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Day 16 – Beef Heart Stew Recipe

Say Wha?!?!

That’s right, this over 200lb, brought up on frozen and canned foods, spent hours in front of the television, used to hate to touch a chicken breast girl just sliced and diced a cow’s heart and put it in a stew!  And you know what?  It was A-MA-ZING!  Seriously, the heart just tasted like the best stewing beef I’ve ever had.  In fact it was just so tender and delicious it almost tasted like slicing up a new york strip or a filet mignon and putting it into a stew. Which of course is crazy because they are such expensive meats.  But with heart it’s cheaper than even using any sort of chuck roast. I’m not kidding, give it a try.  And use this recipe.  It really works.

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Beef heart stew – Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pounds beef heart cut into cubes (What this video for how to slice and dice)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • oil of choice for frying
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3-4 cups beef broth (Use just enough to make sure all the veg are covered, for me that 4 cups but it may be different for smaller deeper pans/slow cookers)
  • 1 1/2 tsp freeze dried coffee granules
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp Frank’s hot sauce 
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium turnip, chopped
  • some chopped cilantro
  • 2-3 bay leaves

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 200 (6 hours) 300 (4 hours)
  • Add the salt, pepper, and cumin to the meat in a bowl or bag and toss until pretty evenly coated. Let it sit there while you prepare the rest.
  • In a dutch oven brown the beef, remove from pan
  • Sautee celery and onions, remove from pan
  • While the celery and onions are cooking in a small bowl mix together coffee, mustard, pepper and hot sauce.
  • Toss the mixture in with the bowl of the now browned beef, coating each piece.
  • Deglaze the pan with some of the wine.
  • Now just plop everything back in placing the the bay leaves on top (don’t forget to take them out!)*

*If you wanted to use a slower cooker use a regular pan and after deglazing it pour the wine into the slow cooker pot along with everything else. Set it to low for 6 hours or high for 4 hours.

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Day 10 – Pumpkin/Chocolate Chili Recipe

One of my favorite versions of chili is with added cocoa.  But lately since I haven’t been able to have tomatoes I have been wanting to experiment with using pumpkin instead.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (I like the taste of virgin oil here)
  • 1 large red onion, diced into chunks
  • 3 teaspoon garlic (4 or 5 cloves)
  • 2 lbs ground beef (I like to add  2 “icecubes” of defrosted liver I grind up myself)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp 100% cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (crushed up)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (replacing tomato paste)
  • 2 zucchini, chopped up into cubes (replacing chopped tomatoes)
  • 2 cups homemade broth (beef tastes best but chicken works too)
  • 1 cup filtered water

Instructions:

  1. Melt Coconut Oil in stock pot or dutch oven.
  2. Throw in onions and cook until they do that translucent thing (5-8 min)
  3. Add garlic, stirring for about 30 sec
  4. Add the ground beef, cook until there is no pink left
  5. In a small bowl add all your spices and mix them together well (you can make this in bulk to always have on hand to make this yummy chili)
  6. Once beef is cooked add your spice mix and stir until all the beef and onions are coated.
  7. Add pumpkin puree, broth and water
  8. Stir until everything is mixed together
  9. Place lid on top and let it simmer for 2 hours or more.
  10. 30 min before serving if you may feel like you want to reduce it down a bit (if it’s too liquidy)  If so, just remove lid turn the heat up slightly and let the water/steam escape to make it a thicker chili.

Day 4 – Steak sauce recipe

For lunch today I had some left over pumpkin/chocolate chili on top of some baby lettuce, along with my supplements and some lemon water.

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Then for dinner I had a glass of Kombucha, roasted sweet potatoes, zucchini and green beans with a steak and this awesome steak sauce I threw together to go on top.

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Balsamic steak sauce – Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup broth
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp butter

Instructions

  • Deglaze the pan you cooked the steaks in with broth and vinegar 
  • Add in diced shallot and allow to cook for a minute or so.
  • Add in Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper
  • Add in the butter, once melted whisk until it has blended
  • simmer for 5-10 min (while the steaks are spending their time in a foil tent

Maple/Cinnamon Frosting

Last night I made the most amazing pumpkin muffins.  These muffins were reminiscent of my pre paleo days when my sister and I would make pumpkin muffins from a tin of pumpkin and a box of betty crocker.  We would then slab on loads of cool whip (fat free, naturally) And indulge all night long.

These bad boys, I would hastened to say, are even better!  Especially with the Maple/Cinnamon frosting I added.

The muffins themselves come from The Primal Palate. So pop on over there to check out how to make them.  Check out the ingredient list though!

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 6 omega 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup yacon syrup, or maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin spice blend

Super simple, super easy, and I seriously just threw everything in the food processor and voila!  Yumminess!

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As for the icing I tried looking for a few different recipes online but nothing really took my fancy so I thought I would experiment and I think I came up with an AMAZING tasting frosting. This frosting made enough to put on the 7 muffins that came out of the above recipe (I know 7, weird right?  I think had I not filled them so high I could have had 9.  As it was they fluffed up so much I had to cut them in half!)

Maple/Cinnamon Frosting

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in food processor**
  • Whip until all ingredients are well blended

*I can’t stress enough how amazing Palm Shortening is.  I get mine from Tropical Traditions and this stuff is worth it’s weight in gold when it comes to paleo baked goods.  In fact! I’ve been so afraid to use my gallon bucket, this is actually the first time I did! Crazy balls I know! But after seeing what an amazing texture it is I’m super excited to try out a load of new recipes.  My favorite thing about it?  I doesn’t taste like coconuts!  I’m sorry I like coconut oil/cream/milk/etc as much as the next guy.  But if I have to have one more baked good that tastes like coconut I may just scream.  Just a little

**I’m thinking that all the ingredients may fluff up better with a hand mixer.  I don’t have one sadly enough.  After ours broke and we had an immersion blender and a food processor I thought it a bit much to get another mixer.  Alas I think it’s time to get another.  The immersion blender just made it all a big mess.  And where as the food processor worked just fine, for some things you just need that extra fluff and I am not an old school, put some elbow grease behind it, kinda mixer.

What do I do with this pork leaf lard?

The other day I made my first batch of lard!  I feel like I’m really starting to get a handle on this whole food way of life.  We’ve been cooking with the drain off’s of our bacon for months now, but I’ve wanted to cook and bake with lard for so long but too afraid to try it. Plus I couldn’t find it anywhere.  But this past weekend while at the farmers market a stall had up a sign “Free pork lard with every purchase!” So I bought a few grassfed/finished sirloin steaks and grabbed my lard.  I thought it would be all done for me when I got home.  But alas I had to do all the work myself.

Wasn’t too hard really, just more time consuming.  Here’s how I did it.

  • Cut up your lard into 1/2 in cubes. I’m toying with the idea of just throwing it in my food processor next time, I’ll let you know how that goes.
  • In a large stock pot put about 1/2 cup of water and then the lard bits, turning the stove on low-medium heat. The water is to stop the lard from burning before it starts to melt, the water will evaporate out
  • Now wait, and wait and wait and wait. lol  Some websites I read said it only took about 45 min to an hour, but I found it took me much longer than that.  Maybe I had the heat on too low?  But anytime I turned it up it started to crackle and it MUST NOT crackle. 
  • Here is my top tip! After the first initial few hours of melting, start pouring off the fat into your strainer lined with cheesecloth every 30 min or so. My fat just WOULD NOT melt, I seriously had it on the stove for like 4 hours, and there were still loads of chunks.  But once I started pouring the melted bits off it seemed to give more room for the rest to melt, after that I was finally in business and managed to finish up a few hours later.

After all said and done I had just about a pasta jars full of beautiful creamy white lard.  I got scared at first because when I first poured it into the jar it was really yellowy.  But apparently that’s ok!  It will cool off and turn white.  Now I can store this in my fridge for up to a month and use in place of butter or coconut oil for a different taste.

The lowdown on Lard:

Lard is a pork fat, the best type of fat to make a good cooking lard with is leaf lard. It has a very distinct flavor, but when rendered correctly is a smooth.  If over rendered it may start to taste a bit piggy, but this is still very good lard to use for a stir-fry, for greasing pans, or for roasting vegetables. Lard has a very high melting point which makes it perfect for frying. As a frying oil you can use it time and time again.  The exact amount of times is up for debate. Using lard to make a piecrust (even a grain free one!) yields a flakier crust which is yummilicious. (I actually plan to now use my lard to make a pie crust for some yummy pumpkin pie!)

Be careful when buying store bought lard as it tends to be the partially hydrogenated kind and that stuff is just bad, bad, bad.  You can usually source some decent lard from your local butchers, but it’s even better to source it from a pasture-raised farm so you know you’re getting the best possible quality.

How do you feel about Lard?  Are you afraid of it?  Have you listened to conventional wisdom for so long leading us to believe that something as natural as lard is bad for us, yet shortening is healthier?  Or are you jumping onto the lard train and reveling in it’s deliciousness and versatility?