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Ground…round….we go….

Ground…round….we go….

Ever since we have been raising our own grass fed beef…. We have run into a problem… not a bad problem… but still a problem nonetheless. We eat our way through our side… and as we get closer and closer to the next…(eh hem)… batch… we race to the bottom…

The bottom of the freezer that is.

And then what is left are the forlorn, forgotten …but still fantastic…cuts that seemed a GREAT idea at the time.

I am never sure who the baron was… but I see him as a proper sir with a top hat…. Or perhaps his genealogy ‘trumps’ his standing…

Anyways… politics aside, I end up with a whole shelf of these lost packages…. And a mad rush to do something with them… all the while reminding myself for next time….less round… more ground!!!

Then a few years back a solution presented itself. It seems that no amount of round roasts were the right amount. We always ate other cuts first.

The round is underappreciated.

It’s lean, it can be tough…and there is tons of it. Literally. Ever seen the ass end of a steer? Well that’s round/rump.

But back to the solution….

A nifty accessory for the mixer. This one has a few strong attributes…not the least of… grinding meat.

Side note…. It is VERY important to not lose the little windmill shaped blade that comes in this box. Not just very…exceedingly very important. And a further note….when you do put this little windmill guy somewhere safe…other than in the box with the rest of the parts…. Amazon can sell you one. Or two. Or three.

1 frozen roast

1 microwave

1 kitchenaid with said accessory

1 bowl

1 ice bath

1 sharp knife (with strength of blade to cut through a semi frozen round roast)

Ice bath?

The kitcheaid is designed to mix floury things. And whip eggs into submission. Grinding meat? It heats up. And warm steel meeting meat? A recipe for a congealed mess.

I bathe the accessories in ice before attaching.

First I thawed the roast a bit in the microwave. Then I used the strong sharp knife to cut the roast into thing chunks ideal for shoving in the grinder…I used the larger grinder piece…. And here is the result…

4 lbs of ground round.

The plan was Mexican. The end result? Gluten free crispy burritos.

4 lbs gently cooked in the Dutch oven. Gently because this is round and it is lean and does not do well with overcooking. I cheated and added some leftover rendered bacon fat. And I seasoned the heck out of it to make up for the lack of fat. And salt. A good amount.

I also made the most divine refried black beans… yes also using some bacon fat…..mmmmm

And of course guacamole…

I froze the rest of the cooked meat. I will use it in hard tacos and perhaps nachos or quesedillas.

I steamed the GF tortillas to soften and only put the refrieds, the meat and some sheep cheese inside. Then rolled and crisped in a fry pan with some fat… not bacon this time, but some beef tallow from said grass fed steer. Then kept warm in the oven until we were ready to chow down… and that we did….

Ground…round… we go….

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Posted by on March 22, 2018 in Food, Recipes, Sharing

 

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Vita-Mix, Rice cooker, Polenta and Parchment. You wanted GF croutons didn’t you?

As the bounty of summer is upon us and at the same time a heat wave, I decided I wanted to try some new and cool ways to enjoy some of the veg.  I have a Vita-Mix so the concept of making cold soups was quite appealing.   Unfortunately, sometimes I mix a few too many things in… I clean out little bits of things left in the fridge and end up with… shall we say…a pale beigy green soup…. ummmmmm…

One time I even didn’t attach the lid on and had the nice green goop all over the kitchen ceiling.  When they tell you to ensure that the lid is attached properly.. THEY ARE NOT LYING.

Anyways… with the Vita-Mix, if you puree to your hearts content, the soup actually gets hot but not boiling so the enzymes are still alive ( which makes it healthy incase you were wondering).  It has a 2 amp motor so it can whiz and whir like a commercial robot coupe.  But back to cold soups… in order for things to be cold in the Vita-Mix, it is usually necessary to add ice cubes to the mix… or…. make the soup and put it in the fridge.  So my next attempt is going to be a green gazpacho with ice cubes. You whiz it and then immediately serve it.  Ideally it will taste OK as I am going to be serving it to company. I know, I am nuts.

Well on one of the cold soup websites, one of the garnishes was Polenta croutons.  As Don is GF, this seemed like a great idea.  The only problem being is that you have to cook them at 450 in the oven and who wants to do that in the heat? Good concept, bad timing.

So I cooked up a batch of Polenta in the rice cooker.  My cooker has a porridge setting which is the ideal one for Polenta.  Just don’t forget to stir at least once. If you don’t, you will have goo on the top and crust on the bottom… not palatable at all. I set a timer for 25 minutes and give a really, really good stir to get all the lumps smoothed out.  When it was cooked, I mixed in a bit of cayenne, olive oil and sea salt.

Anyways, now I had Polenta and I had to find a time to heat up the oven that didn’t make the house unbearable.  I laid it out on cookie sheet, shredded some hard goat cheese on it and stuck in the fridge and then proceeded to forget about it.  But… that’s what worked.  It got nice and coagulated and was very easy to cut into small crouton sized dice.

I put them on a parchment lined cookie sheet and baked for 30 minutes, stirring them up twice.  For a more crispy product, you could individually turn each crouton… I of course did not have that patience…  the brown, crispy side was actually the down side.

So now bring on the green gazpacho and we shall see if it all goes together.  Will keep you posted.

 
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Posted by on July 12, 2012 in Food, Recipes

 

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Triple B… and Gluten Free… Beer Braised Beef becomes a take away meal

Finding time to get together with friends can sometimes prove challenging when everyone’s schedules need to converge to make it happen.  We made arrangements last month with new friends who have recently moved into our neighbourhood.  The lady of that house has just recently found out that she needs to eat gluten-free… after years of struggling with a bad stomach, at 40, cut out gluten and the symptoms cleared up.  So when we coordinated on a day, I offered to bring the main meat dish for the meal.

We just filled the freezer up with this years side of beef.  We love knowing where our food is coming from.  We are very fortunate and grateful to have the ability to raise our own cattle and then get the satisfaction of exceptionally great tasting cuts all year.

Our friend Carla Johnson, has written a great book called ‘Cooking With Sin…Great recipes dipped in alcohol and wrapped in a wonderful story…’   She also has a blog, http://cookingwithsin.com/wp-content/themes/cookingwithsin-newtheme/images/headerad.png.

I know… you are wondering where I am going with this…  well Carla wondered if I had a great Gluten Free recipe that featured alcohol (that’s the Sin part of her book!) and whether I could give with her one so that she could share it on her blog.  I got to thinking that I could combine my homegrown beef with a some beer, get a nice hearty winter meal AND a blog post at the same time.

I decided to take an existing recipe and adapt it to Gluten Free.  The recipe also called for it to be cooked in a crock pot and that the beef be cut into stew sized chunks.  I did neither.  I did use the slow cooker setting

on my oven,  but I hadn’t left quite enough time for that so I ended up finishing it on top of the stove.  In the recipe I won’t put the stove option as this step would actually make the recipe more time-consuming and most home cooks are looking for ease these days.  Not everyone is interested in slow food…

Beer Braised Beef (Gluten Free)

5 slices thick bacon, diced
3 large onions, halved and sliced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
salt
black pepper
vegetable oil
3-4 lbs round steak, 3/4 inch thick cut in desired portion sizes
all-purpose celiac flour or other GF flour
1 bottle, 12 oz, of GF beer or ale
1 cup GF beef stock or other stock or water.
2 tsp dried thyme ( I used more than the original recipe)

Cook the bacon dice until crisp and transfer to paper towels and set aside. Add onions to drippings and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until soft.  Sprinkle brown sugar over onions and increase the heat to medium high and cook onions until they are golden,  about 8 minutes. Add vinegar, salt and pepper.  Transfer the onion mixture to your baking dish. Large enameled oval roaster works well.

Sprinkle the beef with a bit of salt and the flour.  Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the beef on both sides.  Transfer the beef to the roaster on top of the onions.  Add the beer and stock to the heated pan and scrape up the brown bits,  reduce the liquid a bit, then pour it over the beef in the roaster.  Top with the bacon and thyme.

Cook in a 350 over, approx 2 hours.  Check after 1.5 hours for desired tenderness. Alternately, you could slow cook for about 8 hours or braise on the top of the stove for about 1.5 hours.  More stock would be needed for stove top braising.

When I checked my beef about an hour before we left, I realized that I had not left enough time to use the slow cook setting in my oven.  I have a VERY large All Clad straight sided Saute pan so I transferred the beef and liquid to it and braised it on the stove top.  The result was great and the liquid cooked down nicely.

The flavours in this dish are considered Flemish… or Belgian… so our friends cooked up Belgian frites(twice cooked) to go with it.  I must say the combination was fabulous.  Will definitely be adding this one to the cooking roster and with the deep fryer that I hope to be getting for Christmas… I am sure you will be seeing a future post when I start experimenting making fries….yum.

 
 
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Posted by on December 18, 2011 in Food, Recipes

 

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Healthy Chocolate Brownies… I do not lie… is quinoa the new superfood?

With a husband with celiac disease, I am always on the lookout for Gluten free recipes that will appeal to him.  I find a lot of the GF recipes use a high amount of sugar to offset a possible lack of taste or texture.  This recipe was sent to me by my good friend and cousin-in-law, @melaniereuter who in turn received it from a friend of hers.  Finally I got to try them and they are fabulous!  I won’t take credit for putting it together though.  That honour goes to Charlyn who is my right-hand gal here at the house.  She showed up here this morning with them in hand for Don.  I tried a smidgen and OMG, they are really really great.  Here is an excerpt from http://www.livestrong.com/article/267666-quinoa-vegetable-protein/  on the amazing benefits of this amazing grain.

….Quinoa is a considered a complete protein source. This means quinoa contains all eight essential amino acids, including lysine, which other whole grains are often missing. Quinoa is higher in iron and potassium than other whole grains and is a good source of B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, magnesium, copper and fiber…

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Quinoa Brownies Gluten Free

2 cups well cooked quinoa
1/3 c. milk
4 lg. eggs
3/4 c. melted butter 
1 tsp. vanilla

Blend together in a blender until smooth.
Whisk dry ingredients together.

1/2 c to 3/4 c. sugar
1 c. cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Add the contents of the blender and mix well.
Bake for 45 min. at 350F
This will freeze nicely for about a month.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2011 in Food, Recipes

 

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