Saturday, April 1, 2017

Beef Bacon

To make bacon using beef, instead of using the beefplate for short ribs, use it for "bacon."
It is easier if you have your butcher cut the beefplate in strips the thickness you desire. I forgot this time so I am cutting it in about 1/4" strips with an electric slicer.

Take the slices or you can use the chunk of beefplate whole and later slice it. It is easier to smoke the beefplate before slicing, but your meat will have more flavor if marinated sliced.

Marinate with:
Per pound of meat
1 Tbsp Morton's Tender Quick
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp maple syrup

Optional add ins: liquid smoke, black pepper, smoked paprika, turmeric, granulated garlic, chili powder, etc. You determine how "spicy" you like it. This also allows you to make it gluten free.

Place your meat in a glass or plastic container. Rub your marinade mix over the meat. Cover and keep in the refrigerator. Turn daily. Slices should be ready to smoke or use as is in 5 - 7 days. Chunks take about 10 days.

Beef "bacon" will not be as crispy as pork. It works better when wrapping filets or making "Poor Man Filets" (ground meat), because it will cook similarly to the beef it has wrapped.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Chocolate Muffins - THM friendly

Chocolate Muffins - THM friendly
Oven 375°F Yields 6 regular size muffins
Gluten free, sugar free, dairy free option

I don't know if it is the high altitude, my lack of microwave savvy, or what, but the *Muffin in a Mug* recipe from the Trim Healthy Mama book were easy, yet not quite right for us. This is the result after playing with the recipe. It does take a bit longer, but I end up with extra for lunches.

Mix well in mixer bowl:
3 eggs
1 Tbsp butter (or coconut oil to make dairy free)
2 Tbsp coconut oil
3 Tbsp xylitol
15 drops liquid stevia (or equivalent choice of sweetner)
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
6 Tbsp flaxseed meal
3 tbsp water
2 pinches sea salt
1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla

Pulse in:
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp coconut flour

Let rest 1-2 minutes for batter to thicken slightly before filling greased or paper-lined muffin cups. Fill to about 1/4" below top.

Bake at 375° F for about 15 minutes. Muffin should spring back from finger test. If you over-bake muffins they will be dry.

I like to sprinkle a few dark chocolate chips and/or soaked nuts on top before baking.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Ginger Concentrate

Want to use ginger to make your own ginger ale or add the juice to a recipe?

I couldn't believe how simple this was!

Take a piece of ginger root - about the size of a post-it - peel off the flat areas. You could leave all the peel on, or take all the peel off. I thought taking some off would help when I strained the juice. But I definitely didn't want to take the time or loose ginger trying to peel all of it. After all I was planning to strain the juice.

Chop ginger root into to 1/2" to 1" pieces. Place in high-end blender jar. Add up to 2 cups of warm water. Run a cycle or two until completely juiced.

Strain into a jar.

Keep your concentrate in the refrigerator.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Roasted Chicken Broth - Pressure Canned

Oven roasted a chicken for Sunday lunch.

I then poured some more water, right into the roasting pan, in with the broth and bones. Added a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar to help leach the nutrients from the bones into the broth. And put the roaster with the lid on, on the wood stove to simmer.

After a day or so of simmering, I had a lovely rich, rich, brown broth.

The broth could simply have been frozen. But instead I chose to can it. Being low-acid it must be pressure canned. Our altitude requires some adjusting for. Your Pressure Canner's instructions will tell you how much you need to adjust for your altitude.

Jars and lids must be sterile and hot for a good seal.

Here is a tip I learned from Grandma Ruth-put a pan under your jar to catch the drips.

Leave the proper head-space at the top of the jar. One inch.
Ladle hot broth into hot jars.

Load and then vent the canner per instructions for the particular canner you are using.

Process. Be sure to allow the pressure to fully release before opening.

Remove jars and allow them to return to room temperature. Often then need a quick wipe or wash. Label. And store in a cool, dry preferably dark room.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mexican Carrots

Two years ago while visiting a friend, she treated us to "Mexican Carrots" with our lunch. Then she generously shared a copy of her recipe-which she had received from someone else.

The first summer I made a half batch and thought it would be enough for the year. No.
So last summer when the onions and carrots were ripe, I made a full batch thinking it would last the year. No again. It was gone in four months!

So when Azure Standard had a good price on organic carrots, and onions and jalapenos were on sale at the market, I decided it was time to make another batch. We enjoy this as a condiment with our Mexican meals: fajitas, tacos, burritos, and especially taco salad.

5 lbs. carrots, washed, peeled, sliced on diagonal about 1/4" thick
6 large yellow onions, sliced thin
5 Tbsp olive oil
10 bayleaves
30 cloves of garlic (use more if they are small), peeled, and sliced
5 tsp whole peppercorns
3 Tbsp Mexican Oregano (there is a difference from "regular" oregano)
2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
10 tsp sea salt
4 cups water
16 oz or about 12 average size jalapeno peppers, de-seeded and sliced.

Glass jars for about 1 1/2 gallons
Non-reactive 8-10 qt stock-pot and large bowl(s)
Sharp knife, mandolin, and/or slicer of some type

First, prep your carrots–wash, peel, slice. I used the large slicer cone for my Kitchen-Aid mixer and it did a wonderful job. Then bring about 5 qts of water to a boil in your stock-pot.

When water is boiling put in your carrots to blanch for only 2-3 minutes. Do not cook to soft. They are much better crunchy. At the end of the time pour off the boiling water and chill the carrots with ice water.

While carrots cool, prep the onions, garlic, peppers, and other ingredients. Again I used the thin slicer cone for my Kitchen-Aid to speed this up. The peppers I had to do by hand with a sharp chef knife.

Now, we are ready to mix our ingredients together:
Put oil and bay leaves in stock-pot. Saute until oil is infused.

Remove bay leaves. Add other ingredients in this order:

garlic and onion
peppercorns and oregano

Saute for a few minutes
Add vinegar, salt, water. Bring to a boil

Meanwhile put carrots in large bowl. When brine is boiling pour over carrots. Mix well. Let it cool to room temperature.

When at room temperature, scoop and pour into sterilized jar(s). Pour in all the brine to help pickle.
 Place in refrigerator. I use the extra fridge in the basement. Let pickle for about 4 weeks-if you can wait that long!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Homemade Granola Bars

Being hunting season, this is a big hit with the hunters. I don't remember where I found the original recipe, but here it is with my tweaks. You do not need to be precise with the ingredient amounts.


1/2 cup Honey
2/3 cups Peanut Butter
3 cups Granola-I used a homemade soaked granola that was very plain
Your choice of Mix-ins: dried fruit, nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, etc

Butter 9" x 9" pan (or equivalent size)

Heat honey in a heavy sauce pan on medium-low. Let boil one minute. This will make it thick enough to be the glue for holding your granola together.

Stir in the peanut butter. (Personally, I only use *real* peanut butter. You know the kind that is only peanuts and salt!) Mix well.

Next stir in the granola. I turn the heat off after the first cup has been added. Keep mixing until all the granola is coated with the honey-peanut butter.

Now stir in your mix-ins. If you want your chocolate melted throughout mix it in right away. If you want chunks of chocolate, just put the chocolate on top of the mix in the pan immediately before scooping out the granola into the square pan. (Milk chocolate will melt easier than the darker chocolates.)

If you want a layer of goodies on the bottom of your granola bars-put the goodies into your pan before cooking the honey-peanut butter mixture.

Press the mixture firmly into the pan. Cool in refrigerator. Cut into bars (I usually opt for 8-10). Wrap individually in plastic wrap. Keep in refrigerator or freeze.

By running hot water immediately into your pan, clean up will be much easier.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Brining Your Own Bacon

In an effort to control the quality of our meat a bit more. We have taken to buy some pork, brining it, then having my dad smoke it for bacon. We like to use boneless rib meat for bacon slices-rashers. Loin will give you more of a Canadian Bacon end product. Loin also needs to be in the brine longer because of the thickness of the cut.

Per 1 pound of meat

1 Tbsp Tenderquick
1 tsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp maple syrup (the real stuff)
Granulated Garlic to taste-I use about 1 tsp per 6 lbs meat
Coarsely ground Black Pepper

Rubbing brine mix on pork pieces.

Mix the above in your brine container. Your container needs to be glass or plastic and to have a lid.
Rub your mix onto your meat. Layer meat into your container. Place lid on. Put container in refrigerator. Turn meat pieces daily.

Pieces on left next mix rubbed on. Pieces on right already rubbed.

Age about 10 days. This will depend on the thickness of your meat cuts. I did 10 days for the above-boneless pork rib meat. It is better to go a little longer than to have too little time in the brine.

Don't forget to label.
Rinse before smoke-curing.