Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category

Saving your grass-fed beef fat

In my kitchen, we cook a lot of grass-fed ground beef. We use it for paleo tacos, chili, bunless hamburgers, meatballs, and lots more. The beef we buy from our local farmers market is pretty lean, so there’s never much fat left in the pan after cooking. But we also buy the 75% lean ground beef from US Wellness Meats, which leaves plenty of fat. Rather than throw this delicious, healthy fat away, as you might do with commercial ground beef, you can save it for later and use it in other dishes.

Here are a few reasons you might want to do this:

  1. Grass fed beef tallow is one of the healthiest fats you can eat. It’s lower in polyunsaturated fats (PUFA) than nearly any other oil, and higher in vitamin K2, CLA, vitamin A, and other nutrients than other fats.
  2. It’s savory, beefy taste makes it an excellent choice for certain types of cooking. (I use it for sautéing vegetables when making chili, veggie egg scrambles, and many other dishes).
  3. It’s a free source of healthy calories. Hey, you already paid for it! Why not use it?

To store the fat for later use, you need to separate the oil from the water and other beefy bits that are all mixed together when you drain the meat. If you simply put it in a bowl and stick it in the fridge, the watery parts will start growing mold in a week or so. By separating the fat, you can store it for much longer.

To get the best results, here’s what I do:

  1. Drain the meat and pour all drippings into a bowl.
  2. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for a few hours. The oil will float to the top and solidify, while the water will sink to the bottom
  3. Once the fat is solid, take the solid fat off and place it in a clean bowl, and discard the water.
  4. Lastly, melt the oil by heating it for a few seconds in the microwave oven, and then strain it through cheesecloth into another clean dish. This will remove any impurities and leave you with a fairly clear oil that can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks and used as need.

What do you use your grass-fed beef fat for? Leave a comment and let me know.

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Savory Paleo Chili

Yesterday my wife and I harvested the ripe tomatoes from our garden and wound up with so many that we needed to can them, make tomato sauce for freezing, or something like that. For starters, I decided to make a big pot of chili in the slow-cooker, though it looks like I’ll still have plenty of tomatoes for marinara.

I’ve always loved chili, but you can’t find paleo-friendly chili in a can. You’ve got to make it yourself. In fact, if you want your chili to be truly paleo, you need to make your own chili seasoning because almost all commercial chili seasonings contain wheat flour as their primary ingredient.

Here’s a bean-free, flourless, gluten-free chili I made to use up all those extra tomatoes. This recipe requires a large slow cooker. If you’ve got a smaller slow cooker, you may want to cut the recipe in half.

Ingredients

1 large bowl full of tomatoes (I used at least a dozen tomatoes for this batch)
3 lbs extra lean ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
2 cups chopped fresh parsley
4 tbsp coconut oil

Chili Seasoning

1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper

First, you’ll want to blanch the tomatoes to remove the peels. This is preferable to having lots of little bits of tomato skin in your chili. If you’ve never blanched a tomato, watch this video to see how it’s done.

Once the tomatoes are blanched, they should look something like this.

Next, chop the tomatoes and put them in the slow cooker. If you don’t want a watery chili, you should cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters to let some of the juices run out before chopping them for the chili.

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Now brown the ground beef. Once cooked, drain the beef and add it to the slow cooker with the tomatoes.

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Next, saute the onions, bell pepper and celery in a large skillet with 2 tbsp coconut oil until tender, and then add them to the slow cooker with the meat and tomatoes. This large bell pepper came from our local farmer’s market. Most bell peppers are smaller than this, so you may need to use a couple of pepper; perhaps a green one and a red one.

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Finally, mix all of the spices together in a bowl and add them to the slow cooker.

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Now saute the sliced mushrooms in the remaining 2 tbsp of coconut oil until tender. Add the mushrooms and chopped parsley to the slow cooker and stir everything together. It should look something like this.

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Cover and cook on high for one hour. After one hour, turn the slow cooker down to low and cook for two more hours.

Serve with paleo cornbread, cinnamon rolls, and maple bars. Kidding.