Roasted Pork Ribs

There was a sale on pork ribs the other day at the grocery store and so I took the opportunity and bought myself a package.  I think the last time I had ribs was two months ago.  They were… okay.  The meat didn’t fall off the bone.  I don’t think it was cooked long enough for it to do so.  I didn’t cook em so I’m only guessing.  It may have been for a birthday party now that I think about it.

I judge how good a rib is by how easy it is for me to tear the meat off.  If all I need are my hands and my teeth then I’m good.  I also don’t like a lot of sauce on my rib.  I tend to wipe it off.  Dry rubs are okay, but I’ve come across ribs that have too much salt.  I didn’t want to taste salt.  I wanted to taste the meat.  Picky picky picky.

Anyhoo… I don’t have a grill at my place so I had to settle for roasting it in the oven.  I seasoned the ribs with Montreal Seasoning and Lawry’s Seasoning Salt.  That’s about it.  Simple.  Here’s how to do it…

 

ROASTED PORK RIBS

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Season your meat.

3.  Place in roasting pan.

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4.Put in oven and cook for 1 hour.

5.  After an hour flip and cook for one more hour.

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6.  DONE!!  Take the meat out of the oven and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

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7.  Cut and serve!

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Since it was slow cooked, the meat was tender and came off the bone easily.  The only time I needed a knife was to cut off my portion for dinner.  If you are a BBQ sauce lover then I suggest putting the sauce on the meat at least 5-10 minutes prior to the end of cook time.  Slather it on both sides and it should have a nice glaze by the time it’s done.  I don’t have a recipe for Paleo friendly BBQ sauce at the moment, but now that I’m thinking about it I want to make one.  Stay tuned for a future post!  🙂

BBBBRRRRAAAAIIIINNNNSSSSS!

 

Well, PaleoJoe and I are officially zombies.  Yesterday for our post-workout meal we had pork brains with a side of our home made kimchi and watermelon juice.  I had posted last week, a picture of the different organs that we had purchased and for today’s recipe we are going to be working with the brain.

This brain was kinda weird.  As it is our first time working with this type of meat I don’t know if we handled it correctly, or if we did everything perfectly.  We looked online at various websites on how to prepare and cook the brain.  Apparently they’re not so uncommon in the southern states and will come canned with some kind of gravy.  Didn’t look very appetizing at all. Oh and tell me why I kept thinking of this guy the entire time I was looking up recipes:

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HA!!

Anyhoo…  Since it was too hot to make a stew and we didn’t have enough vegetables for a stir-fry, we ended up using seasoned coconut flour to bread it and fried it in leftover bacon fat from an earlier breakfast.  Here’s the recipe…

 

BREADED PORK BRAIN

Ingredients:

1lb pork brain

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1/4 cup of coconut flour

Seasoning (Salt, Pepper, Onion Powder, Fresh chopped basil)

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Bacon Fat or Oil (EVOO or Coconut Oil.  Whichever you like to cook with.  Butter will work as well.)

 

Directions:

1.  Soak brain in cold water for 1-2 hours.

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2.  In a large enough pot, put the brain in with enough water to cover it and put it on the stove on high heat.  Bring it to a boil and when it does, turn the heat down to simmer.  Let simmer for 3-5 minutes.

3.  Drain water and cut to however large pieces you want.  (To be honest, I think since ours was frozen it kind of fell apart.  We didn’t have to do much cutting, but just in case yours stays together, then cut it.)

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4.  Preheat frying pan on medium high heat with your cooking oil/butter.

5.  I’m going to assume that you know to let your meat cool down before handling.  Carefully take your pieces of brain and roll them in the flour.

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6.  Place pieces on the pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until it’s a golden brown.  (PaleoJoe says that the pieces were soft and flimsy so he had to use a fork to carefully flip them.)

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7.  Plate and SERVE!!

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Again, we had them with a side of our homemade kimchi and fresh watermelon juice.  (PaleoJoe tossed a couple of pieces in a blender and hit puree.)  I’m not sure if the brain is supposed to be soft, but that’s what it was.  Soft.  The breading on the outside gave it the teeniest of crunch, but the brain itself was very soft.  What did it taste like?  I don’t know if I can explain it.  It wasn’t iron-y, it didn’t taste like pork, but there definitely was a taste to it.  I just can’t quite describe it.  I’ll ask PaleoJoe and see what his take on it was.

We’re going to try another brain recipe, preferably with a fresh brain, and see if there is any difference in texture and taste.  All in all, it wasn’t a bad experience.  We tried something new, and we will definitely try it again.  ENJOY!

Pork Heart

I am very excited about the upcoming dishes.  Last week I picked up a bunch of different organs at my local market.  Not the mainstream market of course, but a market nonetheless.  As you can see from the picture I have a bunch of different organs to experiment with.

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I feel like a mad scientist when I say that.  😛

I am especially excited about the brain which is on the bottom left.

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HA!  I couldn’t help myself.  I really couldn’t!

So for this dish, I prepared the pork heart.  I guess you can call it a stir-fry, but you can easily turn it into a stew if you had a couple of hours and a crock-pot.   More on that later.

 

PORK HEART STIR-FRY

Ingredients:

2 pig hearts (About 1.5 to 2 pounds. Trimmed of nerves, sinew, and cut into large cubes.)

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1 carrot (peeled and diced)

1/2 small onion (diced)

2 strips of bacon (diced)

2-3 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 large tomato (I used an heirloom tomato and diced it up)

Salt and Pepper

2-3 tablespoons of butter

Directions:

1.  Heat up your skillet/frying pan on medium-medium high heat and add bacon.  Cook bacon for about 3 minutes and add all veggies but the tomato.  Cook for another 5 minutes.

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2.  Add tomato and stir.  Season with salt and pepper and turn heat to low.  Cook for another 5 minutes.

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I know, I didn’t quote finish dicing up the tomatoes in this pic, but you get the idea.

3.  In another pan, heat on medium high and add heart and butter.  Saute’ until golden brown on the outside and slightly pink in the middle.  You want it to be medium rare.  If you overcook it, it will be tough and kind of rubbery.

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4.  Once everything is cooked, serve it in a dish and ENJOY!

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I’m sure if you dice up the heart and cook it in a crock pot for a couple of hours it will come out just as delicious.  Just make the sauce separate since it’ll only take about 10-15 minutes to make.  Last minute I added fresh basil and it was delicious.  You can also opt out of cooking the tomatoes and just leaving them fresh for added flavor and texture.

Paleo Spaghetti

This would be the second time that I’ve made this spaghetti.  I don’t remember exactly where I had found out about spaghetti squash, but when I had bought it the first time I thought it was super cool.  This dish is Paleo friendly, it satisfies the craving for this comfort food, and it’s pretty filling.

This past weekend I had made a Stuffed Portobello Mushroom, and I had saved half of the meat mixture for the spaghetti sauce.  So if you follow me and the pictures look a little familiar then that’s where you know it from.  The only difference is that I moved the meat from a skillet to a sauce pot and added tomatoes.  The sauce, once it simmered for an hour or two was stored in the fridge for about two days.  A couple reasons why I did that:

1.  It was getting pretty late by the time we had finished cooking the last of our food for our weekly meal prep.

2.  I forgot to prepare the squash.

3.  Letting the sauce sit overnight or even two days will enhance the flavor.  The sitting period marries all of the herbs and spices and brings them together.  Making the sauce more flavorful and delicious.  Try it!

Anyhoo, making the sauce and baking the squash is very very easy.  If you prefer even more quick and easy recipe, or perhaps you want to go the vegetarian route you can opt out of the meat.  You can go even quicker by just purchasing a jar of pre-made spaghetti sauce at your local grocery store.  But where’s the fun in that?

What I didn’t get a chance to do was add more vegetables to the sauce.  Whenever I make spaghetti for my kids I like to shred up carrots and zucchini and add it to the sauce.  I’ll even add bell peppers and mushrooms if I have it on hand.  I always feel like the kids don’t eat nearly enough vegetables, and so if you can sneak in the veggies without them knowing AWESOME!  The carrots will add a little sweetness to the sauce, and being Filipino I like it a little sweet.  Growing up, whenever my Mom made spaghetti she always added a handful or two of sugar at the end.  Shredded carrots are much healthier for you than sugar.

On with the recipe!  I’m going to write it as if I were making it my usual way.  So everything will be cooked in a large sauce pan (just ignore that skillet in the pictures) and I’m going to add the extra vegetables, but those are optional just like the meat.  Just read the recipe first, take out what you don’t like and put in what you like.  Recipes are like guidelines anyway.  Except when you’re baking.  😛  Most measurements are guesstimates as I don’t really measure when I cook.  I kind of just throw it in there.  So please season your dish a little bit and once it’s complete you can add more to your liking.  You know what you like anyway.

 

PALEO SPAGHETTI

Ingredients:

1/2 pound of grass fed ground beef

1/2 pound of ground Italian sausage

1/2 onion, diced

2 slices (or more!!) of bacon, diced

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1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic

1 – 15 oz. can of organic tomato sauce

1 – 15 oz. can of organic diced tomatoes

1 – 6 or 8 oz can of organic tomato paste.

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** Veggies (If you want to sneak veggies into your sauce for the kiddos, or just so you can have more veggies in your diet I would recommend shredded carrots, shredded or chopped zucchini, sliced mushrooms, diced bell peppers, black olives, etc.  Amounts will vary depending on how much sauce you are making.)

** Grated parmesan cheese (I like to add about 3-4 handfuls of parmesan cheese into my sauce while it’s cooking.  Also tasty after it’s all cooked.)

**  Fresh Basil, Oregano and Italian Parsley (If you have some on hand then grab a small handful of each, chop it up finely and add it to the sauce.  I know that the sausage should have some of those herbs in it, but it can’t hurt to add more!  Oh and if you have dry then add about 2-3 tsp of each.  Then add more, after you’ve tasted the sauce, to your liking.  Another thing about dried herbs and spices, they have a shelf life of about 2 years if it’s not already printed on the container.)

Salt and pepper to taste

1 – spaghetti squash (weight will vary depending on how much spaghetti you want to make.)

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Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 F.

2.  Cut your spaghetti squash in half.

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3.  See those seeds?  Scrape them out.

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4.  Oil up a baking sheet with EVOO or coconut oil or butter, whatever you like, and place the squash cut side down.

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5.  Pop it into the oven and let cook for 45 minutes.  Stab it with a fork and if it goes in easy then it’s cooked.  If not, add another 10-15 mins and check again.

6.  While the squash is baking, take a large sauce pot and heat it on medium high heat.  Add ground beef.  Let it cook for about 5 minutes.

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7.  Add sausage and cook for 5 minutes.  Don’t forget to stir!

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8.  Add diced bacon and cook another 5 minutes.

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9.  Add veggies and cook for yet another 5 minutes.

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10.  Add tomatoes, herbs, and cheese.  Stir and when it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and let it simmer.  Stir it every now and again just to make sure the bottom doesn’t burn.

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11.  Squash is done I hope.  Take it out of the oven.

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12.  When the squash isn’t too hot to handle, use a spoon or a fork to scrape out the spaghetti.

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13.  Top it with your sauce and ENJOY!!

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Bacon Wrapped Sirloin Steak

I’m a big fan of wrapping things in bacon.  I am not sure when this dish was made, but I had been meaning to make a post about it.  Most of the meat that I purchase are grass fed or pasture raised.  The less chemicals I can consume the better.  Bacon is always going to be uncured because I would also like to cut back on sugar.  Oh and my bacon will ALWAYS be 100% pork.  I am SO not a fan of turkey bacon.  It tastes weird, if you flip the package and read the ingredient list in the back it’s full of stuff I can’t pronounce, and IT’S NOT REAL BACON!  Why deny yourself the deliciousness of REAL bacon and eat that fakey stuff?  I’ve gotten into a few discussions with friends who argue that I eat too much bacon and that my cholesterol is going to go through the roof and I’m going to get fat.

Listen here party people…  Since I’ve changed my lifestyle to Paleo, I’ve started weight training, and I’ve gotten back on marathon training I have never felt better or stronger.  I have challenged people to stick on this lifestyle change with me for a week and NO ONE has been able to do so.  Then again, that person is going to have to WANT to change.  That person is going to have to make the decision to change their life.  I want to help them.  I want to motivate and support them without no hesitation.  They just have to make that choice.  I can’t do it for them.  Again, I am more than willing to help.  Just ask.

Anyhoo…  What I’m seriously considering for dinner tonight is bacon wrapped steak.  Just a small one with a random side of vegetables.  I had a pretty full day at work today, and I would like to make something that is quick and easy.  So below is my recipe for…

 

BACON WRAPPED SIRLOIN STEAK

Ingredients:

1 sirloin steak (entirely up to you how much you want to eat.  1 lb, 2 lbs, 3 lbs?)

1 package of uncured peppered bacon (Depending on how big your steak is will depend on how many pieces of bacon you’re going to use.)

Seasoning (Whatever you like!  Salt, pepper, parsley, cayenne or chili powder, etc.  Season it to your heart’s content.)

Directions:

1.  Fire up the grill!!

2.  Grab your steak and if you would like to season it do so.  I didn’t.  Bacon is my favorite flavoring.  😉

3.  Wrap the bacon and try to wrap it so that the ends meet on the same side.  See picture below.

Bacon Wrapped Sirloin

4.  By now, the grill is ready (propane will be medium to medium high heat, and Charcoal…  well, when it’s not a fiery inferno) place the steak seam side down.

5.  Cook until the bacon is crispy.  About 3-5 minutes on each side.  Take off heat and let rest for 5-10 minutes.

6.  Cut up, serve with a side of your favorite veggie and ENJOY!

Bacon Wrapped Sirloin 2

 

You can also cook this on the stove top.  I would prefer that you didn’t use a pan with teflon as eventually the teflon will burn off and the chemical fumes will get into your food.  Sometimes they will even start to flake off and that too will get in your food.  When it starts to flake like that GET RID OF IT!!  Your food will taste significantly better if you change your flaky teflon pan to a nice stainless steel one.  Oh yeah, pan on medium high heat and no need for oil.  The bacon will start to cook, the fat will melt out, and that is your oil.  POW!  Again, cook for 3-5 minutes on each side or until the bacon is brown and crispy, and let meat rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting and serving.  ENJOY!

Pulled Pork Lettuce Wraps

Can I tell you how much I love the crock pot/slow cooker?  It’s an amazing invention.  You just throw all of the ingredients in, set the heat to what you want and then leave for work.  When you get home dinner is ready!  That’s a whole lotta time saved from meal prepping and it can now be used to do other things.

PaleoJoe and I were at Whole Foods the other day and we were just perusing the meat section and I saw that pork shoulder butt was on sale.  What a deal!  I got one and this is the recipe:

 

PULLED PORK LETTUCE WRAPS

Ingredients:

1 – Pork Shoulder Butt (bone in or boneless.  Doesn’t matter.  Also, get one that will fit the size crock pot that you have, or for how many people you are going to feed.)

1 onion (sliced in 1/8’s)

4-5 whole cloves of garlic (smashed)

1 small can of tomato paste (I was going to used diced tomatoes, but was out.  This works just as well.  You know what you can also use to give it a kick? Canned green chiles or even fresh chiles diced.  ooohhh!!!)

Seasoning (Use whatever you like!  The ones pictured are what I used.  What’s not pictured: Tamari and Chardonnay/White Wine)

Lettuce (Not sure what kind we used, but you can use any kind.)

Optional:

1 tomato (Seeded and Diced)

1 whole onion sliced into rings

3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)

1 red bell pepper (seeded and sliced into strips)

2-3 tablespoons of Ghee/Coconut Oil/Butter/Olive Oil

 

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Directions:

1.  Season the meat all over and put in crock pot.

2.  If your veggies aren’t prepped then prep them now.  Put them in crock pot with meat.

3.  If you’re using wine or and other liquid, put them in crock pot.  (Too be honest, you don’t need to put much liquid to the pot.  The condensation plus the fat from the pork will keep it moist.)

4.  Put lid on crock pot and set it on low for 8-10 hours.  Or high for 4-6 hours.

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5.  When the meat is cooked, take it out and put it in a bowl.

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6.  Using two forks, pull/shred the pork.  It will be nice and tender so you shouldn’t have any trouble at all.  (Optional:  Pour some of the liquid from the crock pot into the bowl with the meat.  This way the meat has more flavor and there will also be more moisture.)

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7.  Now for the options.  The tomatoes we kept fresh and were put in a bowl.  The rest were sauteed with Ghee in a frying pan on medium high heat.  Onions first (5 mins or until caramelized), Bell pepper next (3-5 minutes), and then garlic (2 minutes).  If you want to top your lettuce wrap with cheese, sour cream, etc. that’s all on you buddy.  🙂

8.  Wash and separate your lettuce leaves.

9.  Set everything on the table.

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10.  Make your lettuce wrap how you like it.  Want more meat than veggies?  GO FOR IT!!  Go ahead and chow on down!!

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Note:  They’re going to get kind of messy, so I would suggest napkins or paper towels.  Again, you can use any seasoning that you like.  Just have the Montreal Seasoning?  Use that!!  Don’t like or have wine?  Then opt out of it!  Well what about Tamari?  Use soy sauce or even worcestershire sauce instead.  Those last two aren’t very Paleo friendly though.  Use whatever you like if you know that you’re going to like it.  Just make sure to taste it in the end to make sure it’s what you wanted.  ENJOY!

Slow Cooked Wild Boar Boneless Shoulder

What is your take on game meat?  I like it!  I’m a big fan.  I wish I had some hunter friends because I would totally hit them up to go hunting for me so I would always have game meat in my freezer.  Since I don’t know any hunters I end up getting my game meat from this awesome store called Dittmer’s Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus in Los Altos.  They have an amazing selection of deli meat, sausages, and much much more!  I discovered this place while on a lunch break.  I had some time to kill so I left the office to go on a walk.  It was a beautiful California day and I had been sitting in my office for a little too long.  While on my walk I came across this store and stepped inside.  LOVE THIS PLACE!

Last week I picked up a Wild Boar Boneless Shoulder.

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The last time I had Wild Boar was probably back in February and it was Wild Boar Bacon.  SO GOOD!!  It’s bacon…  of course it was going to be good!  😛

Tuesday morning PaleoJoe and I did a quick prep of ingredients before leaving for work.  Below is the recipe for cooking Wild Boar in a crock pot.  We served with with pureed celery root.  See recipe HERE.

SLOW COOKED WILD BOAR BONELESS SHOULDER

Ingredients:

1 whole Wild Boar boneless shoulder (I honestly don’t remember how many lbs the meat was)

3 carrots (peeled and chopped)

2 onions (peeled and chopped)

Hella Garlic (We love garlic.  I think we ended up using half a bulb.  Just smash and peel em)

1 can of organic diced tomatoes (if you have fresh that’s better!  Cut and seed em.)

1/4 – 1/2 cup of white wine (you can use red as well if you want.  Or none at all.  entirely up to you)

salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

1.  Make sure that your crock pot is big enough for the amount of meat that you have.

2.  Season the meat on both sides.

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3.  If your aromatics (veggies) haven’t been prepped, prep them now.

4.  Throw the veggies in the pot with the meat.

5.  Add wine (optional)

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6.  Cover and set temperature to LOW.  Leave the cover on during the cooking process.  You wouldn’t want to release the heat.  You’re going to be cooking this for 6-8 hours.

7.  Get a cutting board or a large plate to put your meat on for cutting/serving.

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8.  Using an immersion blender, you can blend the leftover veggies and juices.

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9.  Cut and serve!  Pour as much or as little of the sauce on your meat and ENJOY!!

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Note:  You can easily make this a stew if your meat was chopped into stew sized pieces.  This one was frozen solid and there wasn’t time to defrost it.  Again, we served the meat with a side of pureed celery root, which I will post the recipe for later.  Also, if you don’t have a crock pot you can also cook this in a dutch oven or cast iron pot and place it in the oven at 325 degrees for 2-3 hours.  That’s if your meat isn’t frozen solid like this one was.  You can even put it in a roasting pan.  Just make sure to turn the meat so that it cooks evenly.