Category Archives: Meat

Organic Crock Pot Pulled Pork

Hello!  I am still here! University is so time consuming, I have had to prioritize extra curricular activities and unfortunately, blogging (and even most new recipe creating) had to be benched. Looks like my last post was in December which was around my last school break. At this time I am only in two Summer courses which is allowing me to visit some of my pre-student activities.  Yesterday I spend a whole evening in the kitchen.  So great.  I have missed this.

The post I have for you today might seem a little off from my usual as I tend to not eat a lot of meat but, I think it has a place for most of us and if I am going to eat meat then you know its going to be the healthiest version. And, creating healthier versions of classic recipes IS my thing!

wpid-2015-05-15-10.13.56.jpg.jpegPulled Pork. So delicious.  But, so many things can be wrong with this food. For one, Pigs are generally not a well raised animal and often one of the first meats health advisers suggest you omit.  I stopped eating it years ago and I guess just got used to it not being part of my diet.  Except, now, my butcher offers Locally Raised Organic Free-Range No-Hormone Pork. I checked it out, it is legit, these pudgy pink guys get a homemade organic diet including alfalfa (so they even eat their greens) and then get turned out to roam free and play little little piggies should do.

As for ingredients, I use only the best organic spices, coconut sugar and apple cider vinegar. When the meat is done I use the liquid to make the bbq sauce. So easy and unbelievably delicious.  I serve it up with a chili-lime coleslaw and avocado filled rye bun or, in taco with lots of cilantro.  The only thing of note with regards to cooking is I think it depends on your crock pot. Most people say about 8 hours for pulled pork but I start mine on low for about 4 hours then turn it down to warm for about 20 more. Just leave it in there until it falls apart.  If you want some extra bbq sauce that goes well with it I use Simply Natural Organic Barbecue Sauce which is made up of pretty much the same flavoring and of course all natural and organic.

Large Crock Pot
Cast Iron Fry Pan
3-5     lb Pork Shoulder
3         tablespoons High Heat Oil (Grapeseed, Sunflower or Avocado)

3         tablespoons Hot Paprika
3         tablespoons Coconut Sugar
2         tablespoons Mineral or Kosher salt
1          tablespoon Garlic Powder
1          tablespoon Onion powder
1          teaspoon Mustard Powder
1          teaspoon Cumin Powder
2          teaspoons Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1/2      teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

2 3/4  cups Water
3           tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/2       cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4       cup Honey

In a medium size bowl, combine all of the spices and coconut sugar then rub on Pork

Heat Oil in cast iron pan then brown all sides of the Pork

Deglaze pan with 3/4 cup of water and then add to crock pot with another 2 cups of water, tomato paste, vinegar, honey and all leftover spices

Place browned pork into crock pot and spoon some of the sauce over it.

Cook on low for 8 to 24 hours, at least until the meat is tender enough to be easily shredded with a fork.

When finished, pour the sauce into a pot on the stove top and simmer to reduced to a thicker bbq sauce

Serve with coleslaw and crusty buns.

*Can be frozen

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Herbed Lemon Roasted Chicken

herb-and-lemon-roasted-chicken-05Here is a simple herbed roasted chicken recipe I threw together tonight, you can find many versions of this one online but I figured I’d add my version to the list because it was really tasty and I’d like to make it again for sure!

Oven 450 degrees
Roasting Pan
Small bowl
1              Organic Roasting Chicken, rinsed, patted dry and skin loosened from meat
1/2         cup Organic Butter, room temperature
3              tablespoons fresh Rosemary, chopped
3              tablespoons fresh Thyme, chopped
3              tablespoons fresh Parsley, chopped
4              large Garlic Cloves, minced
2              teaspoons Lemon Zest (juice lemons too and reserve for gravy)
Sea Salt and Pepper

For Gravy
1              cup Broth
1/4         cup Dry White Wine
2-3          Rosemary Sprigs
Juice from the Zested Lemons
2              tablespoons All Purpose Flour

Combine butter, rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic, lemon zest, sea salt and pepper in small bowl and mix well.

Stuff, used lemon halves and any herb stems into the cavity of the chicken then using your hands, scoop butter herb mix over chicken breast under skin, finishing with spreading  some of the mix over outside of chicken too.

Tie chicken to help hold shape and season with salt and pepper.

Place chicken in roasting pan and roast for 20 minutes then reduce oven temp to 375°F and roast until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of inner thigh registers 175°F and juices run clear. Approximately 1.5 hours.

Lift chicken and tilt to empty any juices and loose herb mix into roasting pan. Transfer chicken to platter. Tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Pour pan juices into large glass measuring cup, allow to settle and spoon fat off top.

Add wine to roasting pan and heat over high heat bringing to boil.

Pour wine mixture into measuring cup with pan juices and add enough broth to measure 2 1/4 cups total liquid. Add lemon juice.

Pour back into roasting pan, add rosemary springs and flour; whisk until smooth and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Boil and stir until thickened to sauce consistency. Add sea salt and pepper to taste.

Moose Jerky

wpid-20140213_081005.jpgGot some moose meat given to me this weekend! Better than flowers to this women =)  So many things I could do with it but with this round I decided to turn it into jerky.  Good jerky with healthy simple ingredients and no crap added is tough to find and often expensive.  I’ve posted a Salmon Jerky (oven dried) before so I figured it be good to do a red meat one too.  I’ve used ingredients I have on hand in my kitchen for a basic marinade which is really just healthier versions of traditional products and the jerky turned out perfect.  Not too salty,  just the right amount of sweet, smoke and spice.  If you like it more sweet or spice, simply add more!

2             lbs Moose, Rump Roast or Top Round
1             cup Braggs Liquid Aminos
1             cup Gluten-Free Tamari
¼           cup of Gluten-Free Worcestershire Sauce
1             cup Coconut Sugar
2             tablespoons Smoked Paprika
1/2        cup Teriyaki BBQ Sauce (I use an organic one that contains pineapple juice)
1             teaspoon of Chili Peppers or Coarse Black Pepper to taste

20140212_163322Slice roast into slabs approximately 1/4 inch thick strips.

In a large sealable container, combine the marinade ingredients, stir well then add strips of meat. Close or cover and refrigerate for minimum 2 hours, up to 12 hours.

Place strips on dehydrator racks, without overlapping. Dry at 140-160F. for the first 3-4 hours. The temperature may be reduced to as low as 130 after 4 hours to finish drying (total hours 12-20)  all depending on how dry you like your jerky.  If necessary, occasionally blot the jerky with paper towels as it dries to remove beads of oil. Test jerky for dryness by cooling a piece. When sufficiently dry, cooled jerky will crack (but not break in two) when bent. There should be no moist spots.

TIP: If jerky is too brittle, brush on a little Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce to soften it.

No food dehydrator? …..

jerkyYou can use your oven!  Hang the strips on skewers on one end of the oven.  Some ovens can be set low, in this case follow the same temperature instructions as above.  If not, set your oven to its lowest (probably 150 or 160) and dry for 4 to 5 hours with the door slightly cracked open, use a metal spoon or something heat safe to hold it open.

Cut cool jerky into 2 to 4″ pieces before storing. Jerky containing salt and cured without a commercial curing preparation may be stored at room temperature for 1 to 2 months. If air humidity is low, the container should have a loose-fitting lid or one with holes punched in it. Good air circulation keeps the flavour fresher. If the humidity of the air is more than 30%, store jerky in an airtight container. Jerky may be refrigerated or frozen to increase shelf life and maintain flavour.

Don’t waste that left over marinade either, pour into a pot and bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes then cool and store to use as a BBQ sauce for chicken or something later.

Deer Stew and Burgers

I am actually posting this one a year later…where does the time go….an amazingly cool girl friend of mine gifted me deer from her first ever hunt last Winter, pretty awesome and kinda special I think (I knitted her a toque). Actually, irronically, knitting is the reason I haven’t been food blogging as much ha but anyways….  Now I don’t eat a lot of meat but when I do its always free range or grass fed and a major bonus if hunted in its natural environment by a friend none-the-less! I understand hunting could be a sensitive topic for some but personally, I love wild sourced meat and if you’ve actually hunted and prepared it yourself, even better.   If you’re a meat eater I think it’s the most respectful way to get it and by any comparison with the factory-produced, chemical-drenched, hormone filled, fat-laden pseudo-meat that too many North 

deer stew

Americans grow obese and sick from eating today, wild meat — fish, fowl or red — is brilliantly natural, inimitably healthy and morally superior.  Ahem …..ok on that note here is my deer burgars and my take on a classic simple deer stew recipe.   And much love to Heather for sharing her deer.

Deer Stew

1              teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1              teaspoon dried Oregano
1              teaspoon dried Thyme
1              teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4         cup Flour (I use a mix of brown and sweet rice floor)
2-3          tablespoons high heat oil like Grape Seed
3               large cloves Garlic, crushed
3              large Sweet Onions, coarsely chopped
1              lb Carrots, sliced
1              Bay Leaf
1/2         cup Red Wine
1              tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (I use gluten-free)
3              cups Low Sodium Broth  (I use sea salted vegetable)
2              lbs  Potatoes, cubed or sliced (I use mixed little gems and just cut them in half)
2              tablespoons Starch: Arrowroot, Potato  or Cornstarch

Sea salt to taste

Season meat with pepper, oregano, thyme and garlic powder then dust with flour.

Heat oil in large heavy bottomed stewing pot. Sauté meat until browned.

Add garlic, onions, carrots, bay leaf, wine, worcestershire and broth. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours or until meat is tender.

Add potatoes and cook another 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.

Mix starch with an equal amount of water. Stir into stew until mixture has thickened.

Adjust Salt and Pepper.

Enjoy!

Venison Burgers 

I was surprised at the lack of recipes online for Venison Burgers, what I did notice though is most had some sort of fat added to them as Deer meat, similar to Bison which I work with more often, is very lean.  With Bison Burgers I add oil, here I used bacon and was quite happy with the results, now of course if pork isn’t your thing, and honestly it rarely is mine, you can omit the bacon and simply add a healthy high oil of your choice.  A high heat oil would be best but I think olive oil would be okay if you are planning to make a more rare burger. Also if you omit the bacon you should ass some sea salt.

1-2          pounds Deer Meat
1              teaspoon fresh Parsley, chopped
1              teaspoon fresh Thyme, chopped
1/4         teaspoon Smoked Paprika
6              slices of Bacon
2              Shallots, diced
2              cloves of Garlic
1              tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1              tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1              Egg
1/4         cup Panko Bread Crumbs or Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs *optional

In a bowl, combine ground Deer with fresh ground pepper and chopped spices and set aside.

Pan fry bacon, once cooked to crisp, remove from the pan and set aside.  Now cook onions garlic in the bacon fat till just soft.  Remove from heat to cool.

Combine deer, worcestershire, mustard, and onions, garlic with the bacon fat and mix well with your hands.  Now add the egg and the bread crumbs if you are using them.  Cover bowl and refrigerate for about an hour.  Once chilled, form 4-6 patties and then grill!  Can be frozen for later use.   Cook from frozen.

Oven Dried Salmon Jerky

Cleaning out my freezer making room for soups and stews last night I found the last of my Summer Cabin Time salmon, so I whip up a marinade and dried it in the oven. This method is actually quite simple and you get a very tasty, preservative free jerky! The recipe below is my tried and tested marinade but feel free to adjust or improvise on it, if you don’t like any sweetness you can take out the maple, if you like spice and pepper add more or add some fresh cracked pepper to the flesh of the salmon before drying, if you don’t have smoked paprika you could use liquid smoke to keep the smokey flavour. You could use soy sauce in place of Braggs too. 6-8 hours of oven drying time should do it, but watch for desired doneness. I like my jerky less done so 6 hours at my ovens lowest temp with the door cracked open ever so slightly is just right for me. This is one of those recipes you’ll HAVE to try along the way – Oh darn. 😉

2    full Salmon Filets, approximately 3 lbs, cut into 1 inch strips (I use sockeye so this was maybe a 9lb fish)
Medium bowl
2/3     cup Braggs Liquid Amino
2/3     cup Worcestershire Sauce
2/3     cup Agave, Maple or Brown Sugar
2    teaspoons Smoked Paprika
2    teaspoons Tabasco
2    tablespoon Toasted Sesame Oil
1    teaspoon Garlic Powder
2    teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper
1    teaspoon Onion Powder
1    teaspoon fresh Ground Pepper

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Arrange Salmon strips in a shallow glass dish or place in a ziplock bag and pour in marinade sauce. Allow to marinade for 6-8 hours, turning or shaking every so often.

Drain marinade and shake off excess drippings.

Line the bottom rack of your oven with foil to catch drippings and turn onto the lowest setting, usually ovens set as low at 170 degrees, if 160 degrees is available go with that or if you’ve got a fancy oven with a dehydrating setting definitely use it! My oven only goes to 170 but I crack the door, just a little bit with a small metal spatula to allow the moist air to escape similar to a dehydrator.

Arrange salmon strips skin side down, spaced out on a rack place mid oven.

Bake for approximately 6-8 hours or until desired dryness.

Salmon jerky will last a couple months in the fridge or freeze it for longer term.

Eat it as is, take it hiking, serve with goat cheese or cream cheese, capers and crackers…endless delicious possibilities.

Enjoy!

Bison, Kale, Goat and Sheep Cheese, Rice Pasta Lasagna

This lasagna is unbelievably flavourful and uses only easily digested healthy sheep and goat cheese, gluten-free pasta and nutrient dense kale. I serve it to three wheat, meat  and dairy eating people and they ALL loved it.  If you haven’t already given up beef for bison here is a link to my write-up on why it’s so much healthier for us.  I think this recipe would work just fine with ground turkey if you prefer that and, feel free to switch sheep ricotta for goat if you can find it.   I  bought all my cheese at Whole Foods.

Oven 400 degrees
Large frying pan
9×12 glass square baking pan
3          tablespoons Olive Oil
1          cup Yellow Onion, chopped
3          Garlic Cloves, minced
1 1/2  pounds ground Bison
1          tablespoon Braags
1          (28-ounce) can Crushed Tomatoes
1/2       (6-ounce) can Tomato Paste
1/2       cup fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, chopped and divided
1/2       cup fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
1            bunch Kale, chopped (approximately 3-4 cups)
1/2       teaspoon  Sea Salt
3/4      teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1            package Rice Lasagna Noodles
10         ounces Ricotta (Goat or Sheep), broken or chopped
5           ounces Creamy Goat Cheese, crumbled
3/4     cup grated Pecorino Romano Emma (like Parmesan but Sheep), plus 1/4 cup for  sprinkling
1          extra-large Egg, lightly beaten
1          pound fresh Goat Mozzarella, thinly sliced

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add onions and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat or until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the ground bison and Braags and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for about 8 minutes or until just not pink (no need to fully cook).

Add the can tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 tablespoons of the parsley, all of the basil and 1/2 teaspoon sea  salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered, over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with boiled water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. Drain and rinse. They will be firm but bendable.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, goat cheese, 1 cup of Pecorino Romano, the egg, the remaining parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular glass baking dish, spreading over the bottom of the dish.

Then add the layers as follows:

Half the pasta,

half the kale,

half the mozzarella,

half the ricotta mix.

Then, another 1/3 the sauce,

the rest of the pasta,

rest of the kale,

rest of the mozzarella,

rest of the ricotta mix, and finally,

the last 1/3 of the sauce. Top with 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

Sausage and Goat Cheese Penne

Goat cheese and rice pasta make this one of my favorite not so guilty, guilty pleasures! Use whatever sausage you wish (even a vegan one if need be), although I suggest a good quality Italian sausage. I often add some baby spinach to my bowl just before serving, it softens up and blends right in giving the meal just a little bit of healthy green.

Large Pot
Large Saucepan
2 cups Penne Rice Pasta (enough for four)
5 links Italian Sausage, cut into 1/4 inch slices)
1 medium Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped
3 fresh Sage Leaves, torn
6 Roma Tomatoes, diced
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1 cup crumbled Goat Cheese
1 small bunch fresh Parsley, chopped
Sea Salt and Pepper

Cook Penne as per direction in sea salted water.

While pasta is cooking, sauté onions and sausage in the oil until the sausage almost cooked through.

Add the garlic, sage and tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.

Add balsamic, and remove from heat to wait for pasta.

Add cooked, drained pasta to the sauce and return to medium-low heat for a minute or two.

Remove from heat, stir in crumbled goat cheese and parsley and serve!