Tag Archives: beef

Beef Heart in Romesco Sauce

Beef Heart in Romesco Sauce | Paleo + Life

As I mentioned last time, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to more consistently eat paleo “superfoods.” I’m aiming for at least once a week. Organ meats are an easy place to start keeping that resolution. With all of the health benefits they offer (the B vitamins, vitamin K, vitamin D, iodine, zinc, CoQ10, etc., etc. — check out this great post from The Paleo Mom for more details), these are truly the unsung heroes of the freezer case.

Heart, in particular, is a nice introduction to learning how to eat the odd bits. It’s muscle meat, just like steaks or ribs which are so familiar to us:  the flavor of heart is really just an especially ‘beefy’ roast beef.  The long, low and slow cooking that the sous vide provides makes the meat deliciously tender. (This dish can also be made in the slow cooker, but I find using the sous vide provides a very tender texture.)

Beef Heart in Romesco Sauce | Paleo + Life

My favorite way to serve beef heart is in romesco sauce. One of the loveliest, most versatile sauces I know, it comes from the Catalan region of Spain. Like any good traditional recipe, romesco has many variations. Some versions use tomatoes, some use bread, but just about all feature sweet peppers, garlic and almond flour.

Prepared in the sous vide, the flavors of the vegetables and meat infuse one another so that each bite holds the essence of all the ingredients. Here, I’ve blended the vegetables with the juices from the meat, which gives the sauce a deep velvety brown color. For a thicker, more colorful sauce, when you open the packet, pour off the meat juices and puree the veggies. Depending on which pepper you have used, the sauce will take on that color.
(Don’t discard the juices: pour them into a saucepan, and cook over medium high heat until the volume is reduced by half. Drizzle a bit of this over the beef. It is delicious.)

Beef Heart in Romesco Sauce

Ingredients

  • Beef heart, approximately 3 lbs
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 sweet bell peppers, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond flour

Instructions

  1. Preheat sous vide to 185 degrees.
  2. Rinse the heart and pat dry. In a medium bowl, sprinkle the paprika, parsley, salt and pepper over the meat, making sure all sides of the heart are coated.
  3. In a sous vide pouch, combine the heart, onions, bell peppers, garlic and oil. With the vacuum sealer, seal the bag shut.
  4. Place pouch in the sous vide. Allow to cook for 24-36 hours. Remove pouch from sous vide and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  5. When cooled, open pouch and remove heart; set aside. Pour vegetables, cooking juices and almond flour into a high-speed blender and puree for 15-20 seconds, or until a smooth sauce has formed.
  6. Slice the heart into portions approximately 3/4" thick. When ready to serve, top slices of heart with a spoonful of sauce.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/beef-heart-in-romesco-sauce/

Lengua en Mojo Criollo (Beef Tongue in Creole Marinade)

Beef Tongue in Creole Marinade (Lengua en Mojo Criollo) | Paleo + Life

Note to my readers: I received a Sous Vide Supreme water oven from the manufacturer in order to develop recipes. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

Happy Halloween! This is my second favorite holiday (Thanksgiving, of course, having pride of place in my food-loving heart). Still, I love to see all the neighbor kiddos in their costumes — even if this year, I suspect they will need huge umbrellas! It is a wet and messy day — the sort of day that calls for comfort food.
What does comfort food look like for you?

Though I live in Portland these days, I grew up in Chicago.
The City of Big Shoulders, as my hometown is occasionally known, is simultaneously the most diverse and most separate place I have ever been. Some neighborhoods, like Hyde Park, are complex melting pots; in other areas of town, if it weren’t for the street signs, you might think yourself in Mexico or China.

Part of my childhood was spent in Logan Square. While it has become trendy in recent years, when we lived there, it was a more working-class area, largely populated with Hispanic families. It was there that I first tasted adobo, arroz con gandules, and my beloved mojo criollo. These flavors are emblazoned on my taste buds, and imprinted on my heart: when I want food that feels like home, these are the tastes I mean.

Before we go any further, let’s just put this out there: tongue is one of those foods that freaks people out. I cannot argue with that. I mean, look at this thing:

Lengua | Paleo + Life

It’s not the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen…

Despite its alien appearance, stay with me. If you are a meat eater, and you buy the Paleo concept, using the whole animal instinctively makes sense. Why on earth would we waste any part of something that was so hard to obtain? Even though in modern times, we are able to purchase meat from the store rather than hunting it down, the old saying “waste not, want not” is still apt.
It helps that tongue is one of the easiest odd bits to use. It’s simple to cook, is inexpensive and tastes just like other muscle meat. Cooked properly, it becomes fall-apart tender and meltingly delicious. When we have it for supper, even my youngest demands a big portion.

I usually make this in a slow cooker, but I recently acquired a water bath oven courtesy of Sous Vide Supreme. Oh, oh, oh. Y’all. I’ve mentioned my love for gadgets before, but this — this is a whole new world. The long, slow, low cooking of the sous vide method is fantastic for tougher cuts of meat like tongue. It also deeply infuses flavors into food like nothing else I’ve tried. Amazing is not too strong a word.

For the sauce, I use a blend of lemon and orange juices to approximate the taste of the sour oranges that are traditional in this dish. It is a fairly close match. Citrusy coriander boosts the flavor further, while smoked pepper, garlic and onion deepen the taste. Cooked in the sous vide, the onions and garlic also hold their shape instead of melting into the sauce as they do in the slow cooker. Quickly crisping the meat in a pan after its long bath adds a delightful texture to this dish.
Serve this on top of a massive salad, with a side of my Cinnamon Pepper Plantains. Try not to lick the plate…but I won’t tell if you do. What’s more comforting than that?

Lengua en Mojo Criollo (Beef Tongue in Creole Marinade)

Ingredients

  • 1 beef tongue, about 3-1/2 lbs.
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into rings
  • 12 cloves garlic, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked peppercorns, ground
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 orange, sliced into wedges

Instructions

  1. Set the temperature on sous vide to 140 degrees.
  2. Wash and rinse the tongue, patting dry with a paper towel. Place into a large sous vide bag.
  3. Add lemon and orange juices, onions, garlic, coriander, peppercorns and salt. Vacuum seal the bag, making sure to use the moist setting.
  4. Place the bag into the oven; cook at 140 degrees for 24 to 48 hours.
  5. Remove the package from the sous vide. (At this point, the dish may be chilled or cooled for several days until ready to serve.)
  6. When ready to serve, pre-heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Open the sealed bag; set the tongue aside. Pour the onion-garlic sauce into a small bowl. Set aside.
  7. Meanwhile, remove the outer covering off of the tongue, then slice the tongue horizontally just past its widest point. Slice each section of the tongue vertically into pieces roughly 1/4" thick.
  8. Sear the meat in the cast iron skillet until browned, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  9. When ready to serve, top slices of meat with the onion garlic sauce; add a wedge of orange to each plate.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/lengua-beef-tongue/

Spiced Summer Burgers

Spiced Summer Burgers | Paleo + LifeSuddenly, I realized that the last three recipes I’ve shared here involved carrots in some fashion. Not that there’s anything wrong with that — I adore carrots. I always buy the enormous 10 lb. bags at Costco when we do a shopping run and I am trying to grow a batch of these chubby little Parisian carrots* on my front porch right now. However, there is more to my cooking than root veggies. Like these zippy, paleo-friendly burgers, which I made to accompany the Kohlrabi Coleslaw I recently posted.

To my mind, the perfect burger has a lot of flavor — supplied here by cumin and coriander –and just a touch of heat. In most recipes, black pepper provides that spark, but for these burgers, I wanted a flavor that was a bit more complex. Grains of Paradise* are peppery, but hint at other flavors as well; Aleppo pepper* resembles cayenne, but less hot and more deeply flavored. The combination is subtle, but takes these burgers to a new level.

A couple more notes:
I sometimes enjoy grinding my spices by hand, but these days (i.e., four kids later), I have less time for that sort of thing. Instead, I keep a spare coffee grinder that is only used for milling up spices. This grinder* is the one I use; it has lasted for ages.

When we make these, we usually cook them on the grill, but they also work just fine in the oven or on an electric griddle like the George Foreman grill* (does anyone have one of those anymore? When I was a swinging single, I loved mine).

Spiced Summer Burgers

Spiced Summer Burgers

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground lamb
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grains of paradise
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the lamb and beef. Using your hands, mix them together thoroughly for at least five minutes. Set aside.
  2. Grind the spice mixture either by hand with a mortar and pestle, or in a dedicated coffee grinder.
  3. Sprinkle approximately half the spice mixture onto the meat; mix in by hand for about 1 minute.
  4. Fold the remaining spice mixture into the meat.
  5. Grill to desired doneness.
http://www.paleopluslife.com/spiced-summer-burgers/

* = Affiliate links.

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