Nom Nom Paleo

Slow Cooker Korean Grass Fed Short Ribs

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Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

Inspired by a recipe in Slow Cooker Revolution from the editors at America’s Test Kitchen, I’ve made this Korean-style dish several times—and every time, it’s been easy-peasy and tasty. I simplified and Paleoized the recipe by subbing out the soy sauce with coconut aminos, the rice wine vinegar with coconut vinegar, and leaving out the tapioca. What’s cool about this recipe is that you don’t need to sear off any of the meat or carmelize any aromatics –- it’s pretty much a dump-it-in-and-forget-about-it kind of dish. That being said, when I do have the time I will char the short ribs under the broiler before throwing them in the slow cooker.

You may want to make this dish ahead of time and store it in your fridge because the short ribs release a ton of fat into the gravy, which you can easily remove when the chilled fat hardens.

Here’s what to gather to make enough tasty meat to feed 4-6 hungry adults:

  • 6 pounds of bone-in English-style grass-fed short ribs
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium pear or Asian pear, peeled, cored, and chopped coarsely
  • 1/2 cup coconut aminos
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 hunk of ginger, about the size of your thumb, cut into two pieces
  • 2 teaspoons of Red Boat fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut vinegar
  • 1 cup organic chicken broth
  • Small handful of roughly chopped fresh cilantro

Here’s how top make it:

Preheat your broiler with the rack 6 inches from the heating element. Season the ribs liberally with salt and pepper…

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

…and lay the ribs, bone-side up on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Whenever I season raw meat, I set aside a small ramekin with salt and ground pepper that I use only for the raw stuff. Cross contamination can lead to some bad crap. Literally.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

Broil the ribs for 5 minutes and then flip them over and broil for another 5 minutes.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

Stack the ribs in a single layer in the slow cooker. I lay them on their side to cram them all in the pot.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

Toss the pear, coconut aminos, garlic, scallions, ginger, fish sauce, and vinegar in a blender and puree until smooth.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

Pour the sauce evenly over the ribs…

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

…and add the chicken broth to the pot.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

Cover with the lid, set the slow cooker on low, and let the ribs stew for 9-11 hours.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

When it’s time to serve the ribs, remove the meat from the slow cooker and place them on a serving platter.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

Let the braising liquid settle for 5 minutes and then ladle off the fat if you wish. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, and pour a cup of sauce over the ribs.

Sprinkle on the chopped cilantro and serve the remaining sauce on the side.

Slow Cooker Korean Short Ribs by Michelle Tam

Super tender and very tasty. The simmer sauce is subtly sweet and the coconut aminos, while not as bold-tasting as soy sauce, lend a good umami flavor to the dish.

Looking for recipes and resources? Head on over to my Recipe Index or my Resources page. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel, December 2013).

Sous Vide Gigantic Grass Fed Cowboy Chops (Bone-In Rib Eye)

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Sous vide is the BEST way to cook super-big, bone-in rib eye steaks. You end up with perfectly cooked beef and no risk of wasting your hard-earned moola. These steaks are expensive, yo! Plus, you can cook these steaks ahead of time and keep them in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to sear them off. If you’re a visual learner, watch this video.

(If you’re brave and want to grill these monster steaks the conventional way follow these instructions from Serious Eats. Good luck and may the force be with you.)

Here’s what I gathered to feed 6-8 people:

  • 2 grass fed, bone-in rib eye steaks (approximately 2 pounds each)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Tabil seasoning (or insert your favorite dry rub)

Here’s how I made the chops:

I followed the same steps as when I sous vide normal-sized rib eye steaks but since these puppies are so ginormous, I couldn’t resist taking some pictures.

I seasoned the chops LIBERALLY with salt, pepper,and Tabil seasoning

…and vaccuum sealed them. I stored them in the fridge for at least an hour (up to 24 hours) so the salt could do its magic…

…before I dunked the packets in the SousVide Supreme set at 130 F for medium rare.

I let the steaks cook for 8 hours and then transferred them to an ice bath for an hour before storing them in the fridge. If you’re eating the steaks immediately, you can skip the chilling and go straight to the searing.

When I was ready to serve the steaks, I reheated them in the SousVide Supreme (set at 130 F) for about 45 minutes. I took the chops out of the water oven, dried them off…

…sprinkled on additional seasoning/salt, and seared them in a couple tablespoons of ghee over high heat in a cast iron skillet (2 minutes per side). Alternatively, you can throw the steaks on a hot grill to char them.

I took out my kitchen torch to char the sides of the steak and even out the browning.

Don’t these Flinstone-sized chops look tasty?

See? They’re perfectly pink…

 from edge to edge!

Sous Vide Umami Slider Burgers

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I love me some sous vide Turkish slider burgers but sometimes I need some variety in my burger seasoning. Ever since I bought my first bottle of Red Boat fish sauce, I’ve been splashing it on almost every dish I’ve made. My chef sis recently tipped me off about a great recipe on White on Rice Couple’s food blog for the Ultimate Umami burger. Guess what’s the secret ingredient? Ding! Ding! Ding! Fish sauce!

When I made these sliders today, I modified the recipe a little bit by adding some sautéed onions, and swapping out the sugar for a little applesauce. The resulting mini burgers were really moist and tasty. I swear there’s no fishiness, just yumminess.

Recipe after the jump!

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Braised Thai Green Curry With Grass Fed Boneless Beef Short Ribs

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On my list of favorite ethnic cuisines, Thai food is actually pretty low. I think I always found it too sweet, too spicy, or both. But after going Paleo, I’ve noticed that Thai curries are a popular dish for cavepeople. Sarah Fragoso and Dain Sandoval have posted recipes for green and red curry, respectively. Intrigued, I decided to give Thai cuisine another shot.

I wanted to try my hand at making a Thai green curry but instead of using a quick-cooking meat, I wanted to use one of my favorite cuts for slow cooked stews: boneless short ribs. Forget chuck — without a doubt, boneless short ribs and brisket are my go-to cuts for slow simmering stews. These two cuts will yield perfectly tender, melt in your mouth beefy goodness even when you choose grass fed.

I threw together a Thai green curry that I slowly braised in the oven for a couple of hours and the resulting dish was pretty damn tasty. Plus, this dish can be made ahead on the weekend and reheated during your workweek. Win-win!

Get the recipe after the jump!

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Sous Vide Turkish Slider Burgers

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For tonight’s dinner, I sous vided some Turkish seasoned mini burgers.

Why? Well, I love Turkish kabobs and sliders are so damn cute. Sous viding the patties ensures perfectly cooked medium rare burgers but you gotta cook your onions first because 130 F ain’t gonna do it.

(If you don’t have a sous vide or if you’re too impatient, make teeny sliders and fry them on the stove!)

Here’s what I gathered to make 8 sliders:

Here’s how I made them:

I gathered and prepped my ingredients…

…and heated up the coconut oil in a small cast iron skillet over medium heat.

Once the pan was hot, I sautéed the diced onion in melted coconut oil with some salt and pepper. When the onions were softened and translucent, I added the minced garlic and stirred everything around until the garlic was fragrant (~30 seconds). I transferred the cooked onions to a small bowl to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, I combined the beef, cooled onion mixture, Turkish seasoning, several cranks of freshly ground black pepper, and a generous pinch of salt.

I used my hands to mix everything but tried not to overwork the meat.

I formed the meat and onion mixture into 8 sliders…

…and placed them on a plastic-wrap lined platter. I covered the patties with another sheet of plastic wrap and put them in the freezer for 2 hours.

Put the plastic wrap on the plate or you’ll be sorry! It’s MUCH easier to remove the frozen patties if they aren’t frozen to the plate.

Once the patties were solid, I vacuum sealed them…

…and stored them in the fridge.

At dinnertime, I filled and preheated the SousVide Supreme to 130 F and dumped in the sliders for 45 minutes (cooking time: 30 minutes-12 hours). Then, I took the burgers out of the water oven and dried them with paper towels.

I heated up the lard in a large cast iron skillet over high heat and when the pan was hot, I fried the burgers for about 45 seconds on each side.

Tasty bites o’ beef!

Paleo Eats: 3/27/11

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I had a busy 24 hours: I went to work, picked up veggies and half a hog at the farmers’ market, slept, hosted my glam fashion exec cousin and her charming hubby for dinner, did a short stint of exercise in the garage, and I went back to work again. That’s it, folks. I’m signing off.


You want pictures and more details? So damn demanding…

While I was at work, I ate some sous vide chicken breast topped with Aubergine dip along with some nuked frozen green beans and a baked sweet potato.

My last meal at work was leftover pork pot roast, reheated frozen green beans, and roasted butternut squash.

When I got home from work, I seasoned and vacuum-sealed two honking T-bone steaks that I was going to sous vide for dinner later.

I also unpacked two cases of coconut flakes that we received from Amazon.

Stop looking at me like that! I’m not a crazy coconut horder!

Then, the family piled into the car and drove to the Mountain View Farmers’ market to pick up more veggies and 100 pounds of pork. Yes, I pick up two different vegetable CSA boxes every week but we go through greens fast.

At home, I unloaded our four boxes of swine…

…and transferred the porky treasures into our chest freezer in the garage.

It’s literally filled to the tippy-top with meat.

I preheated my SousVide Supreme to 130 F and gave instructions to dear hubby to plop in the steaks at 4:00 p.m. (2 hour soaking time). Then, I downed a can of sardines…

…and hit the sack.

When I woke up in the evening, I ran to the kitchen and started preparing dinner. I reheated some curried cream of broccoli soup that I’d stored in my freezer a few weeks back…

…broiled a batch of asparagus tossed in bacon grease that I finished with a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar…

…prepared some mushroom gravy with a splash of heavy cream…

…and whipped up a batch of cauliflower, carrot, and parsnip puree.

After I torched the steaks, I plated our dinner:

Once the kiddies were put to bed and our guests left, I packed my meals for work, cobbled together a short homemade WOD, and then I sped off to work. Only three more nights of work!

Sous Vide Grass Fed Beef Burgers

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Sous viding burgers is a great way to get burgers EXACTLY how you want them. No more poking, prodding, and second guessing yourself. You want it medium rare – just cook them at 130-132F. It’s that simple. (Remember — you can hack your own sous vide machine for cheap.)

I was pretty happy with the tasty sous vide lamb burgers I made last week so I decided to make some beef burgers tonight. The minor tweaks I made this time included decreasing the cooking temperature to 132 F and searing the cooked patties in a pan before using my kitchen torch to brown the edges.

Here’s a step by step look at how I made them:

I divided a pound of grass fed ground beef into 4 portions and gently formed them into patties. I seasoned both sides generously with salt and pepper.

I didn’t mix in the seasoning because I didn’t want to overwork the meat. Too much manhandling can lead to tough pucks.

I placed the seasoned burgers on top of a plastic-wrapped plate and covered the plate with another sheet of plastic wrap. If you don’t line your plate with plastic wrap first, it’ll be difficult to remove the frozen patties. I put the plate in the freezer and froze the patties (at least 2 hours).

Once the patties were frozen…

…hubby vacuum sealed each patty…

…and stored them in the fridge until he was ready to cook them.

He filled and preheated the SousVide Supreme to 132 F and dunked in the burger packets.

Burgers take at least 30 minutes to cook but you can leave them in the water for up to 12 hours.

When the burgers were finished cooking, I took them out of their packets and dried them with paper towels.

I heated a couple tablespoons of bacon grease in a large cast iron skillet and seared each side…

…for about a minute.

I put the burgers on a wire rack on top of a foil-lined baking sheet and used my kitchen torch to even out the browned bits.

See? It’s nice and pink from edge to edge.

I topped the burgers with my favorite toppings and served them over salad greens.

Maybe next time I’ll shallow fry the patties to get a nice crunchy exterior…

Sous Vide Grass Fed Rib Steaks

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Tonight, I experimented sous viding another cut of grass fed beef, rib steaks from Full of Life Farm. Rib steaks, a.k.a. cowboy steaks, are rib eye steaks with the rib bone still attached.

When I opened the package I immediately noticed that these steaks were way more marbled and fatty than the grass fed ones I normally get from Marin Sun Farms or Pampero Ranch.


One of the things I dislike about grass fed beef is that it’s normally really lean which results in tough cooked meat. Could it be that the 100% grass fed and grass finished cattle breeds at Full of Life Farm are similar to the Red Poll breed described in the latest Saveur 100? Red Polls are a particularly fatty grass fed breed with extensive marbling that “has the effect of melted butter, bringing with it all the complexity of the pasture.” Sounds tasty, huh?

I’ve already sent an email to farmer Bernard over at Full of Life Farm asking about his breed of cattle.

(UPDATE: they raise two different breeds, Angus and Hereford. Per Bernard, “we really do have exceptional grass up in the Willamette Valley with our soil quality and all the water up there.  And the alfalfa we feed in winter is also the best quality, coming from Eastern Oregon where the dry climate allows them to cut, cure, and bale the alfalfa in less than 48 hours.  Quick curing of alfalfa is key to keeping all of the proteins and nutrients in the alfalfa, and not oxidized and evaporated into thin air.”)

So here’s how I made these steaks:

I dried my steaks and liberally salted and peppered them…

…before vacuum sealing them.

(Check out these tips over at The Food Lab at Serious Eats on how to make perfect steaks.)

Then, I put the packets in the fridge for a few hours.

I filled and preheated my SousVide Supreme to 130 F (for medium rare) and when it was up to temperature, I dropped in the steaks and let them cook for 7 hours (Douglas Baldwin recommends 6-8 hours).

I removed them from the plastic bags, dried them off…

…and then blasted them with my kitchen torch.

I topped the charred steaks with a sprinkling of Aleppo pepper finishing salt.

These steaks were delicious! They were tender, fatty, and had big beefy flavor. The meats from Full of Life Farm truly are remarkable. I can’t wait to pick up my ½ hog on Sunday!

Slow Cooker Beef Bone Broth

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I rarely make homemade broth because I’m so lazy that I’d rather just crack open a can. However, I’ll admit that making beef broth using your slow cooker is really easy and requires almost no hands-on time at all. 

You can easily substitute pork or chicken bones in place of beef and the results are all good.  If you befriend your local butcher, he may even give you a big bag of bones for pennies.

Here’s what I assembled to make about 4 quarts of beef bone broth:

  • 2 carrots, chopped medium
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped medium
  • 1 medium onion, chopped medium
  • 7 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3.5 lb of beef bones (from Full of Life Farm)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • water 

Here’s how to make it:

Dump the vegetables in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker…

…drop in the beef bones…

…tuck in the bay leaves, sprinkle on a wee bit of salt, drizzle the vinegar on the bones…

…and add enough water to cover everything.

Program the slow cooker to cook on low for 8-10 hours.

When it’s ready, pour the broth through a strainer, and discard the solids.

You can ladle out some to drink now, or…

…store the liquid in a large CorningWare or glass container for later.

The bones I used were pretty fatty so it made the broth taste unappealingly greasy. I stuck the broth in the fridge overnight and scraped off the top layer of solidified fat.

The broth underneath looks like beef Jell-O…

The broth will keep in the fridge for a few days and in the freezer for several months.

When you’re ready for a steaming cup of the stuff, just scoop the meaty Jell-O into a microwave-safe mug and nuke for a minute.

Voila — perfection!

(Want an even faster way to make bone broth? Check out the recipe for my Quick Pressure Cooker Bone Broth — it’s also in my iPad® cookbook app!)

Paleo Eats: 2/23/11

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Today was a busy day of cooking and shopping since I wanted to cram in some last few hours of meal preparation before I started work tonight.

When I woke up, I packed Big-O’s lacto-Paleo lunch which consisted of a leftover mini egg frittata, raw almonds, cubed cheddar cheese, baby carrots, and strawberries.

Then, I threw together a new batch of mini frittata muffins. This time I didn’t even take out a frying pan to prepare the filling; I just chopped up some chicken apple sausage (that comes pre-cooked) and frozen broccoli that I microwaved for a minute.

I packed eighteen muffin liners to the brim with filling so I whisked nine eggs with a dollop of yogurt, a healthy sprinkle of Sunny Paris seasoning, salt, and pepper for the binder.

The right ratio of eggs to number of muffins is approximately 1 egg: 2 muffins. Also, the muffins do collapse a little bit once they are out of the oven so don’t be surprised if they turn out a little concave after cooling.

As I was waiting for the muffins to bake, I made myself a breakfast plate with a leftover mini frittata muffin, sliced organic deli chicken, baby carrots, and sugar snap peas.

I also ate a handful of macadamia nuts and almonds so that I’d have enough fat to keep me satisfied until lunchtime.

I took Little-O to his class at the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo and afterwards we stopped by Whole Foods to pick up some last minute groceries.

For lunch, I whipped up a batch of crab salad with my leftover Paleo mayonnaise

…and ate a 1/3 pound serving over a bed of greens and shredded carrots.

I also roasted three red bell peppers on my gas range that I’m going to pack in my work meals.

I preheated my SousVide Supreme to 130 F and asked my mom (who was watching the kids) to dump in the previously vacuum-sealed grass fed T-bone steaks at around 4:00 p.m. Then, I went to bed for a couple hours.

When I woke up, I roasted some Brussels sprouts with bacon

…that I tossed with rendered duck fat from the braised duck legs I prepared the other day.

I dunked two frozen packets of Cascadian Farms winter squash puree into my SousVide Supreme right after I took out my T-bone steaks (which had been bathing for 2 hours). I dried my steaks and reserved some of the liquid in the bag for the mushrooms I’d be sautéing later.

While my hubby grilled the steaks outside (just a minute and a half on each side to get a nice char), I sautéed some cremini mushrooms with sliced shallots, minced garlic, Fines Herbes seasoning, salt, pepper, and some reserved steak juice from the sous vide bags.

Then, I took out the defrosted winter squash puree packets and mixed them with some butter, salt, and pepper.

Here’s my dinner plate:

Truth be told, I split the 1-pound steak with my hubby but it photographs better as an intact steak.

After dinner, I packed my meals and got ready for work. My mother-in-law is in the hospital for one more night for observation so it’s nice that I’ll be there all night in case something happens and I can check in on her first thing in the morning. See? There are some benefits to working graveyards at the hospital.