Nom Nom Paleo

Happy Poppa’s Day!

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My dad is patient, funny, and loves lamb. Thank you, pops, for keeping your cool back in 1989 when I smashed our brand-new Volvo into the neighbor’s mailbox. I love that you always laughed whenever I’d slap down the newspaper you were reading—even though I did it just about every day until I was in high school. (Sorry I was so annoying.) Most importantly, thank you for nurturing my picky palate, offering me honest and actionable feedback on my dishes, and being one of my biggest cheerleaders. I love you, dad!

Slim Palate’s Lamb Osso Bucco With Gremolata

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I’m still in Austin, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about you and your cooking needs. Here’s a fantastic recipe you can braise in the oven TODAY for your Sunday supper:

Doesn’t this dish look fantastic? What’s even more amazing is that my guest blogger, Joshua Weissman, isn’t even old enough to vote yet. In fact, he just finished his finals for junior year last week. Of high school. Boy, do I feel old.

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Joshua Weissman is a 17-year-old food blogger with a passion for cooking, food and health. Joshua always loved food but his love for food led to an eventual weight gain. After years of endless ridicule and physical harassment, he decided to change his life and lost over 100 pounds through healthy eating and exercise. On his blog, Slim Palate, he documents his latest culinary creations with fun stories and gorgeous photography.  To keep abreast of his kitchen shenanigans, follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Take it away, Josh!

Before I start rambling, I have to take a moment to thank Michelle for having me guest post. Of the many food bloggers that I adore, she has a special place in my heart because we share a similarity in cooking styles and tastes. At my house, we joke around and call Michelle one of my “second mothers” along with Stacy from Paleo Parents. Now look what I’ve done; I’ve begun rambling and I haven’t even gotten to the post.

The dish I’m writing about is Lamb Osso Bucco With Gremolata.

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I’m in love with braising because the technique’s practically foolproof and almost always yields perfectly voluptuous, tender and flavorful meals. When braising meat, you can opt for tougher cuts because the low and slow cooking melts the tough connective tissue. 

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Paleo Eats: 4/27/13

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Hey, look! A new Paleo Eats! Remember when I used to post every single day about what I ate? Things have been more than a little crazy over here (and you’ll find out why soon enough!), so photographing and editing daily posts about my meals has taken a backseat to family time. But yesterday, I whipped out the trusty camera again to capture a few food-related Kodak moments.

We were already behind schedule by the time we woke up. Henry was dashing off with power tools to Lil-O’s co-op preschool for a mandatory maintenance day, while I stayed home to help Big-O with his science project. So for a quick, hearty breakfast, I made everyone fried eggs over leftover Pressure-Cooked Kale & Carrots.

While Lil-O busied himself with his Lego collection, Big-O and I turned our focus to his second-grade science project: Making a poster to show how he made yogurt. (Yeah, I know it’s not Paleo, but for you dairy-abstainers, you should definitely check out this recipe for this Simple Coconut Milk Yogurt.) 

Want to see how we transformed a liquid into a solid with the magic of bacteria?

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Pressure Cooker Indian Curry Lamb Spareribs

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I got the inspiration for this dish after tasting my buddy Noopur’s bright and fresh-tasting curried mutton the other day. She’s a fellow CrossFitting foodie who obsesses about what’s she’s going to eat all the time — just like me. Noopur told me the secret to her recipe is to use lots of lemon juice and chopped cilantro.  Here’s a simplified (and bastardized) American version of her phenomenal recipe.

Ingredients (Serves 2-3 people)

For the lamb

For the sauce

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound ripe tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (I use Maharajah Style Curry Powder)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced

Toss the spare ribs with 2 teaspoons salt…

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…and 1 tablespoon curry powder.

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Use your hands to thoroughly coat the ribs.

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Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of four hours and up to a day.

When you’re ready to cook off the ribs, melt the coconut oil over medium heat in a 6-qt pressure cooker.

Brown the spare ribs in two batches…

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…and remove them to a plate when they’re done.

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While the ribs are sizzling, grab the onion and tomatoes…

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…throw them in a blender

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…and blitz until smooth.

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Once the spare ribs are seared…

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…add the minced garlic to the empty pot off the heat.

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I take the pot off the heat so the garlic doesn’t burn — that’ll add a yucky metallic taste and it’ll ruin your curry.

Stir the garlic until fragrant (30 seconds) before adding the tomato and onion puree.

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Put the pot back on a burner set at medium heat.

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Add curry powder, salt, 1 cup chopped cilantro, and lemon juice.

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Bring to a boil…image

 …and add the lamb back in.

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Mix the spareribs to coat with curry sauce.

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Lock on the pressure cooker lid and increase heat to high to bring up to high pressure. Once high pressure is reached, decrease the heat to low to maintain high pressure for 20 minutes.

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Let the pressure release naturally (10-15 minutes).

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Taste for seasoning and stir in scallions and 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.

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Rogan Josh (Lamb Stew) - The Easy Version

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Folks, I’ve discovered another game changer.

After reading John “Doc” Willoughby’s article “Deep Flavor, No Browning Required” in the NYT, I’ve decided to forgo pre-searing meat when I cook stews. According to the article, the way to “cold start” a stew is to skip the normal searing of meat in hot oil and replace it with a gentle warming of the protein in some fat, aromatics, and spices. No sputtering oil or grease burns AND you still get a delicious, flavorful dish? Awesome.

The other day, I decided to test out this method with my Rogan Josh recipe. How’d it turn out? The final dish was yummy and flavorful and nobody missed the browned bits (or the greasy mess).

Here’s what I gathered to feed 6 adults:

  • 2.5 pounds of boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (or coconut oil)
  • 2 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of Rogan Josh seasoning
  • ½ cup full fat Greek yogurt (or coconut milk)
  • 2/3 cup water Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Here’s how I made it:

I preheated the oven to 300 F, prepped the lamb…

…chopped the veggies…

…and melted the ghee in a large Dutch oven over medium low heat.

Once the fat melted, I dumped in the lamb, onions, carrots, spices, salt, and pepper.

I stirred the mixture constantly for 5-8 minutes until the spices were fragrant.

Next, I added the water and yogurt and increased the heat to high to bring the contents to a simmer.

I put on the lid and placed the stew in the oven for around two hours or until the lamb was very tender. I removed the stew from the oven and adjusted the seasoning with salt and pepper.

I transferred the finished dish to a storage container with the intent of reheating it in a few days.

Stews always taste better when they’ve been allowed to mellow out in the fridge for a day and this was no exception. My parents kept on remarking that the lamb was super tender and delicious. I think they’re just surprised that my food is edible these days. Practice makes perfect…