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!

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Lengua… Tongue… Cow/Beef Tongue…

Lengua.  Tongue.  It is the scariest looking piece of meat that I have encountered in person.  It’s intimidating to think that I could cook something like this and make it edible.  I had first heard about lengua when I was in high school.  I found out that there is more to Mexican food than Taco Bell, and was introduced to an amazing place called a Taqueria.  What is this magical place filled with delicious smells?  I had no idea.  Again, Taco Bell was the only place I had heard of that was serving “Mexican” food and I seriously thought that the tacos and burritos there were delicious.  Boy was I WRONG.

I started with a simple taco with beef (or perhaps it was chicken?) and I was forever changed.  I was now a Mexican food snob and would never (unless I was drunk) step foot inside another taco bell ever again.  THIS was real Mexican food.  There were other things on the menu, most in Spanish, that I had no idea what they were, but would eventually try as the years passed.

Let’s fast forward to the Spring of 2012.  I still hadn’t tried lengua.  I knew what it was because I took Spanish in high school, but the thought of eating tongue?!  Really?!  I had no idea what it tasted like, and if I had asked the person behind the counter their opinion they were gonna say, “It’s good!”  OF COURSE they’re going to say that!!  So I didn’t try.  I finally gave it a go and WOW!  Tender and moist and full of flavor!  To be honest, you don’t see the tongue hanging from the window like a duck on a hook.  It’s chopped up into bite-size pieces and placed neatly on a corn tortilla, or wrapped up lovingly with beans and rice and other such nonsense.  If no one told you what it was, you would think it was beef.  Technically it IS beef, but you get what I mean.

Fast forward to today and this would be the second time that I have made lengua.  Please note that it takes about 2-3 hours to cook so if you are planning on having this for dinner, I suggest you either crock pot it in the morning or start dinner prep early.  I haven’t tried tongue when it has been under cooked so I can’t tell you what it tastes like.  Chewy perhaps?  All I know is that a slow fully cooked tongue is tender.  It also takes on the flavor of your sauce or spices.  DEE-LISH!!  Can I also say, that this entire meal was about $10 total and can feed about 4 people.  Just sayin’… So here is my recipe for:

 

LENGUA/TONGUE IN A ROASTED PEPPER SAUCE

Can be turned into a stew or a lettuce wrap.  See pics below.

Ingredients for Lengua:

1 – 2 pounds of tongue

4 whole garlic cloves (Smash em!)

1 medium onion (cut into 1/8’s)

1-2 tsp of whole black peppercorns

Beef Boullion or Beef Stock

Optional:  Add a bay leaf.  I didn’t have any on hand, but it just gives it that much more flavor.

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Ingredients for Roasted Pepper Sauce:

2 – Poblano Peppers

3 – Gypsy Sweet Peppers

4 – Garlic Cloves (minced)

1 large onion (cut into 1/8’s)

1 can of diced organic fire roasted tomatoes

Seasoning (Please see pictured.  Use whatever seasoning that you like.)

Optional:  Want a hotter sauce?  How about some fresh jalapenos?  Habaneros?  Ghost Chili?  I’m not that adventurous with spicy foods, but if you are then have at it!  I read somewhere that spicy foods boost your metabolism.  🙂

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Directions:

1.  I threw my peppers into the toaster oven at 350 F.  No preheating, just threw em in there.  Keep an eye on them and don’t forget to turn them every so often.

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2.  Take your tongue out of the package and give it a good rinse.  Then put it in a pot large enough to fit the tongue as well as cover it completely in water/beef stock.  Add all lengua ingredients to the pot.  BTW…  I used 5 cups of water, so I used 5 tsp. of the beef boullion.

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3.  Place the pot on the stove, place lid, turn it to high heat, and let it come to a boil.

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4.  Once it’s boiling, turn the heat down until it simmers and then leave it alone for 2-3 hours.

5.  Sauce!  Preheat your sauce pan on medium to medium high heat with some coconut oil.  Once at temperature, add onions and cook about 5 minutes.

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6.  Add garlic and fire roasted tomatoes.

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7.  Hopefully by now the peppers are done.  If not, turn the heat to broil and again…  keep an eye on them.  About 3-5 minutes.  Take em out!

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8.  Carefully peel the peppers and seed them.

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9.  Now you can cut them into strips or you can dice them up.  Entirely up to you how big you want the pepper pieces.  I cut strips and then added them to the tomatoes.

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10.  Mix everything together, and add seasoning.  Turn heat to low and let it simmer for a bit.

11.  Time elapses and your tongue is cooked!!

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12.  Carefully take the tongue out of the pot and place on cutting board to cool down.

13.  I like to take the water from the tongue pot and pour some into the sauce pot.  Ah flavor…

14.  Once your tongue has cooled down enough for you to touch, you’re going to have to peel it.  Please see pictures.  Note:  The longer you cook the tongue, the easier it is to peel.

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15.  Now that your tongue is peeled you can slice it up however you like.

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16.  I cut it into large chunks and then added the meat to the sauce.

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17.   You can either add more water from the pot that you cooked the tongue in to make it a stew:

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Or you can serve it on a lettuce leaf, chop up some fresh cilantro, and now you have a Lengua Lettuce Wrap!

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It is optional if you want to add the meat pieces to the sauce.  You can always add it later especially if it’s super spicy and the person that you’re sharing with, if you’re sharing, isn’t all that into spicy food.  Entirely up to you.  If you have any questions let me know.  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!