I’ve been reading a new book, The Flavor Bible, by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. Total brilliance. It’s taking my self-guided culinary education to a new level, giving me ingredients, but not recipes, history, but no how-to. I really love it and it lends itself perfectly to cooking whole foods, simply, in the most delicious, creative ways.
As I try to eat more meat and vegetables, I rely on quality fat sources (coconut oil, olive oil, plain dairy, butter, nuts, olives, avocados) and spices to make my meals interesting and delicious. I am just getting into The Flavor Bible, but I know it will deliver lots of ideas as I branch away from recipes and into my own practice.
We recently got a half a cow, raised on grass locally, lean from exercise, and well raised. There are a lot of different cuts and it’s wonderful to be able to go to the freezer and have such a selection. This spice mixture would work beautifully on any beef roast or stew meat – anything that would let it cook long enough to really allow these bold flavors to come together and the meat to fall apart into it’s own smokey sauce.
I made three quick accompaniments to go with the beef. First, kale, sauteed quickly in olive oil with garlic and finished with a tiny bit of wine vinegar. Second, peas, cooked down in some of the roast juices and topped with a handful of Parmesan cheese. Finally, a simple romaine salad with pre-prepped broccoli slaw and a balsamic vinaigrette So yummy and the meal was wonderfully filling while still being just vegetables, meat, spices, and good fats.
This spice mix doesn’t make very much, but was perfect for 1 pound of meat to feed 3 adults and 1 toddler. Scale up for a bigger roast.
Smokey Coffee Cocoa Roast
Adapted from Everyday Paleo
1 Tbs ground coffee
1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cocoa
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional)
2 Tbs coconut or olive oil, divided
1 pound roast or stew meat
1 huge yellow onion, or two smaller onions, thinly sliced
Mix together all spices in a large bowl. Add the meat and turn to coat well on all sides. In a skillet over medium high, heat the oil and add the meat. Brown on all sides, searing to create a bit of a crust, but not cooking through. This should take only a couple minutes, tops. Put the browned meat into a slow cooker. Back to the skillet, add the remaining tablespoon of oil and add the onion. Stir well and cook until the onions are translucent and starting to caramelize. Add them to the slow cooker, add the liquid smoke if using, stir and cover. Cook on low for 4-6 hours until the meat easily falls apart. Serve on a bed of sauteed kale or just as is in a bowl.