Nom Nom Paleo

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!

Dining Out Paleo: Pampas (Palo Alto, CA)

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Pampas in Palo Alto is a Paleo diner’s dream come true — unlimited amounts of charred animal flesh (and some veggies on the side, if you so desire) for $44 a head. There’s no mention of grass-fed or pasture-raised, but on the other hand, you don’t have to pretend to be a celiac disease sufferer to find out what items are gluten-free.

Pampas is a Brazilian Churrascaria where the servers bring skewer after skewer of spit-roasted meats to your table and all you do is point, grunt, and gorge.

There is a side bar to get salad, vegetables, and starches but why bother with these fillers? Tonight, hubby and I just filled up on meaty goodness a la Richard Nikoley.

Here’s my appetizer…

…entree..

…and dessert.

Meat = tasty.

A few items were over-salted and/or over-cooked but, for the most part, I’ve enjoyed my meals here. My favorite skewers were the leg of lamb marinated with garlic and mint, skirt steak, top sirloin, and tri-tip. I didn’t particularly like the tenderloin filet seasoned with parmesan or the dry pork loin. But hey, if you don’t like a certain cut, you can just wait for the friendly server to bring you something else.

This place is great for groups and they’re accommodating with your cave kids as well. However, Pampas just filed for Chapter 11 protection in bankruptcy court so get your meat now while the spits are still roasting.

Meat Oasis: Dittmer’s Gourmet Meats & Wurst-Haus (Mountain View)

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Smoked meats, award winning sausages, high quality fresh meat, friendly and knowledgeable butchers — Dittmer’s has it all.  I didn’t see a lot of grass-fed beef, but the freezer is stocked with venison, buffalo, and elk and they routinely carry free range chicken and turkey (Diestel).  Plus, for all you sous viders out there, they have a variety of pre-marinated, vacuum sealed meats that you can pop into a Sous Vide Supreme right out of the fridge or freezer.  

Yes, the smoked meats are cured with sugar (so they aren’t truly Paleo) but I don’t give a rat’s ass.  They’re damn tasty.

I heard the owner’s son telling a customer that they are super swamped right now fulfilling World Series party orders and things are only going to get busier with the holidays around the corner.  So what are you waiting for? Haul your glutes over to Dittmer’s pronto.  Bitte schön!