Smokey Carne Asada Tacos with Pomegranate Seeds

These Tacos were so delicious!  I used grass fed rib eye for this recipe. The grass fed beef is seasoned with a mixture of coriander powder, Ancho Chili powder, smoked salt, celery salt, Spanish smoked Paprika, Freshly ground black pepper, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder. I mix together a 1/4 tsp or so of each spice and then sprinkle the mixture on the sliced pieces of steak before searing in a very hot cast iron pan for about 3 to 5 minutes. Serve on warm corn tortillas. and garnish with your favorite taco garnishes. I like to garnish tacos with chopped avocado or guacamole, hot sauce, cilantro, chopped tomatoes,  pickled peppers, shredded lettuce, crumbly Mexican cheese.  I also experimented with some pomegranate seeds because we have so many pomegranates that our friends gave us from their tree. The pomegranate seeds gave the tacos an unexpected crunch and tartness. Yum!

5

BEEF JERKY

This is something that, 10 years ago, you couldn’t’ve paid me to eat. Now jerky is one of my favorite on-the-go snacks; it’s lean and loaded with protein, perfect for an emergency pick-me-up. It’s also incredibly easy to make, which is great news considering all the crap that’s in even the headiest jerkies on the market.

Jerky is best made with leanest possible cuts, as any fat can cause the final product to go rancid more quickly. Eye or top round are good choices, as is sirloin tip side steak, and I always recommend grass-fed, which is 100% better for you (and the beef industry), and also tends to be leaner than grain-fed.

This recipe is for 1 lb of meat. To make slicing the meat easier, pop it in the freezer for an hour before you get started. When it’s nice and firm, slice evenly into thin strips about 1/4 inch thick. Now pound the strips to even width until they are quite thin. Place the meat in a mixing bowl and add:

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1/4 t cayenne
  • 1/4 t black pepper
  • 1/4 c Braggs amino or tamari sauce
  • 2 t brown sugar or sucanat
  • 1 t molasses

Toss everything together so the meat is evenly coated, then lay out on dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 115 until dry and bendy; this should take several hours, but don’t dry so much that the jerky cracks or shatters when bent. If you don’t have a dehydrator you could either do this in your oven on the lowest setting - it will dry much faster as most ovens don’t go below 170, OR rig up a cold dehydrator by sandwiching the meat between racks and then sandwiching that between two box fans on low.

Store dried jerky in an airtight container; for extended storage you can keep bigger batches in the freezer and thaw them as needed.

Chimichurri Steak

Last night I went to an awesomely fun and insanely fancy and delicious Holiday party. When I walked in there were so many great friends everywhere, I felt like the luckiest woman in the world. My friends are incredibly smart and really funny and so kind. Then somebody handed me a crispy, crusty grilled cheese sandwich in a cup of red pepper and tomato cream soup. Yum! And then Ceasar salad, dressed with just the right amount of anchovy deliciousness, served in little Chinese take out containers. Oh my gosh. Then I tried the mini Kobe beef burgers on brioche. They were so umami & buttery that I couldn’t believe it, so I had another one just to see if it was real. It was.

Then they started passing plates of skewers; Perfectly grilled chicken and really tender steak garnished with the most amazing Chimichurri sauce. My mind was blown by flavor. I complimented one of the chefs as she placed another plate of amazing food on the table. And then I grilled her about “what’s in that Chimichurri?” She told me it had the usual parsley, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and oil, but they also added fresh minced rosemary and oregano. She said they make sure to finely mince the rosemary because it can have a woody texture. I have both of those herbs growing in my yard, along with the parsley and thyme. Must make Chimichurri!

 I woke up this morning thinking fondly of friends, meat and Chimichurri. I went to the store & bought a 10 dollar steak. I put the steak on the counter to get to room temperature and went outside to clip fresh rosemary, parsley, thyme, oregano and one Meyer lemon. Then I made this plate. It was delicious! Next time I’ll marinate the steak in some of the sauce for at least an hour before I grill it. But I was so hungry that I didn’t do that extra step.

Here’s how to make this delicious dish:

Get the best steak you can afford. Let it come to room temperature. Heat a cast iron grill pan to high, or heat up your outdoor grill. Season the steak with salt and pepper. Oil the grates of your grill pan with a high heat oil. I used a tiny bit of bacon fat. 

Finely mince 1/2 tsp each rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley. Smash and mince 2 cloves garlic. Add the herbs and garlic to a small bowl. Drizzle in 1 tsp red wine vinegar, 3 tblsp olive oil, the juice of 1/2 lemon and a small amount of chopped onion or shallot, about 1 tablespoon. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside while you grill your meat.

Grill the steak on both sides, about 5 minutes or more per side, depending on how thick it is, making sure to let it get a nice sear before flipping. The trick my friend Grace taught me is that when the blood comes up between the grain of meat, it’s ready to flip. I should also say that the steak should release from the grill at this point and not stick at all. If your grill is at med high, and it’s sticking, then its not ready to turn. Cross hatch if you want, or not. Garnish the steak with the chimichurri and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Serve with garlic croutons, radicchio salad, and sautéed mushrooms & onions. Yum!

We lost one of our best friends 2 weeks ago yesterday. R.I.P. Jay Legget. I Love You. :)….

Dinner and a Movie : “Roll Bounce”

On the Menu: “Teen Cuisine” (Burgers and Fries made healthy, with grass fed beef (or turkey, or bison), grass fed cheese, and french fries fried in heart healthy coconut oil”, and homemade catchup without the high fructose corn syrup and other ingredients that contribute to teen obesity

….click through for full article

Cabbage Soup! I looked back in my archives and kinda can’t believe I haven’t made this one before, because it was a favorite of mine growing up.

The change of weather to autumn (even in sunny Southern California) always puts me in the mind frame of being a kid, anticipating the first batches of my grandmother’s soup. I’ve written about it before, she did all the cooking in our house, and she elevated Jewish peasant food to a high art. Soup was one of her specialties (she made about 5 or 6 different kinds), and people on the block would ask for jars of it when word got out that a batch was brewing. My favorites were mushroom barley, and matzoh ball, but I loved her cabbage soup too. She made two kinds, white, which had cream in it and no meat, which I was not a fan of, and red, which had a tomato base and beef, which I absolutely loved! For whatever reason the other day, I started craving the red stuff, so I bought a large head of savoy cabbage (but any cabbage will do), and made a crockpot full.

Normally my grandmother used flanken to make this, a cheap cut of steak, similar to short rib, but I had some grass-fed stew meat in the freezer, so I just used that. First I browned the meat, then threw it into the slow cooker with the cut up cabbage, carrots, onions, celery, strained tomatoes, and homemade chicken stock. Then I added the spices, and some lemon juice to give it that slightly sour flavor. Very similar to her sauce for stuffed cabbage, which I’ve made for you before.

Even with a paleo all-organic healthier version (and no added salt), this taste brings me right back to my childhood. It was also a favorite of my Uncle Bernie’s, and when he visited, my grandmother had it waiting for him the minute he walked through the door, so I’d sit and visit with him too, while devouring my own bowl. Not much talking between us because we were busy eating, but the moment was shared nonetheless.

Uncle Bernie is gone now, as is my grandmother, but the memory lives on through food.

Cabbage Soup (Red)

large head of cabbage (chopped)
stew meat
strained tomatoes
stock (beef, bone, chicken, veggie, etc)
carrots
celery
onions
paprika (the key spice)
black pepper
garlic (and/or garlic powder)
lemon juice

Traditional Enchiladas

I love home made Mexican food! I made these over the weekend and they were so good!

In a skillet brown 1 lb organic grass fed ground beef. Drain off any extra fat. Add 1 small chopped onion, 4 cloves minced garlic and 1 bell pepper, chopped. Season with salt, pepper, cumin and ancho chili powder. Add 1/2 cup chopped cilantro. Cook together for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.

To make the sauce, sauté 1 onion and 4 cloves garlic in olive oil. Add 1 tblsp butter and 1 tblsp flour and make a roux, along with salt and pepper and a little Ancho chili powder. Once the flour cooks out a bit, add 2 cups chicken broth, or veggie broth or waterand 1 can enchilada sauce,( or tomato sauce and chili powder) Simmer over med low heat until it thickens and all the flavors come together. Taste and add celery salt and pepper if needed. (the can of enchilada sauce probably already has salt and pepper in it)

Butter a casserole dish. Add some of the sauce to the bottom of the dish. Heat corn tortillas in a skillet (or in the hot sauce) and roll a couple tblsp of the meat into the center of each one. Layer them seam side down Add the rest of the sauce over the top and cover with 1/2 cup your favorite grated cheese. We used cheddar, but queso fresco would be good too.

Cook in a hot oven 400, for 20 min until bubbly. Serve with rice and beans, salad and chips and salsa. Yum

Homemade Grass-Fed Beef Jerky

By Tammy Kimbler

Grass-fed beef makes great jerky.  The lean mineral flavor of the beef really comes through. Two jerky recipes are favorites in our house, one with maple, mustard and smoked salt, the other with garlic, chili paste and dark soy.  The smoked salt adds major dimension to the meat with a pleasant sweet-sharp tang from the maple and mustard.  The dark soy sauce, which is like soy molasses, makes the jerky sweet and savory, with a nice kick from the chilies. [Get the recipe!]

Slow Cooker Korean Grass Fed Short Ribs

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Inspired by a recipe in Slow Cooker Revolution from the editors at America’s Test Kitchen, I’ve made this Korean-style dish several times—and every time, it’s been easy-peasy and tasty. I simplified and Paleoized the recipe by subbing out the soy sauce with coconut aminos, the rice wine vinegar with coconut vinegar, and leaving out the tapioca. What’s cool about this recipe is that you don’t need to sear off any of the meat or carmelize any aromatics –- it’s pretty much a dump-it-in-and-forget-about-it kind of dish. That being said, when I do have the time I will char the short ribs under the broiler before throwing them in the slow cooker.

You may want to make this dish ahead of time and store it in your fridge because the short ribs release a ton of fat into the gravy, which you can easily remove when the chilled fat hardens.

Here’s what to gather to make enough tasty meat to feed 4-6 hungry adults:

  • 6 pounds of bone-in English-style grass-fed short ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium pear or Asian pear, peeled, cored, and chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 hunk of ginger, about the size of your thumb, cut into two pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of Red Boat fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut vinegar
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth
  • Small handful of roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Here’s how top make it:

Preheat your broiler with the rack 6 inches from the heating element. Season the ribs liberally with salt and pepper…

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and lay the ribs, bone-side up on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Whenever I season raw meat, I set aside a small ramekin with salt and ground pepper that I use only for the raw stuff. Cross contamination can lead to some bad crap. Literally.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Broil the ribs for 5 minutes and then flip them over and broil for another 5 minutes.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Stack the ribs in a single layer in the slow cooker. I lay them on their side to cram them all in the pot.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Toss the pear, coconut aminos, garlic, scallions, ginger, fish sauce, and vinegar in a blender and puree until smooth.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Pour the sauce evenly over the ribs…

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

…and add the chicken broth to the pot.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Cover with the lid, set the slow cooker on low, and let the ribs stew for 9-11 hours.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

When it’s time to serve the ribs, remove the meat from the slow cooker and place them on a serving platter.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Let the braising liquid settle for 5 minutes and then ladle off the fat if you wish. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and pour a cup of sauce over the ribs.

Sprinkle on the chopped cilantro and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam http://nomnompaleo.com

Super tender and very tasty. The simmer sauce is subtly sweet and the coconut aminos, while not as bold-tasting as soy sauce, lend a good umami flavor to the dish.

Looking for recipes and resources? Head on over to my Recipe Index or my Resources page. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).

J. C.’s “Dynamite Sliders”

We made these delectable sliders yesterday. Yum, they were so good! I’m working on cooking and photographing all the recipes that my Dad has sent me over the years, to give him a cookbook for his birthday. This is one of my favorite recipes that he used to make all the time when we were growing up. Home made sliders are amazingly delicious. They’re so much tastier than the ones from the White Castle, but I still love White Castle. Our version is a bit healthier because we use the best ingredients we can get: grass fed beef, sweet Maui onions and organic American cheese slices. This is a simple recipe with big huge flavor. 

I tried to make them the way I remember my Dad doing it, square patty, toasted soft rolls on the griddle with cheese and a pickle. The secret to the “slider” flavor is chopped onions cooked in butter, so decadent, but easy and delicious.

Here’s how to make my Dad’s famous sliders:

Chop 1 sweet onion and sauté it in 1 tblsp butter with a little salt and paper until caramelized and sweet.

Combine grass fed ground beef with a little onion soup mix and freshly ground pepper. I sifted the salty soup powder because it’s extremely salty. I used about 1 tsp salty soup base for 1 1/2 lbs ground beef. I did use all the onion bits though because crunchy onion bits are good. 

Flatten the meat to about 1/4 inch. I used a big sheet of parchment paper and a mini rolling pin. Place it on a cookie sheet in the freezer for a minute to firm up a little, and cut into squares. 

Heat a cast iron skillet or griddle pan to med high, cook the burgers on the first side until they get a nice sear on them, flip and add sautéed onions and cheese. Toast soft Hawaiian rolls on the griddle. Serve the mini cheeseburgers on the toasted roll with a pickle. Add ketchup and mustard if you like, and maybe serve with a big slaw salad or some fries.

Yum, Sliders!