Nom Nom Paleo

Grilled Sous Vide Grass Fed T-Bone Steak

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Sous viding grass fed beef used to be the bane of my existence but I think I’m finally getting the hang of it.

Here’s how I made some T-bone steaks in my water oven:

I seasoned the steaks with some salt, pepper, and Arizona Dreaming seasoning before vacuum-sealing them. I stored them in the fridge overnight because I like to salt my meat well in advance of cooking it. The next day, I filled and pre-heated my SousVide Supreme to 130 F (for medium-rare steaks). I plopped in my steak packets for about 2 hours (the minimal time Douglas Baldwin recommends to pasteurize the meat). Then, I removed them from the bath and dried the meat thoroughly with paper towels.

You can save the reserved cooking liquid in the bags as the base for gravies or to flavor sautéed vegetables. 

I asked my dear hubby to grill the steaks on our gas grill over high heat for about 1 minute 30 seconds on each side.

With a nice sear on the outside…

…they look more appetizing, huh?

When it’s sliced, the steak is perfectly pink all the way through.

Sous vide is an awesome way to cook meats…

Paleo Eats: 2/13/11

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Tonight’s my hump day so I only have three more nights to work after tonight. Slowly but surely I’m eeking through this workweek. What’d I pack for my meals? I thought you’d never ask!

Here’s what I gorged on from midnight to midnight:

The first snack of the night was a can of sardines.

This imported brand has fancy packaging but my fishies had a few too many scales on them. Scales make me angry.

My “lunch” box was filled with leftover tandoori chicken, sauteed spinach and bacon, and winter squash puree.

To settle my grumbly stomach, I snacked on some macadamia nuts and coconut flakes at 4:00 a.m.

My last meal at work was a box of leftover kebabs and nuked green beans.

You know how there are some leftovers you look forward to eating again? Charred meats make me smile.

After work, I came home and hung with my family. An hour later, I met up at the Mountain View Farmer’s Market with my new CrossFit buddy, Erin. Even though I picked up my vegetable CSA box yesterday, I still bought a ton of produce and a couple boneless pork roasts to boot. Once you go Paleo, you can never have too many veggies and meat. Plus, my hubby set up our new chest freezer so I’ll be hoarding animal parts from here on out.

After snoozing the afternoon away, I woke up and made some chow for the family. I know it seems like I love to cook but sometimes it’s a real pain in the ass getting a Paleo meal on the table. Luckily, tonight’s dinner required minimal prep work and still turned out tasty. I didn’t even take out a knife and cutting board to chop stuff up. And it was on the table after only 40 minutes of me slowly puttering around the kitchen. Really.

I grilled up some Tabil-seasoned grass fed rib eye steaks

Tabil-seasoned sauteed shrimp

…and roasted broccoli.

Here’s my plate of surf ‘n turf:

Grilled Grass Fed Rib Eye Steaks

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Grass fed rib eye steaks cost beaucoup bucks so the last thing you want to do is waste your hard-earned cash by overcooking them. This dish is super-fast and tasty provided you follow these simple rules:

  • Salt your meat ahead of time. A day or two ahead if you remember but a minimum of 30 minutes if you don’t. Per acclaimed SF chef Judy Rodgers, salting early seasons the beef all the way through and it’ll be more moist and tender.

  • Always bring your grass fed steaks up to cool room temperature before cooking. That means taking them out of the fridge 45 minutes to an hour before you cook them.
  • If the steaks are thicker than 1-inch, your best bet is to cook them sous vide and then sear them. Serious Eats has a primer on this method here. No SousVide Supreme? Hack a sous vide contraption yourself!
  • If your steaks are thin (less than 1 inch thick) sear them on a hot greased grill or grill pan for about 2-3 minutes on each side undisturbed. You can snip the edge with a pair or scissors to keep them from curling up. Grass fed steaks are very lean so you gotta eat them rare or medium rare or they’ll taste like leather. You should aim for an internal temperature of 125F (medium rare).

  • If you cook the steaks in a pan or on a grill, you must let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before serving it. This resting time will ensure the steak stays juicy and moist. Don’t believe me? The geeks at Serious Eats proved it in their Food Lab and you can read about it here.

  • Last but not least, don’t expect grass fed rib eye to taste like a well-marbled corn fed rib eye steak. It’ll be tougher but it’s also beefier and delicious (as long as you follow the above rules).

Paleo Eats: 2/9/11

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I’m starting another workweek of seven graveyard shifts in a row tonight so I had a ton of crap to accomplish in the morning before I caught a couple hours of shut-eye later in the afternoon.

After taking Big-O to school, I came home and quickly threw together a pot of Rogan Josh that I stuck in the oven. While the lamb stew was slowly braising, I reheated some leftover Asian cauliflower fried rice for breakfast.

Then, I roasted some bell peppers on the stove…

…turned off the oven with the pot of stew still inside, and escorted Lil-O to his gym class. After the class, we made a stop at Whole Paycheck to stock up on groceries before returning home.

Once we were home again, I took the Rogan Josh out of the oven. It had cooked at 300 F for 1 hour and then sat in the shut-off oven for two hours.

I’m going to pack this for some of my work lunches.

For lunch, I made myself a frittata with 3 eggs, diced prosciutto, nuked frozen broccoli, a dollop of Greek yogurt, and a healthy dash of Sunny Paris seasoning.

After I tucked Lil-O in his blue car bed for a nap, I went back to the kitchen to finish making the bell peppers.

I also filled and preheated my SousVide Supreme to 140 F so it would be ready to reheat a pre-cooked brisket when I woke up. Around 3:00 p.m., I went to my room and took a two-hour nap.

When I woke up at 5:00 p.m., I took the brisket packet out of the fridge and placed it in the water oven. As it was coming up to temperature, I made some garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes,” sautéed mustard greens and bacon

…and broiled some asparagus drizzled with macadamia nut oil, salt, and pepper (broil for 6-8 minutes).

When my vegetable sides were finished, I removed the brisket from the water bath and dried off the meat. Then, I seared it in lard over high heat.

Here’s my dinner plate:

After dinner, I practiced some kipping pull ups (without much success), packed my lunch, and got ready for work. Now it’s back to the grind…

Day 21 of Whole30 Eats

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As I’ve griped before, my penultimate night of work is my least favorite. When it’s night six of seven, I’m one grumpy mofo and my patience tank is running on fumes. So without further ado, here’s what I noshed on after midnight:

At the very beginning of my shift, I snarfed down some macadmia nuts and sauerkraut so I wasn’t hungry until 3:30 a.m. For “lunch,” I ate some leftover roasted chicken thighs and nuked frozen veggies.

Snack time came at 5:00 a.m. when I ate some coconut milk and blueberries and some coconut flakes.

At 7:00 a.m., I ate my “dinner” which was leftover sous vide Wild King Salmon, sautéed greens, and roasted root vegetables.

As soon as I got home, I quickly threw together a baking dish of braised cabbage and popped it in the oven.

Then, I took my kindergartener to school and I hung out as the weekly library helper. On the weeks I help out after I return from work, I’m a veritable zombie, lumbering around sluggishly in my Vibrams and blinking slowly when the kids ask me for help.

When I finally returned home, I took the cabbage out of the oven…

…and I passed out in my bed. (In case you’re wondering, my mom was home making sure my little kiddo didn’t get in trouble and our house didn’t burn down.)

I awoke at 5:30 p.m., and immediately started working on dinner. I didn’t have too much to do because my braised cabbage and sous vide grass fed top sirloin steak were already cooked and only needed to be reheated and seared off, respectively.

I wanted to make some other accompaniments so I made cream of tomato soup and sautéed some shiitake mushrooms in coconut oil with a splash of chicken broth and coconut aminos (and S & P).

Then, I removed my steak from the SousVide Supreme, which had been cooking at 130 F for 24 hours…

 

…took the meat out of the bag and dried it..

 

…and seared it in some lard for 2 minutes on each side.

I sliced the slab ‘o meat up…

…and dinner (breakfast for me!) was served.

Since my SousVide Supreme was already filled, I bumped up the temperature to 141 F and popped in two seasoned boneless and skinless chicken breasts for 2 hours. (For those of you keeping score, ever since I filled the machine yesterday morning I’ve sous vided 5 fillets of Wild King salmon, a 2-pound grass fed top sirloin steak, and 2 chicken breasts. I love it, I love it, I love it!)

Then, I took off for my last night of work this week. Finally.

Late Night Eats: 1/3/11

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Here’s what I ate at work tonight:

I ate my first snack at 10:30 p.m. which consisted of a hardboiled egg, crudités and Aubergine dip.

"Lunch" was at 1:30 a.m. when I wolfed down some leftover curry ground pork and broccoli slaw frittata with a side of nuked frozen mixed veggies.

At 4:30 a.m., I ate a small container of coconut flakes and macadamia nuts. My favorite Paleo snack of all time.

At 7:00 a.m. I ate my last meal of the night.  I reheated some leftover grass fed beef shank and cabbage stew with garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes” and roasted Tabil-seasoned cremini mushrooms.

I had me some good eats tonight.

Slow Cooker Grass Fed Beef Shanks & Cabbage Stew

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Makes 6 servings / Hands-On Time: 15 minutes / Total Time: 11 hours

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I’m always looking for shortcuts to deliciousness, so even though my last slow cooker experiment was an abject failure, I was determined to undertake a new experiment this morning. I’d defrosted a couple of 2-inch center cut grass fed beef shanks, and was looking forward to chucking everything into the slow cooker so I’d have a tasty cabbage and beef shank stew ready to devour when I woke up in the evening. (Well, I was hoping it’d be tasty…)

Here’s what I assembled:

  • ½ pound organic baby carrots
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 small cabbage (about 2 pounds), cored, and cut into 8 wedges
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves
  • 2 center-cut grass fed beef shanks (about 2” thick)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 15 ounce can of organic diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons coconut aminos

And here’s what I did with the stuff:

I dumped the baby carrots and chopped onions into the bottom of my slow cooker

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…and layered the cabbage wedges on top.

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I threw in the smashed garlic cloves and bay leaves, and seasoned the beef shanks with salt and pepper to taste (by the way, feel free to be pretty heavy-handed with the S&P).

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Then, I plopped ‘em on top of the cabbage.

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The last step was to pour in the diced tomatoes and broth…

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…before putting on the lid. I set the slow cooker on low and let it do its thing for 9 hours while I hit the sack. (Ah, the nocturnal life of a night shift worker…)

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When I woke up, the house was suffused with a rich, beefy aroma. I couldn’t wait to peek at the stew. Lifting the lid off the slow cooker, I saw that the meat had pulled away from the bone and the marrow was perfectly cooked. Score!

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I removed and plated the bones (and delicious marrow), shredded the meat, and tasted the stew for seasoning. The pot liquor was exploding with flavor, but it was a bit on the sweet side for my taste from all the onions and carrots, so I added a couple of tablespoons of coconut aminos and some more salt and pepper.

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In the meantime, I oven-roasted some cremini mushrooms tossed with Tabil seasoning and macadamia nut oil (400 F on convection roast for 25 minutes) and quickly whipped up some garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes” (this time, substituting extra virgin olive oil for the grass-fed butter).

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Here’s my dinner plate:

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All in all, not too shabby for a simple dump-and-cover slow cooker meal. Because the meat was grass fed, it wasn’t quite as meltingly tender as your typical crappy (but admittedly yummy) grain ‘n corn-fed stuff. Nonetheless, it was TONS better than the grass fed “beef stew” that crawled out of my slow cooker a few days ago. Plus, bone marrow is just so damn tasty –- mouth-filling, fatty, and full of umami goodness. I’m really happy I joined our meat CSA; left to my own devices, I never would’ve thought to buy beef shanks. Now, I’m gonna order them as extra items when I get next month’s box o’ animal parts!