Nom Nom Paleo

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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Video: Veggies 4 Ways

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Wanna see how quick and easy it is to throw together four of my favorite vegetable sides? Watch the video below to see how I made roasted kabocha squash, garlic cauliflower mashed “potatoes,” pressure cooker braised greens, and stir-fried kale and bacon — all in just one hour. I did this after working a 10-hour graveyard shift, so I don’t want to hear any complaints about not having the time or energy to make veggies!

And if you can’t get the catchy music out of your head, blame Ryan of The Cave Kids, who created the soundtrack to this video with lightning speed!

Pressure Cooker Braised Kale and Carrots

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Everyone should eat kale. That statement’s irrefutable because it’s uber-healthy, versatile (e.g. chips, salad, stir-fry), and ‘cause I said so. Still resistant? Well, here’s another quick and easy method to cook kale where you’ll end up with a bowl of tender greens and carrots in about 15 minutes. Grab your pressure cooker and let’s get some dark leafy greens in your belly already.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 10 ounces of kale, roughly chopped (including stems)
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee or fat of choice
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2” slices
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

I love buying organic produce at the farmers’ market but when I need a quick veggie side, I just grab a bag of washed and chopped kale from Trader Joe’s.

Once you cut open the bag, you’re ready to go. There’s no tedious washing, spinning, or removing ribs.

Get your 6-qt or larger pressure cooker and melt the ghee over medium heat.

Toss in the chopped carrots and onions…

…and saute until softened.

Throw in the garlic and stir until fragrant (~30 seconds). Pile in the kale, pour in the chicken broth…

…and sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste. Make sure you still have at least 1/3 of the head space at the top of the pot or it just might go kablooey.

Increase the heat to high, lock the lid in place, and wait until the cooker reaches high pressure. Once high pressure is achieved, decrease the heat to low and maintain high pressure for 8 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, take the pot off the heat. You can let the pressure drop naturally (10-15 minutes) or if you’re impatient like me, activate the quick release valve and the steam will hiss right out.

Remove the lid, give everything a swirl, and taste for seasoning. Splash on some balsamic vinegar and sprinkle on some red pepper flakes if you want some heat.

Ladle it up and dig in.

Pressure Cooker Grass Fed Beef Back Ribs

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Grass fed beef back ribs are normally cooked low and slow for many hours to break down the collagen in the tough meat. What if I told you you could get the same results in less than an hour in a pressure cooker? Seriously. Don’t be afraid of your pot exploding. If you get a good pressure cooker AND follow directions, you’ll save time and energy PLUS get kickass results. If you don’t…it was nice knowing you.

Ingredients (Serves 2):

I love Chili 9000 on all sorts of stuff, but it’s my go-to dry rub for ribs.

Grab a rack of grass fed beef back ribs and pat them dry with a paper towel. Then, sprinkle it liberally on both sides with the dry rub and kosher salt. 

Wrap it up in foil to marinate for at least two hours and up to a day.

When you’re ready to cook the ribs, preheat the broiler with the rack positioned 4-6 inches from the heating element. 

Grab the rack from the fridge and cut it so it’ll fit in your pressure cooker. If you’ve got a 6-quart pot, cut the rack into three even pieces. Put the ribs on a wire rack in a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. 

Broil the ribs for 1-2 minutes on each side to get a nice char. Keep the broiler on because you’ll be broiling these meaty bones again at the end.

Add the water, applesauce, coconut aminos, and fish sauce to the pressure cooker. Stir to combine and add a rack to the pot.

Pile the ribs into the pressure cooker and lock on the lid. 

Crank the heat to high and when the pot reaches high pressure, turn down the heat to maintain high pressure on the lowest setting possible. Cook on high pressure for 20 minutes and let the pressure come down naturally or release it quickly.

Remove the ribs and place them back on a wire rack atop a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet.

Simmer the cooking liquid until it is reduced to 2 cups (~5 minutes). Skim off the excess fat at the top if desired and adjust seasoning.

Baste the racks with the braising liquid…

…and broil them for about a minute to get some crunchy bits.

With a minimal investment in time, you’ve got some finger-lickin’ tender ribs. Try it!

Paleo Eats: 1/20/12 (Whole30 Day 20)

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Fitbomb and I stayed up late last night working on our side project so I was especially grumpy when the Double-O’s barged into our room at 7:00 a.m. on the dot. Mommy really needed her black espresso this morning. Since I still had a hacking cough, didn’t get enough sleep, and the boys had no school, I decided to skip out on my class at CrossFit Palo Alto. Are those good enough excuses, Coach Trish?

Instead of getting my WOD on, I spent the morning hanging with the boys and making a quick batch of pressure cooker beef broth with oxtails and cross shanks to soothe my raw throat.

As I babysat the kids and the pot of pressurized broth, I patiently scrambled eggs and ghee a la Gordon Ramsay for breakfast. These come out with an ultra-creamy and custardy texture, but it’s much easier to achieve these results in the SousVide Supreme — with no effort.

At lunchtime, I downed a couple of bowls of soup filled with fork tender beef. I know bone broth is good for you, but it tastes so much better when you’ve got some meat in there, too.

I seasoned a big pile of New York steaks with Magic Mushroom Powder, vacuum-sealed them, and dunked them in the SousVide Supreme for a few hours.

In the afternoon, I dropped the Double-O’s at my in-laws for the weekend. Fitbomb and I have a weekend rendezvous at Catalyst Athletics for a two-day Oly Lifting seminar. Who says romance is dead?

Oh! I almost forgot that I got in a fender bender this afternoon. I’m fine and the car is a little dinged, but I’m p.o.’d that some inattentive loser of a driver is causing me to be carless for a week. On a brighter note, the accident occurred as I was returning home after a super-productive meeting with some people about our side project. I have to say it’s looking pretty darn cool, and I’m proud of all the hard work Fitbomb and I’ve put into it. I’ll have an announcement soon, I promise.

For dinner, we hosted our best buds S & J and their adorable son, M. I used the pressure cooker to make a batch of cauliflower, parsnip, and carrot puree

…prepared a gravy with sauteed mushrooms…

…sauteed chard and red onions…

…and charred the sous vide New York steaks with my kitchen torch.

Time to get some zzz’s!