How to Make “Brown” Beef Bone Stock

finished beef bone stockWhen I told my oldest son I was roasting some bones in the oven he looked at me sternly for a few seconds before exclaiming, “Mom, you just keep getting weirder and weirder!” I suppose from the perspective of a 10 year old, the idea of roasting bones, then “painting” them with tomato paste (a bit of a macabre-looking scene to be sure) and then simmering them in a cauldron, um, I mean crock pot, sounds a bit bizarre. But in spite of appearances, there is a method to my (seeming) madness.

In the post How to Make Chicken Stock in Five Minutes I touched on some of the health benefits of eating bone stock. It’s a great “whole” food few of us incorporate into our modern diets. Health benefits are one thing, but when you experience the exquisite flavor of real “brown” beef bone stock you will understand just how worthwhile it is to make it yourself. Store bought stock will never have the same rich flavor and certainly not provide you with the full health benefits.

This recipe is based on one from Emeril Lagasse. I have tweaked the quantities, eliminated the wine and thyme, increased the cooking time and included vinegar to pull the minerals out of the bones for maximum health benefit. You could make bone stock without roasting the bones but it would not have quite the same rich flavor. The process of browning the bones makes for a sophisticated flavor that is beyond compare. This is a classic method chefs use to obtain maximum flavor from bones for use in stocks and sauces.

The recipe makes a fairly significant amount of mineral rich, delicious bone stock which means the invested time and money is well worth it. Continue reading

Broccoflower with Spicy Italian Sausage

The paleo diet has been the catalyst for eating an incredible amount of vegetables.  I would venture to say I eat more vegetables than most vegetarians I know.  In fact, the paleo diet has led me to eat veggies I had purposely avoided, (kale), ones I simply ignored, (beet greens), and others I did not know even existed, (pink banana squash). The following recipe includes a food I was never motivated to try until now: Broccoflower.

Broccoflower is in the same family as cauliflower and broccoli. Because the two are so closely related they are easily cross-pollinated. The result is something that looks like green cauliflower. Romanesco broccoli is very similar to broccoflower but looks a little different due to an interesting pattern displayed by the floret.  I found the broccoflower to be truly a cross between broccoli and cauliflower in both appearance and taste.  It was milder than cauliflower and the texture, especially of the stalk parts, was very similar to broccoli.  In the following easy recipe I employed the same “ricing” technique I have used with cauliflower. But the green color of the broccoflower really added to the aesthetics of the dish. Continue reading

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I Have Made Cauliflower! Basic Cauliflower Rice Recipe

This is the first year I have attempted to grow cauliflower. My husband, G, built three raised garden beds and I got very ambitious and started planting all sorts of new things. I knew next to nothing about growing cauliflower and resorted to consulting YouTube for some how-to videos. Some were helpful. Others, like much of what is on YouTube, were downright bizarre. But I digress….

I learned that cauliflower grows in the middle of a large plant with lots of leaves and the ones in the middle sort of flop over the floret to keep it cool and shaded. It was for this reason that one day it seemed as if nothing was there but the very next day I poked a little deeper and discovered a serious cauliflower floret! I used a large knife to cut the floret out of the plant just as the large, nameless man in balloon-fronted shorts on YouTube had instructed. The moment, for me, was very reminiscent of Tom Hanks’ character in the movie “Castaway” when he is finally successful in making a fire. I actually exclaimed out loud,

“I have made CAULIFLOWER!!!”

After exulting in my success in growing this organic gem I pondered my next step. Of course I would need to find a recipe worthy of my first actual homegrown cauliflower floret. Shortly after starting the Paleo Diet I read about “Cauliflower Rice” and was intrigued. I happen to like cauliflower. But my husband and kids definitely do not like it in any form. In fact G tells a story of going home with a college buddy for a weekend and being horrified when the guy’s mom proudly declared that dinner was “Cauliflower Casserole”. Woo hoo! Not. Given the PTSD he suffered as a result of this experience I was not optimistic that G, or our boys, would be remotely interested in eating cauliflower in any form. But I am happy to report they ALL enjoyed the cauliflower rice and even asked for seconds. Given that the recipe is gluten free and low carb it works great for anyone on a Paleo, Primal or low-carb/Atkins type diet. It seems to fill the void that sometimes exists on a grain free and white potato free diet when you long for something starchy. Cauliflower rice fits the bill – without the starch and high carbohydrate count.

Basic Cauliflower Rice:

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place in a 8×8 microwaveable dish and cover with plastic wrap. There is no need to add water because the cauliflower will cook in its own moisture.
  2. Microwave on high for 4 minutes.paleo cauliflower rice recipe
  3. Use a food processor to pulse the steamed cauliflower until it is the texture of rice. (You may have to do this in a couple of batches.) Place the cauliflower in a medium bowl and set aside.paleo cauliflower rice recipe
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute’ for about 30 seconds being careful not to burn the garlic.
  5. Add the cauliflower into the pan and stir fry for 7-10 minutes, until tender.
  6. Add the parsley, the sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
Serves 4-6
I recommend you start with this basic recipe and change it up as you desire and depending on what you are serving it with. For example the basic recipe calls for flat leaf parsley but I have also used fresh basil with great success. Additionally, sauteing a diced onion in the olive oil prior to adding the garlic and cauliflower would be good as well. I have even seen a recipe that called for a cup of finely chopped celery. The possibilities are endless. I did find that steaming the cauliflower prior to sauteing it made the whole process easier. You can steam it and process it in advance and store, covered, in the refrigerator and saute’ right before serving.
Cauliflower rice goes especially well with the Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic recipe. I added about a half cup of the garlic sauce from that recipe into the cauliflower rice and served them together. It was really delicious, low carb, grain free – Paleo!
For more information on growing cauliflower and its nutritional profile you can check out this post.

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