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Rabbit Stew

Rabbit Stew

If you are squeamish about consuming game meats, then this post will not be for you.   While I love to have you here, it is not my intent to offend anyone.  So if you think meat comes from the grocery store, then please stop reading here and wait for the next post which will be all about lettuce.

Speaking of lettuce, I had a horrible time with things eating down my spring produce.  I had at least two flats of cabbages munched down to the ground.  Almost 40 feet of beets eaten down to the ground along with pepper plants and some tomato plants.

Now I usually do not mind planting a little extra for the bunnies.  Usually by the end of the season the coyotes or the hawks have gotten them all.  This year, we had an over abundance of the the cute little fur balls all over the place.  But after about the third planting of things and watching the season march ruthlessly toward summer I asked my hubby to declare war on them.

It had been a long while since I had prepared a wild rabbit so I pulled the “old” cookbooks out and my new French book (after all the Europeans eat all kind of things that Americans would consider with disdain).  Well, I am not a French cook, too complicated, too many dishes to wash up after the fact, but I gleaned some ideas and went back to my original “stewed rabbit” recipe from the “old” books.

Because this was wild game and not farm raised (unless you consider it being my farm) I soaked it in water for about three hours, this helps to draw out the blood. After soaking, I cut the rabbit into quarters.

I used my iron bean pot for this recipe because it is the most practical–one pan to clean instead of two!!

I put a good layer of lard in the heated bean pot and browned the meat. I removed the meat, put 2 tablespoons of butter in the pan and cooked a pile of onions (3-5 depending on the size) and a box of mushrooms. Once done, I added a quart of chicken stock and a heavy splash of white wine. (Actually mine is a homemade wine made out of my leftover kefir whey.  Nasty stuff to drink but makes a fine cooking wine!)

To this I added, several carrots and a couple of stalks of celery. At this time I tossed in a handful of dried Shitakes. (A mixture of mushrooms would give it that “old world” flavor but I used what I had on hand and what was most cost affective.)  It is my opinion that a rutabaga would be very good in this in place of the carrots but I did not have one.

No old world food would be complete without two or three large cloves or garlic and some kind of green herb.  I used fresh sage.   And of course salt and pepper.

I put this in the oven to bake at 325 for about an hour and then turned it down to keep it warm until we were ready to eat it a couple of hours later.  You want the meat to be almost fall off the bone done.  So you will need to check it after about an hour to judge the time needed.

One could use GAPS approved thinking and blend up the carrots and onions to make a thickening agent.

Of course this can be made in a crock-pot without all the browning of the meat and onions. More than likely it would come out tasting about the same….I am just partial to my old bean pot.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2013 in Crock Pot, Game Meat, Stews

 

What to do with Eggplant

Eggplant is a good GAPS/SCD food if it is tolerated.  It is high in fiber and very versatile.  I make a side dish out of it by cooking it with tomatoes, onions and peppers.  As a fusion food, it can be spiced up to go with about any main entree.  For Italian flavor add the Italian herbs such as oregano and basil and of course a lot of garlic.   For Mexican meat add cumin, garlic, hot peppers and paprika. And if you want to make it taste Asian try adding a touch of honey, some toasted sesame oil and fresh parsley.

Eggplant can be added to soups. Cube up the eggplant, add ground meat, onions, tomatoes, peppers, carrots, and stew it.  Add your favorite seasonings.

One of our favorites is eggplant mini- pizzas.  You cut eggplant rounds brush with olive oil and top with your favorite toppings.  Bake.

Also you can cut eggplant into lasagna noodles and make it up like a regular lasagna.  It helps to fry the eggplant in a bit of olive oil before placing it into your baking dish. Layer it with ground meat, sauce and cheese.

I usually soak the eggplant in salt water for about and hour before cooking it. The soaking releases the bitter enzyme that resides in the fruit.  After soaking I rinse and then allow to drain for a couple of minutes.

If Eggplant is not part of your regular food regiment, and if you can tolerate it, consider including it to your GAPS list.  There are all kinds of eggplant recipes on the internet, many of them are gaps friendly and others easily converted to GAPS.

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2012 in Crock Pot, Eggplant, pizza, Soup

 

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Beef with Red Cabbage, Onions, and Mushrooms

 

This was another day that I found myself with a small pot roast cooked over night in the crock pot and no real plans for what to do with it.  Some of you know that in addition to my family, I also make sure that my father-in-law gets fed twice daily.  On many days I literally cook four meals instead of two. The goal for him is proper nutrition and quantity.  Dear Ole Dad (DoD), needs to feed before noon so often I fix his small meal and then move on to ours after I send a daughter out the door to take Grandaddy his.  Dear Old Dad can be a bit of a stinker about feeding.  He is not picky but one has to be very careful about rotating the things he likes in a way that keeps him interested in eating.

So it was one of those mornings when I looked at the clock and realized that I needed to quickly come up with an idea for Dad’s lunch.  He is very fond of red cabbage, onions, and mushrooms.  And since he grew up on a ranch and has been a rancher his whole life, beef is always a favorite.

So I sauteed, until very tender, onion, red cabbage, and mushrooms in a liberal amount of coconut oil, butter, and olive oil.  When it was done I salted it well and added garlic powder (DoD’s favorite seasoning combination) along with black pepper.  This was so good I decided that I would fix the same thing for our lunch.

After the cabbage, onions, and mushrooms were cooked down I served it with sliced pot roast and some navy beans which complimented well.

As an aside, recently I have learned something about cooking my meat in the crock pot overnight (perhaps I am still a novice with the crock pot…)  I have found that if I put my meat in the crock pot frozen the night before and turn it on low that the meat does not get over cooked and tough.  Instead it comes out with a tender texture and one that is more enjoyable.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2012 in Beef, Cabbage, Crock Pot

 

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Pasilla Beef and Lentils

This is definitely a Mexican meal but without the usual Tex-Mex flavor.  This one has no hot peppers, cheese, or traditional salsa that Americans usually consider “Mexican food.”

This is a good meal to be made with a cheap roast or a lesser grade of beef.  I have found something in one of my local stores that is called “soup meat” which works very well for this particular recipe.

This is a crock pot meal that gets cooked while I sleep.  I put this on in the evening before bed using my low setting.  After putting the meat into the crock pot I add three or four dried Pasilla or Anaheim peppers, salt and fill up the crock with water.   We have the broth for breakfast.

For lunch, I fry up a large onion and an 8 oz box of mushrooms in a coconut and palm oil blend.  While the onions and mushrooms are cooking I put the peppers (minus the stems) in the blender with some stock. I grind them up into a sauce–if the mixture gets too thick, I add a bit more stock.

Once the onions and mushrooms are done, I add in the chopped up soup meat and then pour the sauce over it.   To this I add at least a tbsp of cinnamon, a tsp of ginger, a tsp of paprika and salt.  Stir it all together and let it simmer for a several minutes to blend all of the flavors together, then add in 3-4 cloves of crushed garlic.

And like everything else I cook, this recipe is open for change and altering.   On a different day I might add cumin and lime juice; add chocolate for mole sauce or peanut butter for a peanut mole sauce.  The sauce could even have a little honey added to it to sweeten it-in that case it would taste more like B-B-Q sauce.

This meat dish is perfect served with lentils and lacto fermented tomato salsa, but I think if you tasted it you would find that it is also well suited to just about any veggie combination.

    

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2012 in Beef, Crock Pot, Lentils, Meat Leftovers

 

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Revisiting the Introduction Diet

My family has been on the GAPS diet for almost a year now.  We have had some ups and downs but mostly it has been extremely helpful and positive.  The past month, several of us have been having some problems so we are revisiting the introduction diet for a few days.  More broths and soups and less full meals.  In the past, we have found that just extra broth has helped with any gut problems but lately it has not helped as much, so we are going to have to eliminate somethings to figure out what it is that might be the problem.   I am returning to the books and food lists to see if I have let something slip in to our holiday diet that should not be there.    


Broth making is rather an art in the culinary world.  One has to learn how to combine types of bones/meats, spices and veggies.  Some of it depends on how much money you want to put into it.  Since GAPS/SCD diets require a lot of broth and since we are a family of five grown people we consume a goodly amount of broth daily.  I use a lot of soup bones because they are affordable and they produce a lot of broth and less meat.  As mentioned in an earlier post, we make a crock pot full of broth almost daily.

The one featured in this post consisted of pork neck bones, carrots, celery, kale, and onion.  I seasoned this with ground sage, dried rosemary, several cloves of garlic,a bay leaf, salt and pepper.

Breakfast Broth

Later in the day I combined what was left from breakfast with some venison broth.  Then I added in leftover venison and chicken meat, ground cooked pasilla-ancho peppers (found in the Mexican section of our local markets), lima beans, green beans, turnips, mushrooms and onions.  I added in a good handful of freshly chopped cilantro and a dash of cumin.  More salt and pepper.

Make Do Stew

It turned out to be fabulous!!  We some times call these concoctions “Make Do Stew” and usually (but not always) they turn out with that gourmet flavor.   Over the years, I have found a couple of things that help when combining broth with leftovers.  First of all, over cooking soups can make them come out tasting “well-blended or overly cooked”.  In other words they lose their fresh flavor.  Secondly, because cooking is rather like art one has to choose the content and spices with discernment.  When my children were little I used to tell them when they were working on an art project that  “more is not always better and you can do too much”.   Rather like working with crayons on paper, soups are liquid based and once you add something in they are not erasable.

Well, I am off to the kitchen….

 
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Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Crock Pot, Meat Leftovers, Pork, Soup

 

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Very Economical Beef

  

I thought that I was going to be able to settle back down to my blog again when along came a broken arm in the family and some other unpreventable happenings that slowed down being able to sit at the computer and write.  If you are at all interested about the other goings on in our lives go here http://rachealsramblings.weebly.com/

With the price of beef increasing I am continually looking for ways to consume beef on a budget. Beef Heart is a good way to eat beef without breaking the budget.   Usually it can be found for less than $2 a pound at most grocery stores.   Some stores have it already sliced for you but I prefer to buy it whole so I can more easily trim the hard suet fat off of it.  Some butchers do such a good job of trimming that this step really isn’t necessary.

There are a lot of ways to prepare beef heart.  Sally Fallon in Nourishing Traditions suggest making kabobs out of it.  Or it can be sliced very thinly and quickly fried in a hot skillet until just barely done. Because the meat has no fat within it, it will get tough if overcooked.   For today’s lunch, I cooked it in the crock pot over night with 3 pieces of pork neck bones so we would have a big pot of broth for the day. I was tired and was not feeling at all creative last evening so did well to direct a family member to get it into the pot with water and turned on….(Beef heart slow cooked in liquid comes out very very tender.)

So today, that left me looking for ways to be creative.   Part of me wanted to cut it up into small cubes and make some kind of salad out of it…but because I am currently attempting to get good nutrition into my father-in-law I decided to stick to something that could be served warm.  So the following is what I came up with…

1 beef heart covered in water and slow cooked over night in the crock pot

6 slices of bacon

1 large onion thinly sliced

3 sliced carrots

Mushrooms (as many or as little as you want)

1 stalk of chopped celery

2 crushed cloves of garlic

salt and pepper to taste

I started by chopping up the bacon and frying it in a little coconut and sesame oil, then I added in the sliced onion, the sliced carrots, mushrooms and the meat.  After this had cooked for a little while I tossed in the chopped celery, garlic, then salted and peppered it.  The family all agreed that it was very good.  For variations, one might add some walnuts or sesame seeds. 

While this might seem to be a very untraditional American food it is very affordable and has a very dense nutritional value.   It is a perfect GAPS/SCD food because it is full of nutrients, extremely affordable, and as versatile as any other cut of beef.

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2011 in Beef, Beef Heart, Crock Pot

 

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Learning to Love My Crockpot

Salmon Cake

I love to cook but to be honest with you my crock pot was something that used to sit on the bottom shelf in an obscure corner of my kitchen except when I needed it for a social event (and even then I often opted for a warming tray).

Then the GAPS diet came into our lives and I have learned to love my crock pot.  I use it daily–99% of our broth/soup stock is made in a crock pot.   I learned to make GAPS approved baked beans in it and my daughter has learned to bake our bread in one.  I have now made a baked salmon loaf…and I plan to continue to learn to utilize the crock pot more in my kitchen. 

I have several crock pots of different sizes lined up in my kitchen instead of hidden in some obscure corner.  When using the crock pot I save money by not heating my oven all of the time. When the weather is hot, I can plug it in on the porch and cook outside to keep the kitchen cooler.  

Another use for the crock pot these days is that it allows me to carry meals with me when going to someone’s house or to some other social setting where food for the family might be needed. By having a crock pot ready to haul to someones house when we visit allows me to meet the food needs of my family without putting a burden on the hosting family.  Let’s face it GAPS/SCD is a bit weird for some people and you will run into those that will snidely talk about “your diet”;  or those that will not understand that it is not okay to eat just a little of something.  If we are prepared to feed ourselves then those that we offend are less offended if we bring your own food. I found this to be a tremendous help to us particularly in the intro stage of the diet.  A good smelling pot of stew “just for us” can make the snide comments cease in the background.  

In the later stages of the diet, it is just practical to have things on hand  in order to stay on track.  (When hubby got to feeling better, it didn’t take him long to be enticed by that one little bite or two of something he shouldn’t have when he was hungry.)  Having something always ready in a crock pot can be a good way to keep the hungry family members on target. This is something I am still learning and working at. 

So this winter I am going to endeavor to learn more ways to really use this once neglected kitchen appliance.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2011 in Crock Pot

 

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