there is the beginning of delicious!

In the same pot you browed your meats add about 2 tbsp of olive oil and the onions. Cook on medium high for two minutes. At this point there should be lots of bits stuck to the bottom of your pot. Add the wine in carefully and begin to scrape the bottom of the pot. If you have enamel pots like this one please use a wooden spoon to scrape so you don’t ruin the enamel. Continue to cook until the wine is almost all cooked off.

This will take about 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook covered on medium until the tomatoes are cooked down. This takes about an hour.

You’ll know when it is done because it looks like tomato sauce. I removed half of the sauce and blended it smooth. If you prefer a chunkier sauce don’t blend. If you prefer a smoother sauce blend it all. Make sure to remove the center piece in the lid of your blender and cover with a towel. This keeps the sauce from exploding all over the counter. Add the blended sauce in with the unblended sauce, mix in the paste. Add back your meat and any juice that may have cooked out. Cover and cook on low for another two hours.

We ate these just like this. If you like, some spaghetti squash would be good too. Enjoy and feel like you are in your own Italian grandmother’s kitchen.