Category Archives: Beef

Mom’s Beef Pot Roast – Paleo Style.

Mom's beef pot roast paleoIn 2011 I made some of my mom’s recipes for the blog. They are family recipes that hold a nostalgic soft spot in my heart, but they do include prepared food items as well as grain and dairy derived ingredients. These are things I do not eat anymore, and in fact, neither does my mom. So for myself, the blog, and mostly for her, I have remade one of her classics as a paleo dish (the recipe…not the process, I still use a crock pot, no camp fires for this girl). Yes, I know, it does still have high carb regular old potatoes in it, but once in a while, I think a homegrown organic potato is completely acceptable. Otherwise, this is the old standby now featured without dairy, GMOs, grains, and a million other corn based “food” stuffs. And while I am the first to admit this is not something you need to be eating every day, it is nice to have a childhood favorite made in a healthy manner so that it is available for those special, nostalgic occasions.

So, let’s start with the original recipe, because you are going to use this recipe and simply substitute the canned cream of mushroom soup and the package of onion soup mix. I did add more carrots and less potatoes (and if you want you could add some parsnips or other root veggies). Oh and I also used a 100% grass fed, USDA organic chuck roast, Yum! My roast came from TX Bar Organics and was only 2 pounds, but do not fret, it turned out just fine with the smaller roast (if you are looking to feed more mouths, use two roasts).

Original Recipe: Please click here!

I was first inspired to remake this recipe by a paleo cream of mushroom soup recipe that I used on Christmas Eve. I have made it a couple of times since for other dishes and the only thing I did a little differently this time was to make it thicker (just add a little more starch) than I had in the past, so that it would hold up through 8 hours in the crock pot.  I also made a double batch of soup (we like gravy!). I put the soup in the refrigerator overnight so that it would be as solid as possible going into the crock. I did not measure when I added it to the crock, I just used all of what I made. The cream of mushroom soup recipe is here (I am not posting the whole recipe on my page because you should most definitely click through and check out And Love it Too): Please click here!

A few other changes I have tested with this recipe that may be helpful to know.

  • If you are looking to make this gluten free, not paleo and don’t use coconut flour, brown rice flour works very well.
  • If you do not use arrowroot powder (I personally do not prefer the flavor) tapioca starch works beautifully.
  • If you want to better control the level of coconut flavor you get in your final product and do not mind using refrigerated coconut milk (I know many people will not use it, this is just an FYI), the recipe works fine with regular, unsweetened refrigerated coconut milk.
  • Again, for controlling the coconut flavor, use refined coconut oil (however, I have tried both and I taste no discernible difference).

The second change to the recipe is to make an onion soup replacement. Here is what I made, storing it in an airtight container so I can shake it up before using. I used five tablespoons in this dish. Ingredients (which you can play with of course!): 2/3 cup dried, minced onion, 3 teaspoon dried parsley flakes, 2 teaspoon onion powder, 2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.

And there you have it. Mom’s beef pot roast, no packaging needed. Oooh, this is fun! I am enjoying reinventing past posts on my blog with a grain and dairy free approach.



Filed under Beef, Crock Pot Cooking, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Midwest Inspired, Mom's Recipes, Outside of the Box, Paleo

Mexican Style Hamburgers.

Photo compliments of the hubs…he still eats wheat!

I have not been posting much recently. On the recipe front I have been making more of other people’s recipes than writing my own, which is fairly strange. But I think this stems from my major diet and lifestyle changes. As I get used to cooking without most grains and with limited dairy I have found it easier to use other people’s recipes, you know, to get my toes wet. I am also on a quest to remove all GMO foods from my diet. This is particularly difficult, even more so than most people have to come realize, but I will save that story for another day.

On the garden front, we have finally bedded down the garden. The garlic is planted (200 bulbs!!) and there are some broccoli and cauliflower plants that are looking strong as winter nears. I am the first to admit that the summer garden suffered this year and that is why there have been no posts about it. We had a very successful hop harvest, which I shared with you in September, but that was by far our most successful garden item this year (thankfully the hubs was manning their care faithfully!). The tomatoes, peppers, and squashed suffered from uneven watering and hot/dry weather that came too little too late. The beans did very well , as did the potatoes. And I did harvest 117 (I think) garlic bulbs.  But at the end of the season, I feel defeated and I am looking forward to planting my cool weather crops soon. To starting over in the garden, so to say. My 2013 early spring and summer gardens are planned. Next step is to plan the 2013 winter garden which will come in time.

Enough moping about my garden frustrations, and back to something I did right! These burgers turned out great. They are lean and mean, free of GMO, feature a little garden in the cilantro, garlic and jalapeño, and taste great without a bun!

Mexican Style Hamburgers. Makes four 1/4 pound burgers.


1 lb grass fed ground beef

1-2 T fresh organic cilantro, finely chopped

1 t ground organic cumin (I am really excited to be trying to grow my own in the 2o13 garden!!)

3 cloves of organic garlic, minced

1/2 t sea salt (I used smoked sea salt)

1/2 t fresh ground organic black pepper

1/2 small organic jalapeño, seeds and veins removed (to your heat tolerance), diced finely (or a tiny one like I had leftover from the garden!)

thinly sliced brie, or other creamy cheese, don’t do dairy? I strongly recommend avocado…or both!


Combine all ingredients except the cheese, mixing well, but avoiding beating up the meat too much. Divide into four burgers and place in the refrigerator until ready to cook. When you turn the grill on, remove the burgers from the refrigerator and place on the counter to warm them up a little.

Preheat grill to 425, place burgers on the grill over direct heat and cook for 4 minutes. Do not squish the burger with your spatula or turn before your timer goes off. After 4 minutes, flip each burger, place cheese on burgers if you are using it and cook another 4 minutes. This process will produce a medium to medium rare burger depending on how thick they are. If you want them medium to well, cook for 5 minutes on each side.

Remove burgers from grill and serve with toppings and buns if you are using them.



Filed under Beef, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Grilling, Mexican Inspired, Paleo

Beefy Lamb Burgers.

I have never made lamb before. I have eaten it and not really liked it, so I have not found a good reason to make it myself. However, last summer we had some lamb burgers at a family friend’s that the hubs really liked and he has been asking me to try and make some ever since. I finally got up the motivation, and courage I guess, to make some lamb burgers. This one was fun because it was the first time I cooked lamb, I wrote the recipe, and we had friends over for a Portland Timbers viewing party to try my untested first attempt at cooking lamb! Haha! BUT…it worked and so I will share it with you to try as well.

Beefy Lamb Burgers. This recipe makes four 1/4 lb burgers.


1/2 lb lean ground lamb

1/2 lb 5% fat ground beef

1 clove of garlic

1/4 t cumin

1/4 t kosher salt

1/2 t fresh cracked back pepper

1 T basil, finely chopped

4 t soft goat cheese


Mix all ingredients, except cheese, together in a large bowl. Divide into four equal parts. Roll each part into a ball and then make a well in the middle. Place one teaspoon of cheese in each well. Close up the well and gently form into a patty.

Preheat grill to 400-450 degrees. Cook burgers for 5 minutes on each side and remove from grill. Serve on your favorite bun, with your favorite fixins!


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Filed under Beef, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Greek Inspired, Grilling

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa and Homemade Tortillas.

Slow cooked, shredded meat is a wonderful thing. We have been making a lot of shredded pork tenderloin lately, but while in Northern California over the Christmas holiday we happened upon a new organic food store. I know this doesn’t seem significant to some, especially if you live in a city with easy access to wholesome, organic, responsibly grown food, like we do in Portland. However, in a small town in Northern California this is a big deal. Stores like this tend to struggle and often go out of business before many people even know they exist.

So we made it a point to purchase several things, things we could get in Portland, just for the sheer act of support of a man who was trying his way at selling organic food stuffs in a small, fairly conservative town. We ended up with several lovely things, some persimmons, some Bragg’s vinegar, a lovely Northern California coffee for the hubs, and a natural, grass-fed, free range beef roast. We chose the roast based on the grain, it looked like it would shred well. And that, after all, is what matters.

Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa.

Rub Ingredients

2 – 2.5 lb beef roast (I used a crossrib roast, but a chuck roast would also work well)

1 t ground cumin

1 t kosher salt

1 t chili powder (I used New Mexican ground chili)

1 t granulated garlic

1 t granulated onion

1 t Mexican oregano (ground up)

1/2 t fresh ground black pepper

1 T olive oil

Broth Ingredients

32 oz beef broth

1/2 C silver tequila

1 medium onion, peeled and rough chopped

1/4 C cilantro, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled

2 fire roasted jalapeños (can sub fresh), diced

juice of one lime

1 T rock sea salt


Combine spice in a small bowl and rub roast liberally, set aside.

Heat medium/large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and roast and sear on each side until crispy brown.

Add roast to slow cooker with remaining ingredients.

Cook on high for 4-6 hours or until the meat freely shreds, flipping meat once half way through cooking.

Serve over rice or in tortillas with your favorite veggies. We had this with homemade tortillas.

Homemade Tortillas. This is the recipe that came with my fancy new tortilla press and makes 12 tortillas.


2 C masa harina

1 1/3 C cold water

1 t kosher salt

Combine ingredients in a large bowl and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.

Preheat a medium skillet over medium heat. Working with one 1 1/2 inch ball at a time, make your tortillas, keeping the rest of the dough covered to avoid it drying out. To make the tortilla, press each ball between two pieces of wax paper, flattening the ball slightly with your fingers.

Close the press and push the handle down until the ball flattens completely. Peel the tortilla of the wax paper and cook one at a time until browned on each side.

Keep tortillas warm in a tortilla warmer until read to eat.

One last note, a quick recipe: with the remaining broth in the crock pot, I strained the liquid and then added one quart cup each of black beans, adzuki beans, French lentils and spelt berries, a can of tomatoes and some of my homemade chili seasoning. I also added diced red onion, carrots and turnips. I let this go on high for 6 hours, or until the beans were soft and the hubs had chili all week long.



Filed under Beef, Crock Pot Cooking, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Mexican Inspired

A-Photo-A-Day: Meatloaf Sandwich Panini.

One thick slice of meatloaf, BBQ sauce, fresh part skim mozzarella (not the balls, just not the bagged stuff with preservatives on it), two slices artisan bread. Heaven!!

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Filed under Beef, Bread, Cheese, Pork, Sandwich

A Loaf of Meatloaf.

This is my first loaf of meatloaf. I have made muffin cup meatloaves before, somehow they seem less intimidating. But I have never made the loaf. The hubs says the only thing that can go wrong with a meatloaf is that it could be dry, so I was determined not to let that happen with this one. Besides, it needed to be moist enough to make yummy leftovers, and possibly meatloaf panini sandwiches (stay tuned). So I thought for a second about looking up some recipes, then I abandoned that and came up with this instead. It has some fresh veg in it that you might not have on hand and that is totally ok. If you don’t have kohlrabi sub in a little turnip (two small) or other veg that has a decent amount of moisture in it, you could also try just using the carrot, it will likely turn out just fine. I used the veg to keep the loaf moist.

A Loaf of Meatloaf (and a side of glaze). Serves 6-10.

Meatloaf Ingredients

1 T olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

2 crimini mushrooms, finely diced

1/4 t kosher salt

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1 lb 5% fat ground beef

1 lb 20% fat ground pork

1/4 C bread crumbs (I used Italian style)

1 large egg, beaten

2 T Worcestershire sauce

1/2 t fresh rosemary, minced

1/2 t fresh thyme, minced

1/2 t kosher salt

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

1 large carrot, shred

1 medium kohlrabi, shred

Meatloaf Procedure

Preheat oven to 375.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil and sauté onions and mushrooms with 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, until soft and the onions are transparent. Add garlic, stir, cook for 30 seconds and remove from heat. Set aside to cool slightly.

Grease a metal or oven-safe glass 9×5 loaf pan. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl with your hands. Push mixture together in a loaf shape about the size of the pan and transfer to the loaf pan. Bake in the oven, uncovered for one hour and 15 minutes (if this seems long remember how much moisture you have added with all the veg). Remove from oven and allow to cool while you make the glaze. Remove the loaf from the cooking pan as the loaf will have likely let out quite a bit of moisture (you might avoid this by cooking the shredded veg, but I like it to maintain its form and not be mushy) Plate on a platter or in another dish and top with glaze. Cut and serve.

Glaze Ingredients

1 T honey

2 T BBQ sauce (your favorite one)

1 T water

1 t tomato paste

1/2 t granulated garlic

pinch of kosher salt

Glaze Procedure

Combine ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat over medium. Stir constantly to avoid scorching. When mixture is heated through and all ingredients are melted and combined the glaze is ready to be drizzled over the meatloaf, about 5 minutes.


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Filed under Beef, Casseroles/Bakes, Dairy Free, Midwest Inspired, Pork

Grill Roasted Zucchini Boats.

It is zucchini season and everyone knows what that means…time to get creative! Zucchinis are prolific, the produce and produce and produce. I started my zucchini season simply, I added baby zucchinis to veggie grill basket, I roasted some of it, and I threw it in some pasta. Then I went on vacation and when I returned there were behemoths in the garden.

Now what!? Well we started the giant zucchini noshing session with these simple boats. The filling is rather scalable and just about any of the ingredients can be subbed. I supplemented the ground beef and rice with a smattering of veggies I had lying around, but you could easily use different ones. You can also use any variety of ground meat or grain.

This is a great meal that can be prepped entirely ahead of time which would also make it a great camping meal. If I were camping or cooking on an open flame without a lid I would make foil tents.

Grilled Zucchini Boats.


4 large zucchini (about 1 lb each)

1/2 lb 5% fat ground beef

1 small onion, diced

1/2 t of each of the following: granulated garlic, fresh oregano, paprika, kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper

1 C jasmine rice, cooked

2 small carrots, peeled and grated

10 grape tomatoes, quartered

1 medium kohlrabi, peeled and grated

1 jalapeño, seeded and deveined, optional

1 C shredded cheese (I used swiss)

Brown ground beef with onions and spices. Remove from heat and place in a large mixing bowl. Add all of the vegetable and 1/2 cup of cheese. Mix to combine thoroughly.

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and gently scoop out a trench in the middle with a spoon, making a trough for your filling. Chop one quarter of the removed zucchini and add to the meat filling. Mix to combine. Carefully fill each boat with 1/4 of the filling. Top each boat with 1/4 of the remaining cheese.

Preheat grill to high and turn off one of the burners (or move coals to one side). Place zucchini boats over the cool side of the grill and cover. Roast for 40-60 minutes, checking every ten minutes after the first 20. If you are using charcoal be sure to watch as your cook time may vary. Serve with your favorite sauce or gravy!

*You can also cook these in the oven, covered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook 15 minutes more.


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Filed under Beef, Casseroles/Bakes, Cheese, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Grains/Rice, Grilling

Beer Marinated Grilled Flank Steak.

At the store the other day I asked the hubs to pick out some steak. With grilling season upon us (not that it ever really ends, but the summer weather to accompany it makes it more official), steaks were sounding mighty fine. I figured we would end up with some New York’s or maybe even Tri-Tip. What we ended up with was a new cut to me: flank steak. Not knowing much about it I set out to research and I was surprised to find that some of the majors like Food Network and Rachel Ray have posts about flank steak, but many of the blogs I am used to seeing on searches did not come up. This it seems, is not a commonly used cut of meat? Maybe that is why it was so expensive…which I did not notice until we got it home and I was checking its weight!

In any case, I recently made a pact with myself to cook with more beer so I thought I would try it out on the mystery steak. New world of cooking with beer, new cut of beef! The result was a well marinaded piece of meat that had clear flavors of beer.  With regards to the amount of beer flavor this beef took on, if the chicken I made the other night was beery, this beef was out of the park beery! The final result was surprisingly sweet, but in a very good way.


1.5 lb flank steak

1 C premium lager (I used Sessions Lager)

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 t sea salt (I used a smoked sea salt…check out The Meadow)

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

2 T fresh oregano, roughly chopped

1/2 t red pepper flakes

2 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T agave nectar

Combine marinade ingredients and add to a plastic zip lock bag. Add meat and seal bag, removing excess air to ensure the marinade covers the meat entirely. Place in refrigerator over night.

Preheat grill to 500 (high). Place steak on the hottest part of the grill,  and with the burners on high sear for two and half minutes on each side. Move to a cooler part of the grill and turn burners to medium-high and cook for three minutes on each side. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting. Cut against the grain and on a bias.


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Filed under Beef, Beer, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Grilling

Smoked Tri-Tip Two Cheese Sammy.

Made smoked tri-tip for the Memorial Day long weekend and in typical fashion we made sammies again. I thought against posting this because it is redundant to the last one I posted and it is not really a recipe. But this one is so much more that I had to share. My god this sandwich was good.


4 oz Smoked Tri-Tip, very thinly sliced

2 T buttermilk blue cheese dressing

1 handful of fresh greens

1 slice of  swiss cheese

1 bakery quality bun, preferably with an egg wash to promote crisping on the top

Thinly slice greens and toss with blue cheese dressing. Toast bun and remove from toaster oven. Place swiss cheese on top and put back in toaster oven on broil until cheese is bubbly. Place meat on bottom half of bun and top with blue cheese lettuce slaw. Place cheesy top on top of sandwich and enjoy.


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Filed under Beef, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Sandwich, Smoker Fare

Slow Braised Short Ribs.

This recipe might have a laundry list of ingredients, but it is just as simple as any other slow cooker meal and the flavors are to die for! We paired it with our new grain of the week, Kamut Berries, and it was a like a wholesome, delicious soup. The only complaint that I have about the whole thing is that the short ribs produce a lot of fat. I think that the whole dish would benefit from a complete strain and removal (best done the next day after letting the fat solidify in the refrigerator overnight and then skimmed off).

The kamut berries were much like the wheat berries only I enjoyed them even more. They were longer and nuttier and didn’t “pop” as much in the mouth as the wheat berries did. They were simple to make, 1 cup berries dumped into 3 cups boiling water, 1 t salt, boil for an hour. I prefer them with a little tooth and pulled them with a decent bit of water still in the pan, just used a strainer to drain it away and voila, whole grains!


3 lbs beef short ribs

1/2 C flour

1 T salt

1 T pepper

1 T canola oil (or other neutral)

1 onion, diced

1 shallot, diced

32 oz beef broth

1 C red wine

1/4 C Worcestershire sauce

1/4 C brown sugar

8 oz tomato sauce

1 T yellow mustard

3 cloves of garlic, smashed and rough chopped

1 t dried thyme

1 t dried oregano

1/4 red chili flake

1/8 t cayenne

1 t dried mustard

1 T chili powder (I used ancho)

1 t sea salt

1 t pepper

In the crock pot combine ingredients onion through pepper.

Combine flour, salt and pepper into a dish. Dredge each rib to fully coat. Heat a skillet and 1 T oil over medium heat and add ribs, browning on each side for about a minute. Add to the crock pot. Cook for about 7-8 hours. As mentioned above, these are fairly fatty. You could strain out the fat using a fat separator that you often see at Thanksgiving, you could put the whole mess in the refrigerator overnight and remove the solidified fat, or you could just swirl and scoop quickly trying to avoid the fat! You can also just eat the meat and avoid the cooking liquid (if you do this you can use just 2 cups of broth).

We put 1/4 cup cooked kamut berries in a bowl and topped with one rib and a couple ladles of soup/cooking juices.


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Filed under Beef, Crock Pot Cooking, Grains/Rice