Cooking Caveman with Jeff Nimoy

THESE ARE THE COOKING ADVENTURES OF JEFF NIMOY, AN LA WRITER WHO, WHILE DOING RESEARCH FOR A SCRIPT, STUMBLED UPON WHAT’S CALLED THE CAVEMAN DIET, ALSO KNOWN AS THE PALEO DIET. BASICALLY, IT’S EATING WHAT THE CAVEMEN ATE. HE TRIED IT OUT, AND THE RESULTS HAVE BEEN STAGGERING! THIS BLOG SHOWS EXACTLY HOW AND WHAT JEFF EATS. IF YOU’RE NEW TO THE BLOG, PLEASE START WITH THE “ENTERING THE CAVE” PAGE TO GET A CLEAR UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT.

Posts tagged pork loin

5 notes

From The Caveman Archives: Paleo Pork Loin!

Just ordered some more wild boar from my favorite on-line paleo meat supplier, The Broken Arrow Ranch.  Ever since I found out that pasture raised pigs can only be so paleo due to the supplemental non-pig-like food they’re fed, I have switched to wild boar for all my pork needs.  This ranch kills without stressing out the animal, so there is no gaminess to their meat.  And their animals are truly wild, living their lives rooting for food on the game ranch, without any extra supplemental feed.  But until my new meat shipment arrives, here’s a recipe when I still thought organic pork was paleo enough for me.  Realizing that not all of you are as anal, um, I mean, as strict as I am, here’s an old recipe from 2010 you might like.  Plus, it’s filled with some great info on cooking pork in today’s world.  But I encourage you to try it with some wild boar pork loin instead.   Enjoy!

September 29, 2010

Put Your Loin Cloth Back On, Caveman, I Can See Your Pork!

Hot Damn, did this one come out good!  Thanks to everyone on Facebook for sending me pork loin recipes!  Obviously I couldn’t make them all, but I was in the mood for one closest to my buddy Jonathan’s recipe, so that’s the one I worked off of!  Come, I’ll show you.

Pork Loin ingredients (all organic, all the time):
1 pork loin
1 cup of scalding hot water
1/4 cup of honey
1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
a pinch of ground cloves
a pinch of cayenne pepper (okay, maybe more than a pinch, but you already know I like things spicy).
1/8 teaspoon of mustard powder
arrowroot
olive oil, or avocado oil, or coconut oil, or organic animal fat (for frying)
2 teaspoons of black pepper
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
2 teaspoons of onion powder

His recipe calls for cornstarch, salt, maple syrup, molasses, sugar, and brandy or bourban, all no-no’s on the caveman diet.  So I replaced all sweet items with honey, which, other than fruit, is the only real acceptable form of paleo friendly sugar.  I added just a little lemon juice to replace the booze and to replace the cornstarch, I used arrowroot.

The recipe calls for 3/4 cup of maple syrup, and 1/4 cup of molasses.  So what I did instead, to get the consistency and flavor of the thick sticky substances I was substituting, I took a cup of scalding hot water and melted about a 1/4 cup of honey into it (all ingredients, all organic, all the time).  I then added 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a pinch of ground cloves, and a pinch of cayenne pepper (okay, maybe more than a pinch, but you already know I like things spicy).  Jonathan likes to add whole grain mustard to the final glaze, but I’m a mustard freak, especially when it comes to pork (my favorite is hot Chinese mustard on spare ribs!), so I added mustard seed powder to the initial glaze, about a heaping tablespoon.  Stirred it up, set it aside.

Then in a dry pan, I mixed 1/4 cup of arrowroot, and 2 teaspoons of black pepper.  Jonathan adds salt and sugar too, but since this is paleo, we’re gonna substitute 2 teaspoons each of garlic powder, and onion powder.  That should replace any flavor lost by the two most addictive things on the planet, sugar and salt.  I would’ve used something else addictive, but I ran out of heroin and cocaine.  Gotta remember to pick some up next time I’m at Trader Joe’s (they have the best prices on EVERYTHING!).  I patted my one pound pork loin dry and rolled it around in that sucker until it was coated on all sides.

Next I heated up my cast iron skillet on medium high with coconut oil, which will also add some nice flavor.  Once heated, I shook off any excess arrowroot mixture from the pork loin, lowered the heat to medium, and browned it on all sides.  Jonathan says this usually takes him about 8-12 minutes, but I wasn’t paying attention.  My guess is it took me less time because this was a smaller cut than he usually uses, and this was organic pork, and therefore less fatty, so it usually cooks faster, like most lean organic meat.

Once browned, I set it aside, and in the same pan, I poured in my liquid mixture.  Scrape in all those beautifully tasty brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon (this is called deglazing), and reduce that cup of liquid to about a half cup, about 5 minutes.  It was now the consistency of a really super thick maple syrup and it was delicious!  The cloves and cinnamon popped through, and it really reminded me of maple!  Instead of brushing the glaze on, I just used my tongs and rolled that beautifully browned pork loin right in the pan until it was coated on all sides.  Into a preheated 375 degree oven it went!

Now I’ve never used a meat thermometer before, but Jonathan warned me this is the KEY to juicy tender pork loin.  I don’t know about you, but my memory of pork loin as a kid was an extremely dry piece of meat, that looked better than it tasted.  I would literally have to choke it down, loaded with some kind of sauce to moisten it.  Now, this wasn’t because my mother was a bad cook, it was because back in the day, trichinosis was a real threat.  No, that’s not the disease where you have 3 chinosis, it’s the disease caused by eating undercooked pork.  But in the years since, trichinosis has practically been wiped out of the US due to all our strict inspection rules, and almost every top chef now serves pork medium rare, so I want everyone out there to adjust their recipes from years ago, and take note!  Because this was not my mother’s pork loin!  It came out moist, juicy, and friggin’ delicious!  I know, I know, you want to see pictures, wait, don’t rush me, I’m not done cooking yet!

Back to the meat thermometer.  I must say it’s a lot more intimidating than it sounds.  In the past if a recipe called for a meat thermometer, I’d keep looking for a recipe that didn’t.  But it’s simple, and nothing to be afraid of.  I don’t know what scared me all those years.  Maybe it was the memory of my mother coming at me with the rectal thermometer every time I pretended to be sick so I could get a day off from school.  Anyway, I digress…  After about 12 minutes, stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the  tenderloin.  You want to get it to 130 degrees.  If it’s not there yet, back into the oven.  It can take up to 20 minutes depending on how big your loin is, but since mine was small and organic, it was there in 15.  I did another dip into the glaze, and put it back in the oven until the temperature reached 140 degrees, about 5 minutes longer, but again, lots of variants involved like meat size, and how bad your oven sucks.  Remember, if your recipe calls for 160 degrees, it’s too hot and you will wind up with my mother’s pork loin!  As Jonathan put it, this could be the difference between a great meal and a so-so one, and he was right on the mark!  I removed the tenderloin, dipped it once again into the glaze, and let it sit for 10 minutes.  Take a look:


Is that gorgeous or what?  Look inside.  Isn’t it beautiful?  That might be medium rare, I’m not sure, but it’s at least medium, or medium plus, which is exactly how I like most of my meat cooked anyway.



My mother’s would look white, dry and flaky.  This still has beautiful traces of pink!  I’m going to plate this now, which a little leftover glaze and eat.



Let me tell you something, this came out so tender and delicious, and the best thing for me is, it’s completely caveman!!!!  You don’t have to skip on flavor, just because your ingredients are limited.  They are only limited by your pantry, your grocery store, and your imagination!  This was by far the best pork loin I ever had, and it was the first one I ever cooked!  And there’s nothing in this entire meal that will ever lead to me getting sick, or fat.  Now get the hell out of here, I’m starving.  Don’t let the leftovers drenched in glaze that I’ll be eating tomorrow night hit you on the ass on your way out.  And close the door behind you, what do you live in a cave?!  Ugga-Bugga!!!!

Leftovers With Flash:


Leftovers Without Flash: 


Both Delicious!
My thanks again to all who sent recipes and to my buddy Jonathan for all his help!

Filed under paleo pork wild boar pork loin Broken Arrow Ranch