Slow Cooker Thai Yellow Curry With Grass Fed Beef Brisket

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Today’s recipe was the result of a happy accident.

I came home tired and exhausted from a 10-hour night shift and had a WTF am I making for dinner?!?! moment. Luckily, I had some grass fed brisket, veggies, and Aroy-D yellow curry paste on hand to toss into a slow cooker. 

I really like all the Aroy-D curry pastes I’ve tried. Here’s a shot of the Paleo-friendly ingredient list:

I really hoped that something delicious would be awaiting me when I woke up in the evening ‘cause sometimes my desperation dinners don’t pan out…

In this case, the stew turned out really tasty and my hands-on time was only 10 minutes. Woo hoo!

Follow the jump to see how I made it!

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Super Easy Tandoori Chicken

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Man, oh man, this chicken dish is easy and delicious! Provided you have some Penzeys Tandoori seasoning on hand…

You do need to plan ahead a little bit because the chicken has to marinate for at least 4 hours, but the actual hands-on time is pretty minimal. In fact, this dish can be thrown together in about 10 minutes before you head off to work and it will be ready to bake when you get home. (Or, if you’re a night shift worker like me, you can throw it together in the morning before going to bed and it will be ready to go when you wake up.) I followed the tandoori chicken recipe on Penzeys Spices website with a few modifications and my results were quite remarkable.

Here’s what to assemble:

  • 4 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt (or substitute full fat coconut milk)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Penzeys tandoori seasoning
  • Juice from ½ a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or fat of choice

Here’s what to do:

Grab your thighs and trim off any excess blobs of fat. Season the chicken parts evenly with kosher salt and stick ‘em in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the yogurt and the tandoori seasoning.

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Pour in the lemon juice and mix well to combine.

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Sometimes little hands are better at this step.

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Once the marinade is ready…

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…spoon it over the salted chicken…

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…and work it into the poultry with your hands. 

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for 4 to 8 hours to marinate.

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When you’re ready to bake the chicken, preheat the oven to 375°F on convection roast setting (or 400°F in a non-convection oven).

Place a wire rack on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Grease the rack with a paper towel dipped in melted coconut oil.

Arrange the chicken on the rack skin-side down…

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….and pop the tray in the oven for about 40 minutes…

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…flipping the pieces skin-side up at the halfway mark.

The chicken’s done when there’s yummy charred bits all over and the juices run clear when stabbed with a skewer.

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This dish was super-duper easy, moist, and delicious to boot. Get your keisters to a Penzeys ASAP!

Sous Vide Grass Fed Brisket

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I’ve had really spotty results sous viding grass fed beef so I’m always nervous about the outcome. Grass fed beef ain’t cheap so it kills me to have to “experiment” to find the perfect time and temperature. After an exhaustive search of the Internet, I think I hit on the correct time and cooking temperature for grass fed beef brisket. Chef-extraordinaire Thomas Keller recommends 147 F for 48 hours, so that’s how I made my brisket. And you know what? The results were pretty great.

Here’s how I did it:

I filled and heated my SousVide Supreme to 147 F. Next, I seasoned a 2.5-pound beef brisket with salt, pepper, and Fajita and Taco seasoning and vacuum-sealed it.

I dunked the packet in my water oven for 48 hours.

When it was done cooking, I removed the brisket and placed it in an ice bath for an hour.

I was going to reheat the brisket in a few days so I stored the packet in my fridge after the meat was uniformly chilled.

I reheated the brisket today by plopping it in my SousVide Supreme set at 140 F for about 30 minutes. Then, I heated 2 tablespoons of lard in a large cast iron skillet and seared all sides (about 2 minutes each side)…

…before slicing it up.

The meat was tender and delicious. Yes, I’d prefer that the big blob of fat on the corner was more rendered but that’s my only complaint. When I make this again, I’m definitely sticking with 147 F for 48 hours. Why mess with a good thing?

Rogan Josh (Lamb Stew)

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I’ve always had a special place in my heart for Indian food. I used to trek all over the Bay Area just to taste a great masala dosa or special thali. Although I still love the complex and intense flavors of Indian food, it’s hard for me to resist the grains and legumes when I see them on the menu. Now that I’m comfortably settled on the Paleo bandwagon, my Indian eats have been few and far between. That’s why I was so excited to find Melissa Joulwan’s recipe for Paleo Rogan Josh. Rogan Josh is a spicy and aromatic lamb stew that would be uber hard to make if it weren’t for the magic of Penzeys Rogan Josh seasoning. I whipped some up this morning, with some minor tweaks, and it was super easy and delicious.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • 1 pound of lamb stew meat, cut into 1.5 inch chunks
  • 2 small onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 7 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces of mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of Penzeys Rogan Josh seasoning
  • ½ cup of coconut milk
  • ½ cup of water
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Here’s how I made it:

I assembled and chopped my ingredients and preheated my oven to 300 F.

I don’t know about you, but despite what the label says, this doesn’t look like ground lamb to me…

I heated the coconut oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat and tossed the lamb with salt and pepper. Once the pot was hot, I seared my lamb chunks in a single layer for about 4 minutes undisturbed on each side.

I removed the browned lamb to a separate plate and added the carrots and onions to the empty pot. When the onions were translucent…

…I threw in the mushrooms along with a dash of salt and pepper.

After the liquid had cooked off, I tossed in the garlic and stirred everything around until fragrant (around 30 seconds). Next, I added lamb back in along with the Rogan Josh seasoning, making sure it was well distributed.

Then, I poured in the coconut milk and water.

The liquid level was about ¾ the way up the meat and veggies. I covered my pot and stuck it in my oven for until the meat was nice and tender (about 1.5 to 2 hours). (I like to braise my stews in the oven ‘cause the temperature is constant, the flavors get concentrated, and you don’t have to babysit it).

Wow! This dish is awesome! Next time, I’m gonna double the amount of meat because the pot only yielded about three servings. Also, the spice blend packs some heat, so back off on the seasoning if you can’t take it.

Thanks for the great recipe, Melicious!

Overnight Oven-Braised Shredded Pork Tacos

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This dish takes a little pre-planning because the meat marinates for a day or so and then you braise it in the oven for approximately 8 hours. Slowly braising a big ass pork butt in your oven overnight will make your house smell like pork heaven in the morning — provided that you don’t burn down your house. But this dish is so tasty and easy, it’s worth that small risk.

Here’s what to assemble:

Here’s what to do:

A couple days before you plan to serve this dish, you need to liberally season your pork butt with your favorite pork rub, Kosher salt, and pepper. Don’t be afraid to be heavy-handed with the seasonings or your pork will be bland.

Once it’s seasoned, place it in a Ziploc bag (with all the air forced out) or vacuum seal it and let the roast marinate for at least 24 hour and up to 72 hours.

On the day you’re roasting the pork, preheat the oven to 250 F. Toss the chopped onions and bacon with some salt and pepper in the bottom of a large Dutch oven.

Take the roast out of the bag…

…and put it on top of the onions.

Place the lid on the Dutch oven and pop it in the oven for around 8 hours or when the meat is super tender. Now is a good time to get some shut eye.

When you wake up in the morning, the roast should be finished. Don’t be surprised to find a lot of liquid in the bottom of your pot.

Remove the roast from the pot and place on a wire rack on top of a foil-lined baking sheet. Place the roast under the broiler for around 5-10 minutes to get some color and flip it and broil the other side for 5-10 minutes.

Shred the meat with two forks and set aside.

Remove the onions and bacon from the pot liquor and bring it to a boil. Add the apple juice and simmer for 5-10 minutes to reduce slightly. Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper. The sauce will be really cloudy and fatty so strain it and place it in a fat separator. 

I know that fat is flavor but if you’re serving this dish to squeamish guests, you’ll probably want to skim off the fat ‘cause it’ll congeal pretty quickly as the dish sits. It will look like someone poured candle wax all over pork and no one wants to eat that.

Pour the strained sauce over the shredded pork and nuke the covered dish in the microwave for a couple minutes to heat through. Serve on lettuce leaves…

…and your guests can top their “tacos” with their favorite condiments (e.g. salsa and/or guacamole.

Braised Chicken Legs with Artichokes and Pearl Onions

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I was in the mood to experiment tonight. By early evening, I was exhausted, so rather than planning an elaborate meal, I raided the kitchen and threw together a bunch of stuff I had in my freezer, fridge, and pantry to see if, perchance, an easy and yummy one-pot dish might materialize.

I’m happy to report that an investment of just 15 minutes of hands-on time yielded a savory dish that an entire family can happily scarf down. Well, 3 out of 4 members of the Nom Nom Paleo household enjoyed it. Our three-year-old, Lil-O, is always the sole holdout. “I want eggs,” he says. Every. Single. Night.

Where was I? Right: Ingredients.

I’m a big fan of Trader Joe’s and I always read the chain’s wackily illustrated Fearless Flyer so I can strategically plan my next shopping excursion. Some of TJ’s new items are misses, but most are hits. I recently found two things in the freezer section that piqued my interest: frozen artichoke hearts…

…and peeled and prepared pearl onions.

Despite being an anti-processing Paleo freak, I love prepped frozen veggies ‘cause they help accelerate the time my dinner gets to the table. On the one hand, they’re a little pricier, but on the other hand, I can get away with doing less work. And Nom Nom Paleo is all about the lazy.

Here’s what I scrounged up:

  • 2 whole Kosher chicken legs, split into drumsticks and thighs (you can definitely double the amount of chicken)
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 Tbsp Sigona’s Green Poultry Seasoning (contains thyme, sage, pepper, coriander, marjoram, & parsley)
  • 12 oz bag of Trader Joe’s frozen artichoke hearts
  • 16 oz bag of Trader Joe’s frozen peeled & ready to use pearl onions
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled and trimmed
  • 3/4 cup organic chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp Banyuls vinegar

Here’s what I did:

I preheated the oven to 325 F and I assembled all my ingredients.

I didn’t bother defrosting the artichoke hearts or pearl onions because I knew they’d quickly cook in my skillet. (Skeptical? Fine: The real reason I didn’t defrost them is that I was too lazy to add another cooking step. Happy now?)

My favorite chicken cuts for braising are bone-in, skin-on thighs. At my local TJ’s, they carry whole Kosher chicken legs so I just cut them into thighs and drumsticks (cut through the cartilage and not the bone or you’ll eff-up your knife). I seasoned my chicken with green poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Next, I heated 2 tablespoons of avocado oil over medium high heat in a 12-inch, oven-safe, lidded skillet and I seared my chicken parts until they were browned on each side.

After removing the browned chicken to a plate, I threw the frozen pearl onions into the empty skillet and seasoned it with some salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Once the onions were caramelized, I tossed in the frozen artichoke hearts and the garlic cloves (along with more salt and pepper). I sauteed all the vegetables until they were nice and toasty. Then, I nestled in the chicken parts and poured in the chicken broth and vinegar. After bringing it up to a simmer…

…I put on the lid and popped it in the oven for 45 minutes. The results were pretty tasty for the minimum amount of effort I put in.

The artichoke hearts are a wee bit acidic so you can back off on the vinegar or use a sweeter vinegar like balsamic. Also, the amount of chicken legs can definitely be doubled because I had a bunch of leftover chokes and onions that I’ll be pairing up with other proteins in the next few days. 

Slow Braised Pork Leg with Citrus and Fajita Seasoning

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Last month, my meat CSA sent us a pasture-raised boneless pork leg roast. WTF was I supposed to do with it? Undeterred, I scoured the internet and my voluminous cookbook collection and settled on a recipe in Molly Steven’s All About Braising. Remember? She’s the original creator of the World’s Best Braised Cabbage.

I modified her Caribbean Pork Shoulder recipe by subbing in fajita and taco seasoning for her spice blend, using a teaspoon of dried oregano in place of thyme, adding a couple bay leaves, and juicing a Meyer lemon instead of a lime.

Here’s what I assembled:

  • 3 pound boneless pork leg, tied
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from 1 medium orange)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon fajita and taco seasoning
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Here’s what I did:

I seasoned my pork leg liberally with salt and pepper. Then, I rubbed on the dried oregano and fajita and taco seasoning.

For the marinade, I whisked together the orange and lemon juices with the minced garlic. I placed the leg in a gallon Ziploc bag and poured on the marinade. I let the roast marinate in my fridge for 24 hours.

The next day, I preheated the oven to 300 F and I let the pork sit at room temperature while the oven heated. I transferred the pork leg to a large Dutch oven (5 to 6 quart) and poured on the remaining marinade and the 1/4 cup of water.

I covered the pot with parchment paper, pressing it down until it almost touches the pork, and put on the lid.

 I cooked the roast in the oven for 3.5 to 4 hours or until tender, turning it every hour.

I removed the string webbing…

…shredded up the meat…

…and poured on the defatted braising liquid.

Pretty tasty but a little on the dry side. Next time, I’m going to try this recipe with the cut she recommends: a 4 to 5 pound boneless Boston butt with skin on.

Go, butts!