Slow Cooker Bacon ‘n’ Oxtails

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I love the idea of eating “nose to tail”.  This recipe really nails it as an intro to the “tail” end, but I haven’t braved up enough to attempt the “nose” portion.  I’ve seen a recipe for pig snout, but there’s way too much ick factor there for me.  I think I’ve warmed up enough to the idea of attempting tongue, but they’re so darn expensive!  $25 for a slab of meat that has most certainly spent a good portion of it’s living existence picking a cow nose really baffles me. I’m not sure who’s driving up the demand for lengua, but I’ve heard it’s pretty good done right. For now though, I’ve just got tail. And I think this might be the best tail in town.

Slow Cooker Bacon ‘n’ Oxtails

Ingredients

Serves: Lots!

2 lbs. bacon ends and pieces

4-5 lbs. oxtails

4 large carrots, peeled and chopped

5 celery stalks, chopped

8 oz. sliced mushrooms

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 yellow onion, chopped

1 tbsp. italian seasoning

salt and pepper to taste

Optional: starch of choice (mashed sweet potato, potato, or parsnip, white rice, etc.)

Crockpot note: This recipe is big! I have to stuff it to fit in my 6-quart crock.

Directions

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, crisp up the bacon ends and pieces.  Remove bacon pieces from the pan to the crockpot using a slotted spatula or spoon.
  2. In batches with tongs, brown the top and bottom of each large oxtail piece, and the sides of the smaller ones, in the reserved bacon fat.  As they brown, remove from skillet and add to crockpot.
  3. Add all the veggies and seasonings to the skillet. Stir to evenly distribute fat and seasonings, and cook until veggies just begin to soften and brown. Top crockpot meat with veggies, put lid on, and set on low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Serve alone like a stew, with a green salad, or atop starch of choice.IMG_0497
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Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

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I love butternut squash all year, but they are extra-perfect in fall.  I have a few recipes for them that I’ve been working on and aren’t quite ready. This one I threw together a year ago, and it was wonderful on the first try.  Because of the apples, it’s even more fall-ish, which might be why I waited an entire year to bring it out again.  The addition of chicken or turkey makes it a nice hearty main course, but you can leave that out to make it as a side dish.

Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4, with leftovers

Ingredients

1 medium butternut squash

3 green apples

1 yellow onion

Salt and pepper

2 tbsp avocado oil

1 can full-fat coconut milk

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. sage

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 lb sliced or chopped turkey or chicken breast

Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

4 bacon slices

Directions

Preheat oven to 425.

With veggie peeler, peel squash.  Cut in half, scoop out seeds, and chop into 1 inch chunks.  Peel, core, and chop apples.  Chop onion.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cover with chopped squash, apples and onions.  Drizzle with avocado oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix gently to coat.

Roast for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes.  Edges of squash should be just browning.

Blend squash mixture with 1 can coconut milk in a food processor or blender in batches, if needed.

Pour in saucepan on medium low.  Season with garlic powder, thyme, sage, nutmeg.

Melt the 1 tbsp coconut oil in a pan.  Add the chopped turkey or chicken breast, season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and cook through. Add to soup. Thin with water if desired.

Crisp 1 slice bacon per planned bowl.  Dish up and crumble bacon on top to serve.