Savory

Slow Roasted Lamb Shanks + Tips

Lamb

 

If you’re cooking for flavor, I believe time is your greatest advocate. I know a lot of people are getting into pressure cookers, or insta-pots, but there is something about the traditional way of cooking that won’t disappoint. Utilize time and allow simple ingredients to infuse your food, building upon itself minute after minute, hour after hour, incredible flavor.

Here are my tips for effortlessly adding tons of flavor and tenderness to your choice of protein. Let time do all the work!

  • Marinade in vinegar. This actually begins the ”cooking” process. No at this point your choice of protein is not in an oven, but by marinating your meat in vinegar, the digestive or breaking down process begins. The vinegar softens and tenderizes the meat without the risk of overcooking. This works wonders if you find yourself with a particularly tough cut of meat, but dont want to heat up the oven for 12 hours and end up with jerky.

 

  • Salt well in advance. This rule does not apply to all choices of protein. Chicken and Lamb do really well salted ahead of time where as steak and pork render more tender of a product when salted just before cooking. The salt on your lamb shanks will allow for your meat to retain moisture, the same way your body reacts to lots of salt by water retention, resulting in a melt in your mouth experience!

 

  • Braise or broil before beginning the slow cook. You want to ensure that all the delicious flavor you’ve worked so hard to culminate in your meat stays there. By braising or broiling the meat before it begins to cook, you will seal in the salt and vinegar, allowing them to work for your advantage during the cooking process.

 

  • Let your meat rest. The point of this is to allow the meat to cool down, so it can retain the liquid that is in the meat. When slicing into a hot piece of protein, you will notice the juices from that meat pouring out onto the surface of your block. That is because meat struggles to hold onto moisture at that temperature. By allowing your protein to cool, it will be able to maintain the moisture that got heated during the cooking process, resulting in a much more juicy product.

 

For this particular recipe:

  • Marinade the lamb shanks for 8 hours in Red Wine Vinegar and Salt. Adding herbs/seasonings at this time is also appropriate. (Thyme, Rosemary, Mustard, Harissa, Cumin to name a few.)
  • Broil the lamb at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes.
  • Turn the oven down to 300 degrees and cook covered for 3 hours. Be sure to keep some liquid in the pan to ensure the legs dont dry out. You can use additional vinegar here, or bone broth to infuse more flavor.
  • Let the lamb rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
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Savory

Pulled Chicken Gizzards

gizzards

Pulled chicken gizzards. That’s right, not pulled pork, pulled gizzards. And these babies are glistening with fat and flavor! Today we’re going somewhere a little different. Organ meats are some of the most nutritionally dense foods you can eat. They have some of the highest concentration of your B vitamins, and your fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Organ meats also contain elevated amonuts of minerals such as phosphorus, iron, copper, magnesium, iodine, calcium, potassium, sodium, selenium, zinc and manganese as well as essential amino acids.

Today, I’m working with chicken gizzards from a farm just a few miles from my house, you cant get more fresh than that! They were frozen, so I thawed them over night. Working with thawed meat allows for so much more flavor. Another important tool to implement with organ meats, or any tough meat for that matter, is to marinate it in vinegar. That will begin the break down, or ‘digestion’ process if you will – lending in a softer much more tender result. Helpful for those who have a tough time digesting protein. Its a beautifully effortless process!

The basic breakdown to achieve tender, flavorful, juicy, salty and fatty chicken gizzards that will have even your two year old begging for more? Here are my suggestions:

-Thaw completely overnight.
-Clean organ to its specified requirements
-Marinate In Apple Cider Vinegar and salt for at least 4 hours up to 24 hours. You dont need to cover the meat in vinegar, simply disperse it over the meat evenly. The vinegar will add SO much flavor to the meat. Tenderizing it and pulling out all its natural juices. You can add other seasonings here too. I kept it simple to start.
-Braise the meat. I began the braise with a few tbsp of red palm fruit oil. Once the initial frying was done, I added my flavor. Bone broth, or water if you have a histamine sensitivity, or an issue with SIBO/Candida. Chicken gizzards are fatty, but we like fat in our house so I added an additional 1/2 cup of butter (It was 3 lbs of gizzards) and my seasonings. You can season with whatever you want. I chose to go with Salt, Rosemary, Thyme, Majorium, Oregano, Parsley, Garlic and Onion. After an hour or two, it should be soft enough to pull. You can continue to let it cook as long as you’d like – keeping in mind to replace any broth/water lost through steam. You dont want your meat to dry out!

Now to go make some tortillas and some homemade quac. šŸ™‚

Savory

Seed Biscuits

We For those of us following an AIP diet (the Auto Immune Protocol) successful reintroductions always deserve the happy dance! I chose to begin my reintroductions with seeds – for their versatility and nutritional benefits.

One of the many challenges of the Auto Immune Protocol is getting enough fiber in. That is no longer an issue with these biscuits! A serving of one biscuit delivers 8 grams of fiber! The combination of Chia, Flax and Hemp seeds provide the balance of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Both vital to proper gut health, digestion and absorption of nutrients. Not only do these biscuits offer fiber, but also contribute to our protein requirements for the day coming in at 9 grams. Last but not least, these bad boys are KETO. What more can you ask for? Fiber, Protein and Ketogenic, these are the perfect way to end a delicious meal.

 

Biscuits

 

This recipe is so easy my four year old can put it together. All you need is a coffee grinder, some silverware, and a few measuring cups. I chose to blend up my seeds in a coffee grinder because the amount was too little for my Vitamix to mill it appropriately, and all three seeds require different times before completely ground.

So, without further ado, here is what you’ll need.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a coffee Grinder, mill your seeds. *I would recommend only ever buying whole, raw seeds. Once a seed is milled, it begins to loose its nutritional benefits, and can become rancid. Purchase your seeds whole, and store them in the refrigerator or freezer.* I found It worked best to mill no more than 1/2 cups at a time. Add the rest of your dry ingredients including herbs if you choose to use them. I enjoy thyme and rosemary. With a fork, or pastry blender, incorporate your shortening to achieve a crumbly texture. Pour in your vinegar and water, combine until a uniform dough forms.

This dough works perfectly for drop biscuits, but I prefer the pretty round shape. To attain that, save your 1/4 cup measuring utensil and scoop it full of dough, flatten it with your spoon, and plop onto your baking dish. The biscuits will puff up a bit, so give them room to spring.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until starting to brown on the top. Cool on a plate or wire rack and enjoy! The beef gelatin in this recipe will cause the biscuits to harden up once they cool, so dont be concerned if the biscuits seem undercooked when taken from the oven. There is nothing in them you cant eat raw – it would be worse to over bake them!