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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Paleo Alaska Jambalaya

We drove up to Talkeetna a few weeks ago to visit Denali Brewing for lunch and do a little fishing.  While we didn’t have much luck fishing, lunch was definitely a success.  I decided to venture away from my usual chicken salad or lettuce wrapped burger and tried their Creamy Cajun: white rice with a creamy tomato sauce topped with chicken, shrimp, and reindeer sausage.  It was so good I had to try my own, and I’m pleased to say the first attempt hit the mark!

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Paleo Alaska Jambalaya 

Serves 6

Ingredients

3 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs

1 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided

1 head cauliflower

2 tbsp. coconut oil, divided

1 can full-fat coconut milk

6 oz. tomato paste

1/2 tsp. each sea salt, pepper, onion powder, oregano, thyme, smoked paprika

3/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

12 oz. kielbasa-style reindeer sausage

12 oz. rockfish, other firm white fish, or shrimp

Extra sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. In a medium saucepan, pour in 3/4 c. of the chicken broth.  Add the chicken thighs, cover, bring up to a boil on medium heat, then turn down to a simmer. Turn off heat when just cooked through.

2. While the chicken is simmering, grate the raw cauliflower into “rice” using a box grater. Melt 1 tbsp. of the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat, add the cauli and stir to mix the oil through, about 2 minutes.

3. Add the remaining broth to the cauli 1/4 cup at a time, stirring each until absorbed before adding the next.  Turn to low to keep warm.

4. In a small saucepan, whisk the coconut milk and tomato paste together over medium heat.  Add all of the spices (sea salt, pepper, onion powder, oregano, thyme, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper) and continue to whisk until just bubbling.  Pour the sauce into the cauliflower and stir well.

5. Remove the chicken to a cutting board.  Using two forks, shred the meat and separate it from the bone and skin (discard them or stick them in the freezer to use for making chicken broth later).

6. Cut the fish into bite-sized pieces and slice the sausage into rounds.

7. Melt the last 1 tbsp. of coconut oil in a pan (last one!) over medium.  Add the fish and stir until just cooked through. Add the chicken and sausage and cook until the edges of the meats just begin to crisp.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

8. To serve, scoop about 3/4 cup of the cauliflower mixture in a bowl and top with about 1/2 cup of the meats.  Garnish with parsley.

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Breakfast Chicken-Fried Pork Chops with Eggs

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I make a lot of “surprise meals”: dishes that sound “eh”, but taste “wow!” and leave me feeling fantastic.  The idea of pork chops, particularly leftovers, for breakfast, doesn’t inspire me much.  One morning, I didn’t have bacon or sausage, but was greeted by another cut of pork in the fridge and thought, “Why not?”  The results were amazing!

Breakfast Chicken-Fried Pork Chops with Eggs

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 egg

1/2 cup almond flour

1 tsp. garlic powder

1/2 tsp. sage

1/2 tsp. thyme

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

3 tbsp. coconut oil, divided

4 fresh or leftover bone-in pork chops

8 additional eggs

Additional sea salt and pepper

Directions

1. In a shallow dish, beat the egg.

2. In a second shallow dish, mix the almond flour and garlic powder, sage, salt, and pepper.

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3. Heat 2 tbsp. of the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat.

4. Coat each pork chop in egg, then in the almond flour mixture.

5. Fry the pork chops in the coconut oil until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side for left overs, and 5-6 minutes per side for fresh chops, or to preferred doneness depending on thickness.  (Keep in mind that pork chops cooked medium are both okayed by the USDA and delicious! No more dried out chops from the 80’s!)

6. Melt the last tbsp. of coconut oil in the pan and fry the eggs to desired doneness.

7. Top each chop with two eggs and season with salt and pepper.

8. Dig in and start your morning super satisfied!

Easy Apple Noodles

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My brand new spiralizer showed up on my front porch yesterday, amid a flurry of ringing doorbells, dog barks, and yelling 5-year-olds.  I’d been planning on adding this appliance to my kitchen arsenal for well over a year, and finally pulled the trigger.  It’s arrival neatly corresponded to the day after zucchini was conspicuously absent from the grocery store, so there would be no paleo pasta to christen it. Instead, I looked to dessert, but I think this dish would be equally good as a side for pork.

Easy Apple Noodles 

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 tbsp. butter

2 spiralized apples

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

Directions

1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add apples and stir until softened.

3. Add cinnamon and nutmeg and stir to mix. Serve.