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Category Archives: Meat dishes

Nose to Tail Slow Cooker Beef Rendang

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I love trying out different cuts of meat from my butcher. I popped in around midday in Saturday, hoping to pick up some beef short ribs as I really fancied making something rich in collagen and full of the goodness of grass-fed beef bones. They had already sold out of short ribs, so I decided to go with oxtail instead. Then something else caught my eye – beef cheek! I’ve had it before in restaurants, but never tried cooking it myself. I bought one with the idea in my mind of ‘beefing up’ (pardon the pun) my oxtail dish.

I wasn’t exactly sure what on earth I was going to make with these random cow parts, so I had a flip through some of my favourite recipe books to get ideas. Rick Stein’s Far Eastern Odyssey piqued my interest as I already had some bits and pieces from the Thai supermarket lurking in the fridge. I decided I would make my own take on his Beef Rendang recipe (a Malaysian curry).

Nose to Tail Slow Cooker Beef Rendang (serves 3)
Ingredients:

For the spice paste:
60g desiccated coconut, toasted in a dry wok
6 dried birds eye chillies
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
6 cloves garlic
4 shallots (small)
4 red chillies, deseeded

For the beef:
1 tbsp coconut oil
6 kafir lime leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, slit down the middle
160ml coconut cream
1 large cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 tbsp tamarind paste mixed in 120ml boiling water
15 drops stevia liquid
1 beef cheek cut into chunks
3 large pieces oxtail
1/2 cup cilantro leaves

Make spice paste by placing all ingredients into a food processor and blitzing until it forms a thick goo.
Melt coconut oil in a large pan or wok.
Add oxtail sand beef cheek and sear on all sides.
Add in the spice paste and fry for 1 min.
Add in remaining ingredients (except cilantro) and mix well.
Transfer to slow cooker and leave to cook for 4-6 hrs on high.
Just before serving, stir in cilantro leaves and sprinkle a few on top to make it look pretty!

I served this with mashed swede and rainbow chard sautéed in coconut oil, as that is what I had in the fridge. This would be great served with cauliflower ‘rice’.

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Lamb Biryani

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This horrible weather just makes me want to stay at home and eat comfort food! Last night I had a real hankering for Indian food with it’s rich comforting flavours. Luckily I had some organic lamb leg steaks in the fridge, and half an enormous cauliflower. I was struck with a great idea – lamb biryani using cauliflower instead of rice. I also threw a bit of kale in there for some extra greenery, fibre and nutrients. I also happened to have half a can of coconut milk left over from something else, so in that went too! The resulting dish was exactly what I was after! Tasty, satisfying, easy and pretty quick.

Lamb Biryani (serves 2)
Ingredients:
2 lamb leg steaks, trimmed of excess fat and cut into cubes
1/2 large cauliflower, finely chopped
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1″ piece ginger, finely chopped
6-8 large kale leaves, tough stems removed and leaves chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 can coconut milk
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
Sea salt

Melt the coconut oil in a large pan and once really hot, add the lamb and sear. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate.
Add the onion to the remaining fat in the pan. Sauté until soft.
Add the ginger and garlic and stir fry until fragrant.
Add the vegetables, lamb and spices and salt to taste and stir well so that everything is mixed and coated with spice.
Add the coconut milk.
Cover and simmer for 10-15 mins until the cauliflower is well cooked, but not mushy.
Remove the lid, break the cauliflower up with a spoon so that it resembles rice grains.
If there is quite a lot of liquid in the pan, turn the heat up and reduce until the dish is fairly dry.
Just before serving, stir in chopped coriander/ cilantro leaves.

Moroccan Beef Stew

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I’m back! Did you miss me?
I know it’s been forever since I last posted, but with good reason…I’ve spent the last 3 months working on cruise ships performing and teaching belly dance. It was a fantastic experience! I met some amazing people and saw some amazing places and generally had a great time. It was weird though to rely on someone else cooking for me every meal every day! It was pretty straightforward sticking to a Paleo/Primal diet (although you never really know if there are some nasty hidden ingredients), but on the whole I did well and I lost weight too! I think I’m probably the first person in history to lose weight on a cruise ship! It’s quite terrifying to watch how much and what people eat when allowed free reign of the buffet!

I was at a friend’s house for dinner the other night. He made the most delicious lamb and prune stew with – kind of Moroccan spiced. I had some beef in my fridge and decided I would try to recreate it at home the next day so that Mr (not entirely) Grain Free could try it (he wasn’t with me on Friday night).
The result was delicious, although I think the flavour of lamb suits the spices better, so I would urge you to make it with diced lamb leg if you can get it. If you’re not a lamb fan, do not worry, it is still delicious with beef.

Moroccan Beef/Lamb Stew (serves 3-4)

500g stewing steak/ leg of lamb, cubed
1 cup prunes (pitted)
1 red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, smashed
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp red chilli, finely chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
Sea salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 180C
Put all ingredients except the coriander leaves in a large lidded casserole dish – no need to brown the onions or meat first (honestly it makes no difference and just makes extra work).
Give it a good stir so that the liquid and spices coat everything.
Cook in the oven for around an hour and a half. Check after an hour to make sure the liquid hasn’t all cooked away. You can always add a little more chicken stock if it is already looking a bit dry.
Just before serving, stir in the chopped coriander leaves.
I served my stew with cauliflower ‘cous cous’ (made the same way as cauliflower ‘rice’)

Minty Lamb Kebabs

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The weather has been freakishly hot here in the UK. So much so that I haven’t really felt like cooking at all. Most of my meals have been salads and things that require very little time spent in a hot kitchen with the oven on! Hence why it’s been so long since I posted! I did however find the time/ inclination to make this very easy lamb kebab dish over the weekend. It would have been delicious cooked outdoors over charcoal, but it was still very tasty cooked in the oven.

Minty Lamb Kebabs (serves 2)

Ingredients:
2 lamb leg steaks (about 150g each), cut into cubes
2 cups mint leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped
3 tbsp EVOO
2 red onions, cut into chunks
1 red pepper, large diced

Prepare the marinade. Dump the lamb into a ziplock bag along with the garlic, mint, EVOO, salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Massage the bag so that all the lamb gets coated.
Leave to marinate for a few hours or overnight if possible.
Preheat oven to 180 C or fire up your grill/BBQ .
Thread lamb cubes alternating with the veggies onto skewers.
Bake in oven for 20-25 mins.
Serve with a mixed leaf salad.

Chinese Meatball Soup with Pak Choi

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I know I’ve been absent for a while again. Apologies for not keeping up with my posts. I’ve been short on time for cooking recently as I’m on a massive drive to build up business by September. I’ve decided to get back into the world of belly dancing which was my entire life (and my full time job!) for at least ten years. I have a couple of students coming to me regularly for lessons which I fit in around my personal training clients. I’ve had a few performances recently too. It’s made me realise how much I have missed dancing! So anyway I am trying to rebuild my dance business as well as trying to attract more personal training work too. Sadly, cooking and blogging has had to take a back seat whilst I do this. I’ve been eating a lot of salads and boring food such as roasted chicken breasts with steamed veggies. Not exciting at all, but quick, easy and nourishing.

This dish is another which was inspired by something similar I had on my travels around Southeast Asia (yup, still on the Asian food kick!) It was pretty simple to make and quite tasty. Feel free to add more garlic, ginger or some fresh chillies if you want a more intense flavour experience!

Chinese Meatball Soup with Pak Choi (serves 6)

Ingredients:
For the meatballs
500g pork mince
500g beef mince
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2″ piece of ginger, finely diced
Salt
150g shiitake mushrooms, finely diced
1 egg beaten
For the soup
4 spring onions/scallions, sliced on the diagonal
3 pak choi, halved
500ml chicken stock
3 tbsp coconut aminos
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
Toasted sesame oil for drizzling

Preheat oven to 170C
Mix the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl.
Form into balls, place on a baking sheet and bake for around 25 mins
In a large wok, bring the chicken stock to a simmer.
Add the meatballs when cooked, the veggies and seasonings.
Allow to simmer until pak choi is tender but not over cooked.
Serve in bowls drizzled with some toasted sesame oil (and some fresh chilli if you like).

Pork Pad Ka Pao (Stir-fried spicy pork with Thai Holy Basil)

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Yes people, more Southeast Asian food! I absolutely fell in love with this dish on my travels. It contains savoury, sweet and umami all in one dish. I knew when I was eating it that it was not Paleo, but I was convinced that I would be able to make a Paleo version which tasted just as good. I actually surprised myself! It was absolutely delicious! I did some googling of traditional Pad Ka Pao recipes. I really liked the one I found on shesimmers.com (an amazing Thai food blog), and decided to use it as my base to tinker with for a Paleo version. If you can get to an Asian supermarket, it is definitely worth investing in some Thai Holy Basil. The dish won’t taste the same if you use Italian or Greek basil, although that will have to suffice if you can’t get hold of Thai basil, which has an almost aniseed taste. If you don’t have coconut sugar, you could substitute honey in its place. I served this dish with some asparagus, zucchini and carrots stir-fried with shallots, garlic, ginger and coconut aminos.

Pork Pad Ka Pao (Thai Stir-Fried Spicy Pork with Holy Basil)
Serves 3

Ingredients :
500g minced pork
3 eggs
7 cloves garlic, minced
3 chillies, sliced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp coconut aminos
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp coconut sugar
1 cup Thai Holy Basil leaves

Melt the coconut oil in a wok or large frying pan.
Crack 1 egg into the oil and fry until crispy on the bottom and the white is no longer translucent.
Remove the egg and set aside on a plate.
Repeat the process with the other eggs. Cover and keep warm (or reheat just before serving)
If there isn’t much oil left in the wok by this point, add a little more.
Add the shallots, garlic and chillies. Stir-fry for a minute to soften.
Add the pork mince and fry on a high heat until any liquid from the meat has evaporated and the mince starts browning.
Add the fish sauce, coconut aminos and coconut sugar. Stir through the pork mixture to make sure everything is well coated. If it seems very dry, add a little water.
Add the basil and stir through to wilt it slightly.
Serve with the fried egg on top of the pile of meat and some stir- fried veggies on the side.

Thai Style Stir-Fried Pork

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Don’t say I didn’t warn you that for a good long while the majority of my posts are going to be Asian inspired! This delicious stir-fry is kind of an amalgamation of several dishes I had whilst I was in Thailand and Cambodia. You could substitute any other veggies you have on hand.

Thai Style Stir-Fried Pork (serves 2-3)

500g pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
1″ piece of ginger, cut into thin matchsticks
200g tenderstem broccoli
3 medium shallots, finely sliced
2 ramiro peppers, finely sliced
2 red chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
Juice of half a lime
2 tsp fish sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely shredded

Melt half the coconut oil in a wok.
Add the pork and half the chilli and ginger.
Stir-fry until browned and any liquid has evaporated.
Add the remaining coconut oil, followed by the veggies and remaining ginger and chilli.
Cook until the veggies have softened.
Add the kaffir lime leaves and the garlic, stir-fry for a minute longer.
Add the fish sauce and lime juice.
Stir to make sure everything is coated and heated through.
Serve on it’s own or with cauliflower rice.