Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 6/6/11

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Whoa, nelly! Phil’z Coffee is STRONG stuff. I was buzzing when I started work but the java is so delicious, I didn’t mind the palpitations and jitters. Yes, I shouldn’t chug 20 ounces in less than 15 minutes before starting my nightshift but I’m an all or nothing kind of gal. 

Here’s what I ate while on my caffeine high:

My first meal was at 2:30 a.m. when I drank some soup filled with veggies, smoked ham, and chicken apple sausage.

For snack, I ate a Primal Pac. If I had to choose between a Primal Pac or a Paleo Kit, I’d eat a Paleo Kit. Why? I just think they’re a little tastier: the jerky is more flavorful and I like dried strawberries better than mango. Don’t get me wrong, both are tasty emergency snacks but my personal preference is to chow on a Paleo Kit.

I wasn’t really hungry at the end of my shift so I didn’t eat the dinner I packed. Instead, I came home and made some breakfast for dinner (inspired by Ms. Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites): pastured bacon and eggs with a side of Farmhouse Culture Smoked Jalapeno Kraut

After I ate,  I removed the pork chops out of the SousVide Supreme (hubby plunked them in the water oven before heading to his 5:00 a.m. class at CrossFit Palo Alto).

I chilled them in an ice bath for an hour before sticking them in the fridge since we’ll be eating these chops tomorrow night.

Then, I hit the sack and slept until the evening.

At 5;00 p.m., I woke up and plopped the sous-vided cowboy steaks in the water oven (130 F for about 45 minutes) to reheat.

To accompany the dino-sized chops, I broiled asparagus (drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar)…

…and eggplant slices (topped with balsamic vinegar and basil chiffonade)…

…pureed a batch of garlic cauliflower mashed potatoes.

…and nuked leftover gravy from the freezer.

Once I finished cooking the veggies, I seared and blow-torched the cowboy steaks.

And, yes, that little Lego lady is there to emphasize the ginormousness of these steaks. We split one steak between four adults!

Here’s my dinner plate:

After dinner I did some burpees and put gathered my crap for work. No coffee tonight — just some coconut flakes and coconut water before heading out the door. Two more nights of work before I’m on PTO!

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 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.

Yes!

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!