Posts tagged crock pot
Posts tagged crock pot
For some reason caramelizing onions takes me forever! And it requires constant attention, stirring, checking, covering, adding water (according to some recipes), lather, rinse, repeat, etc.
So this time I threw my chopped onion into a crockpot with a shitload of olive oil, set it, and forget it. Yes, it takes a long process and makes it longer, but it’s worry free. This is how mine looked after 4 hours on high. But if I wanted, I could let them go a lot longer and get darker and more caramelized. You can make a batch and use it in recipes all week long. In eggs, on steak, in side dishes, on hot dogs, burgers, etc.
This is what I did with my carrot pasta from the other day. I slow cooked some grass-fed beef stew meat in arrabbiata sauce (marinara sauce made spicy with crushed red pepper flakes), and then tossed it all with the carrot fauxghetti (as the sauce and meat finished cooking, I threw the carrots on top for 15 minutes or so and let them steam). I also had some fresh basil that put this dish over the top! So far I’ve made pasta from zucchini, parsnips, and now carrot, my favorite to this point. Ugga-Bugga!
It’s autumn and I’m in slow cooker heaven! Last week I made fiery hot Venison Vindaloo again (it was glorious, but sorry no new pictures), and today I’m browning this meat in the cast iron skillet for Osso Buco! Never made it before, but my grass-fed beef farmer had these on sale. Not going the traditional route, because I want to use up the last of my hot sauce from the summer to slow cook them in the crock pot, over thick slices of yellow onion. Gonna serve it simply over parsnip pasta once it falls off the bone. Ugga-Bugga!
Apples are in season! This is my favorite time at the farmers market because the fall stuff is just starting to come in, and the frost hasn’t killed off the summer produce yet (especially the spicy peppers), so there’s unlimited recipes just waiting to be created! I also found some great herbs from a new organic farmer at my market (in the last year 3 new organic farmers have joined my local farmers market, encouraging news for cavemen everywhere). Fragrant sage filled the air at the market this Sunday, so I picked up a bunch, along with some apples, and a ton of jalapeños and Serrano peppers and went home to create something.
Sage and apples go so well with pork, and I have a freezer full of wild boar from the Broken Arrow Ranch, so I defrosted some stew meat! I had an idea to make some sort of All-American stew (can’t get more American than apples, sage, and wild boar). Into a crock pot for 6 hours on high went the following organic ingredients:
1 pound wild boar stew meat
4 Fuji Apples
2 Granny Smith Apples
Fresh grated Ginger
Chard stems (for the natural saltiness, can substitute celery)
Some grass-fed beef bone broth
Some arrowroot dissolved in water (for thickening)
A mix of SPICY red and green jalapeños and Serrano Peppers (obviously optional for your particular taste)
I wasn’t sure these ingredients would all go together (like ginger and rosemary), but I didn’t have a plan or recipe I was working off of, and just played it by ear. I can tell you though that my apartment smelled amazing, and when it was done, it tasted amazing! But it was WAY too spicy for my friend Julie who popped by for a taste. Still, she thought it was delicious, and she wondered what cut of beef I used (she was shocked it was wild boar).
I’m not usually a fan of sweet dishes, unless they’re also really spicy, so this one was great. The apples and cinnamon gave it the sweet, and the ginger just gave it a touch of Asian influence in what was otherwise an All-American dish. And the peppers made sure my mouth was blissfully on fire! The wild boar was tender and wildly delicious! Even though Julie thought it was beef, it tasted just like pork to me, and went perfectly with the apples.
I served it all over cauliflower rice:
Really delicious! And it smells AMAZING! First time I made anything like this, and it came out great! First a word about the venison I used. From Broken Arrow Ranch, their hunting and butchering process is unparalleled in delivering healthy wild animals to our dinner table, with no gaminess whatsoever! And these animals are truly wild, eating only what they find naturally in the forest. This is only the second time I’m cooking with venison, and I’m loving it! Tastes very much like a mild beef to me. And it has much less fat than beef, and less cholesterol than skinless chicken! But feel free to use the traditional lamb (just make sure it’s pasture raised to keep it paleo!).
The only other Indian dish I’ve made before this was my Chicken Curry, which I only made by mistake (click here to see what I mean). But this was better! I didn’t have a recipe, I just used a lot of what I already had, and tried to recreate what I thought might be in a traditional vindaloo. I’ve since looked up vindaloo recipes, and I’m probably way off, but the taste is distinctly Indian. Maybe I should’ve called it Venison Curry, but Venison Vindaloo sounds so much better!
I was a real lazy bastard today, so I just dumped everything into the crock pot and hoped for the best. It worked! The Crock Pot, making lazy bastards out of us all since 1971 (I looked it up)! So here’s my recipe, but feel free to vary for your tastes.
All Ingredients, All Organic, All the Time:
Venison Stew Meat (you can brown it before slow cooking, but I didn’t)
Water (you can substitute coconut milk for the coconut butter and water, which is what coconut milk is)
Crushed Red Pepper (or Chili) Flakes (lots for me, ‘cause I likes it hot!)
Optional: I threw in a little leftover Caveman Ketchup I need to use up.
Some Olive Oil (to make up for the lack of fat in the meat)
Cook until meat is tender and enjoy! Maybe serve it over cauliflower rice! Now if only someone can invent some paleo naan to sop it up (naan? naa!). Ugga-Bugga!
Wild, as in wild boar! For a while now I haven’t been thrilled with the quality of pasture raised pigs, because when I ask the farmers, there always seems to be some corn and/or soy based feed involved. The same for chickens! Although I did find a farmer that feed their pasture raised egg laying hens nothing, and I’m thrilled with my egg quality! But I recently found out they do feed their meat chickens soy! I feel completely duped. So for now no eating chicken, and for awhile now, no pork.
But my good friend and paleo expert Nell Stephenson, the Paleoista, turned me on to a wild game farm in Texas that ships anywhere, and they have wild boar! And all their animals are truly wild, killed humanely, without adding stress to the animal, so there’s no gaminess caused by the animal’s adrenaline when it knows it’s about to be killed (like in a slaughter house). This is the closest to paleo meat one can get, and I highly recommend them! They’re called Broken Arrow Ranch, and they also have wild antelope and venison (which I will make chili from once jalapenos are back in season). They have some non-paleo stuff too like quail (fed grains) and pre-made sausages (which I’m guessing contains salt), but I’m sticking to the paleo game meat, from animals that eat what they find roaming around the range!
And that includes wild boar! Finally pork has re-entered my life! Only much leaner with much better Omega-3 fat (like all wild animals have). I also bought some wild boar pork belly (not sure what to do with that yet), some ground meat (hello sausages!), and a shoulder roast! My friend Julie gave me a crock pot for Christmas (finally, a crock pot!), and I have the extra batches of my Plum Loco Sauce in the freezer (best thing I ever tasted in my life), so let’s make that shoulder into some paleo pulled pork!
I didn’t season the roast much (the Plum Loco sauce will add enormous amounts of flavor), just some black pepper. Placed the 2 pound roast in the crock pot on top of slices of yellow onion, and added a cup of water. Set it and forget it on low for 12 hours (the apartment smelled amazing!), then removed and drained the water. Took the onions and the roast and shredded it. It fell apart. Added it back to the crock pot and mixed it with the Plum Loco Sauce. Back on low for a couple of hours, and it was done (it didn’t even need it, it was ready to go right then and there)!
To go with, I made some Paleo Cole Slaw with:
(all ingredients, all organic, all the time)
Put it all on a piece of Swiss Chard (sturdier for wraps than lettuce, and adds a natural saltiness, which adds a lot when you don’t add or cook with salt like me), and had some paleo pulled pork tacos!
I’m so happy to have pork back in my life. Maybe I’ll make salt free paleo bacon from the wild boar belly (now that would be a bacon I can finally endorse!) And the Plum Sauce holds up great in the freezer! This is a raw product, and 100% organic and paleo! Now that I know it freezes well, I’m thinking of bottling it and selling it as the first product under the Cooking Caveman/Caveman Cafe brand. But until then, you’ll have to make it yourselves, you lazy bastards!
Remember that grass-fed beef sale at Whole Foods I told you about all those months ago? Well, I bought a shit load of beef and stuck it in the freezer. You do not have to go broke eating organically! One of the things I bought was a bottom round roast, and I made paleo pot roast out of it. My first! Check it out:
Looks good. Came out a little dry though, so I did another experiment in making my own gravy, by adding coconut flour to the drippings and whisking it in. I thought of using arrowroot instead, but I was afraid it would be too gummy. My only hesitation in using coconut flour was, I didn’t want to add coconut flavor to this dish. But to me it didn’t taste like coconut at all, and it came out great! Look:
Served it with the root veggies I used in cooking. I don’t have a crock pot, so I cooked it in a 350 oven, at an hour for each pound of meat. Into a covered large casserole dish went the browned roast, onions (as I browned the roast in a cast iron skillet, I flavored the fat with the onions. By the way, I used chicken fat instead of oil; more on this in a future blog), garlic, carrots, celery, turnips, parsnips, and celery root, and about a half cup of chicken stock (leftover from the chicken soup I made last week). I also used fresh thyme, rosemary, and sage. Of course, it was all organic! A friend asked, “You don’t have to be organic to be on the caveman diet… right?” The “right?” was a little apprehensive, since he knew my answer was not going to be what he wanted to hear. My answer is, the whole point of living caveman is living chemical free, and to eat as clean as possible. If you’re not eating organic, you’re not getting the most out of this diet/lifestyle as you can! It’s not that hard with practice, and it doesn’t break the bank! Go for it, my caveman minions! Ugga-Bugga!