Tag Archives: beef

Beef Bourguignon (or Beef Burgundy)


I had beef stock and red wine leftover from making French Onion Soup and the first thing that came to mind was Beef Bourguignon which I had been curious about for years since the infamous Julie and Julia movie introduced the world to Julia Child’s famous Beef Bourguignon recipe. Although, I  ended up using Ina Garten’s recipe since they are almost identical and Ina is equally credible in my opinion. This is another wonderfully hearty winter dish to warm your tummy. I served it with my ever-satisfying cauliflower rice (without the coconut)–if you haven’t figured it out yet, I can’t get enough of this stuff. I also was in a pinch for time and my dutch oven was full of leftovers in the refrigerator, so I strayed from the traditional dutch oven preparation and did this completely on the stove top, which works well if you don’t have a dutch oven.


Beef Bourguignon (Adapted from Ina Garten) (Difficulty-Intermediate; Serves 4)

  • 8 ounces applewood smoked bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 lb. organic chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 stalks organic celery, plus greens, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
  • 1 c. organic beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. fresh organic thyme leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. arrow-root powder
  • 1 lb. frozen pearl onions
  • 1 lb. fresh mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thickly sliced

Heat a large heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate with paper towels to soak up the grease.


Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot bacon grease for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.


Toss the celery, greens, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices.

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Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and cook for about 1 hour or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.

Combine 1 tablespoon of butter and the arrow root powder with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.


 Serve over cauliflower rice, quinoa, or eat as a stew from a bowl.


Primal Meatballs and Homemade Ricotta Cheese


Spaghetti and meatballs has always been one of my all-time favorite dishes, especially my dad’s meatballs! I’ve always made his recipe which uses ground turkey, so I wanted to try a more traditional recipe with ground beef and ground pork, but still with some of Dad’s best tricks, like using a muffin pan to bake the meatballs instead of frying. The oven still gives them a nice browned exterior without all the grease. The result=deliciously flavorful, moist meatballs that I topped with sweet tomato sauce and fresh homemade ricotta cheese. This will definitely satisfy any craving for spaghetti and meatballs and you can serve it over roasted spaghetti squash if you like. Great for guests or when you are really in need for some Italian comfort food!


Meatballs (Difficulty-Easy; Makes 8-10 large meatballs)

  • 1 lb. organic free-range 85% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork (organic if you can find it)
  • 1/4 lb. prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/2 large sweet onion (preferably Maui), grated
  • 3/4 c. almond meal
  • 1/2-3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh organic parsley
  • 1/2 c. organic buttermilk
  • 1 large organic free-range egg yolk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. organic ketchup
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 recipe of Don’s famous Pomodoro sauce

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Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a muffin pan with olive oil based cooking spray. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir with your hands to incorporate together. Gently form into large round meatballs (I made 8) and add each to its own well in the muffin pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Test the meatballs with your fingers–they should have a little give but be firm enough that your fingers spring back when applying a little pressure. You can also test with a meat thermometer. They should be around 145 degrees in the center. Let cool in pan for about 5-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make tomato sauce according to recipe. Transfer meatballs to sauce pan and turn to coat. Serve with fresh ricotta cheese (recipe follows), drizzle of high quality finishing olive oil, spaghetti squash, and parmesan cheese.



Fresh Ricotta Cheese (slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine) (Difficulty-Intermediate; Makes ~1 cup cheese)

  • 6 1/2 c. organic whole milk
  • 1 1/2 c. organic heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. organic distilled white vinegar

Line a large sieve with 2 layers of cheesecloth or paper towels and set it over a large bowl.


Bring the milk, cream and 1 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a large nonreactive pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice and vinegar and cook, stirring, until the mixture curdles, about 1 minute. Pour the mixture into the prepared sieve and let drain, at least 5 minutes or up to 30 minutes for thicker cheese. There will be a lot of liquid (whey) left over as it only makes a small amount of cheese. You can actually redo the process with the leftover liquid to make even more ricotta. It also makes great cooking liquid! I used it in place of broth in my cauliflower rice and it gave it even more flavor. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I drizzled finishing oil on mine and seasoned with a tiny bit of salt.


Short Rib French Onion Soup


Why didn’t I think of this?! Enhancing the already rich decadent flavor of french onion soup with braised full-flavored short ribs- genius! And this dish is easily made primal by leaving out the bread topping, and if you like, you can still have the oozy bubbly cheese on top-just make sure to use a crock or bowl that has a more narrow opening than the size of your cheese slice. Really, you probably wont even notice there’s no bread since you’ll be too focused on the fact that this soup is loaded with flavors that will scintillate your umami taste buds. It really lifted my spirits when I was on the couch sick all weekend.


I halved the original recipe since I wasn’t cooking for a crowd, but it is easily doubled to serve 6. I also added more liquid since the broth cooks down quite a lot in the oven.

 French Onion Soup with Braised Short Ribs (Adapted from Food Network Magazine) (Difficulty-Intermediate; Serves 4)

  • 1 lb. organic free-range bone-in beef short ribs
  • 1 Tbsp. arrow root powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. organic cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 ribs of organic celery, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 organic leek, chopped
  • 4 sprigs organic thyme, plus 1/2 Tbsp. thyme leaves
  • 1 organic bay leaf
  • 1/2 head garlic, halved crosswise
  • 1 Tbsp. organic tomato paste
  • 1/2-3/4 c. dry red wine
  • 4-5 c. organic low-sodium beef stock
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 organic Spanish onions, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup dry sherry or Marsala cooking wine (sherry is the traditional ingredient for this soup, but I only had Marsala at home and I really loved the flavor it added)
  • 1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
  • 4 slices organic sourdough bread, toasted (optional)
  • 4 slices high-quality gruyere or swiss cheese

Braise the short ribs: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Toss the short ribs with the arrow root powder and season liberally with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the short ribs and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

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Add the celery, chopped onion and leek to the pot and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Return the short ribs to the pot and stir in the thyme sprigs, bay leaf, garlic and tomato paste. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, then cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the stock and return to a simmer. Cover, transfer to the oven, and braise until the short ribs are falling off the bone, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

IMAG0459'IMAG0463IMAG0466 Meanwhile, caramelize the onions: Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the sliced onions, reduce the heat to low and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, about 2 hours, 30 minutes. (Add a splash of water and scrape up any browned bits from the pot, if necessary.)

IMAG0464 When the short ribs are done, remove from the broth with a slotted spoon, transfer to a plate and let cool slightly. Strain the broth, discarding the solids. Shred the meat, discarding the bones, and toss with 1 cup of the broth. Reserve the remaining broth.

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Add the thyme leaves and sherry to the caramelized onions. Cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 3 minutes; add the reserved broth and cook 30 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Skim the fat from the top of the soup. Stir in the sherry vinegar.

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Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Divide the soup among 4 ovenproof bowls; spoon about 1/3 cup shredded meat into the center of each, then top each with a slice of the sourdough toast, trimming the bread if necessary. Top each with a slice of cheese, letting the cheese hang over the side of the bowl. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden and bubbly, about 10 minutes.

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Chipotle Pumpkin Chili


This recipe was inspired by a few serendipitous occurrences. First, a friend of mine who loves beer even more than I do mentioned making a chili recipe with Rogue’s Chipotle Ale, which I thought was a brilliant idea. A week or so later, another friend made his pumpkin chili for a group of our childhood friends while we cozied up to the fireplace at his snowy Utah cabin over the winter holidays.  And being someone who is obsessed with pumpkin in every way shape or form, I also thought this was brilliant. Thus, my very own chipotle pumpkin chili recipe came to life! I’ve made it twice now, once with ground beef and once with ground turkey. I think it is delightful either way so have your pick. While chili is not completely primal due to the phytate-full beans, it is considerably high in protein and low in sugar, and it is most certainly gluten-free. So if you’re really hankering for some good chili and a spicy pumpkin pick-me-up, this is the way to go.  IMAG0233

Chipotle Pumpkin Chili (Difficulty-Easy, Serves 8-10)

  • 2 Tbsp. grapeseed, avocado or other mild flavored oil
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1 organic green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 lbs. organic free range ground beef or turkey
  • 16 oz. can organic pumpkin puree
  • 15 oz. can organic dark red kidney beans, drained
  • 15 oz. can organic black beans, drained
  • 28 oz. can organic diced tomatoes
  • 28 oz. can organic tomato puree or tomato juice
  • 16 oz. Rogue Chipotle beer
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toppings of your choices-I like to eat mine with shredded cheddar, sliced avocado, hot sauce, and a dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt

Heat the oil in a large heavy bottomed dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add onions, bell pepper, garlic, and spices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.



Increase heat to medium-high and add half of the beef. Cook, breaking up the pieces until browned, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining beef and cook until browned. Add the pumpkin puree, beans, tomatoes with juice, tomato puree and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally for 1 hour.


Remove the lid, add the beer, and continue to simmer 1 hour longer until the chili is rich and slightly thickened. Season with salt to taste. Serve with shredded cheddar cheese.


Caribbean-Spiced Beef Stew


This may be shocking to most people, but the first time I ever tried beef stew was in college (I didn’t really eat red meat as a child), when my dear friend Kim made her grandmother’s recipe for me–it was delicious! So when I saw this island-inspired beef stew in the Food Network magazine I thought it would make a great high-protein meal and would easily become primal with a few minor adjustments. I simply replaced the flour with a more natural thickening agent, arrow root powder, and replaced the starchy potatoes with flavorful parsnips. I added zucchini in replace of half of the carrots, although you could cut them out completely if you’re really serious about being low-glycemic. The fire roasted tomatoes I used gave the stew a wonderful spice for a cold winter day!

Caribbean Beef Stew (Adapted from the Food Network)

(Difficulty-Easy, Makes 4-6 Servings)

  • 1 Tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1/4 c. arrow root powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1.5 lbs. beef stew meat (I love Trader Joe’s all natural stew meat!)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 lbs. parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 zucchini squashes, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1  10 oz. can Mexican-style diced tomatoes with green chiles

Combine the thyme, arrow root powder, allspice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl. Add the beef and toss to coat.


Heat about 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large stock pot, and add sliced shallots stirring until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the beef, reserving any excess seasoned arrow root powder in the bowl, cooking the beef fo about 3-4 minutes on each side.


Whisk 1/2 cup water and the Worcestershire sauce into the reserved seasoned arrow root powder, then add to the pot. Dice the  parsnips, carrots, zucchini, ginger and garlic, and add to stock pot. IMG_3920

Pour the tomatoes on top. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cover. Cook on low 1-2 hours.