With fall weather starting to settle in, my mind naturally drifts to hearty roasts, soups, and stews. I’m a big fan of the slow cooker for this job, as the meal practically cooks itself once you’ve added the ingredients. Searing off the meat before you add it is an extra step that’s well worth the time because it helps to develop an extra layer of delicious flavor.
I got my lamb roast from 5280 Meat, a family-owned Colorado company that raises grass-fed, pastured animals. Normally, I’m not a fan of how lamb can be gamey, but this roast was mild and fall-apart tender. If you order from 5280 Meat, use the code “SEPaleo” when you check out and receive 10% off!
First, you’re going to sear the lamb roast to develop a nice golden crust. That’s where the flavor really shines. To do that, dry the lamb very well with paper towel and season with a couple generous pinches of salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat, then add the ghee. You want the pan smoking hot. If not, the meat will steam instead of sear. Try for 3 to 4 minutes a side until you get most of the roast seared. Remove the meat from the pan (I put it on a plate), then reduce the heat to medium, and add the chicken broth, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Place the roast in the slow cooker.
In a small bowl, mix the garlic, rosemary, thyme and mustard. Pour it on top of the lamb and use your hands to coat the meat with the mixture.
Toss the chopped root veggies (carrots, parsnips, potato and rutabaga) with salt and pepper, and arrange them around the meat. Pour the chicken broth from when you deglazed the pan on top of the veggies.
Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Serve with a green salad or veggie of your choice for a complete meal.
*substitute with sweet potatoes if you do not eat white potatoes
Steph’s note: Today’s recipe is a sneak peek from Danielle Walker’s new book, “Meals Made Simple” which releases on September 2, 2014. I’ve been lucky to preview the cookbook, and it’s amazing…great for newbie cooks or anyone who just enjoys simple, delicious food. Danielle notes: “Jicama may seem like a strange ingredient to add to this dish, but it provides a slight crunch similar to that of water chestnuts or bamboo shoots and adds a mildly sweet flavor.” Serve with cauliflower rice (pictured).
Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, brown the meat on all sides.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer each batch of browned meat directly to the slow cooker, then continue browning. Wipe out the skillet between batches if a lot of liquid has accumulated at the bottom to ensure even browning.
Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
Pour in the coconut milk and stir continuously to release the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
Add the tomato paste, curry paste, fish sauce, lime juice, and salt, then pour the mixture over the beef in the slow cooker.
Cook on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours. Add the broccoli, carrots, and jicama during the last 30 minutes if cooking on high, or the last hour if cooking on low. Serve garnished with cilantro.
*Omit for SCD
The leftover meat tastes fabulous in scrambled eggs!
Prepare Steps 1 through 5, then place the contents in an airtight container or bag. Freeze for up to 3 months, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator
The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Julia B. at email@example.com!
Slow cooker problems can turn one of Paleo’s most useful kitchen tools into a headache. These appliances are utterly indispensable for busy people who want to cook healthy food, so dialing it in can really help your time in the kitchen. From stews to bone broth to roasts and even veggies, with a little know-how, you’ll be well on your way to making satisfying meals.
Here are 6 common slow cookers problems and what to do if and when you encounter them!
Slow Cooker Problems #1: Meat comes out dry / tough.
When you’re cooking meat in the slow cooker, the leaner the cut, the drier it tends to get. That means fattier cuts of meat—think pork shoulder roasts and beef pot roasts—do better than leaner ones, like pork sirloin or chops. If the meat comes with skin or a fat cap, leave that intact to keep the meat from drying out.
It’s also possible that the meat simply cooked too long. Generally, start out with about 1 to 1.25 hours per pound for cooking on high and 1.25 to 1.5 hours per pound for cooking on low.
Slow Cooker Problems #2: The food’s too liquidy.
For slow cookers, you need about half the amount of liquid that a traditional recipe (for the oven or stovetop) calls for. If the recipe isn’t optimized for a slow cooker, cut the amount of liquid by about 50%. In fact, when I cook a whole chicken or pork roast in the slow cooker, I put the meat in without any liquid at all.
If your final dish comes out too watery, remove the lid and turn the slow cooker to high for about an hour. This will allow some of the moisture to evaporate, thickening the sauce / broth.
Slow Cooker Problems #3: There’s no automatic shut off / timer.
This one’s a valid concern with a simple solution. If you can’t be around to switch off the slow cooker and yours has no automatic shut off, purchase a lamp timer! Then, plug your machine into that, set it, and it’ll turn off even if you aren’t home.
Slow Cooker Problems #4: It makes too much food.
Many slow cooker recipes make large portions, especially for small households. Luckily, many meats / roasts, soups and stews freeze well so you can store them for days you’re too busy to cook.
Slow Cooker Problems #5: The food isn’t cooking evenly.
This is a common problem with slow cookers. If you’re making a beef stew with carrots, for example, some carrots may be mushy while some are too hard. Food that’s cut into pieces that are the same size will cook more evenly than food that’s chopped haphazardly. Very soft / fast cooking vegetables can usually be added toward the end of the total cooking time so they don’t break down into mush.
Slow Cooker Problems #6: You aren’t sure whether to use the low or high setting.
Believe it or not, the low versus high settings aren’t different final temperatures. Rather, the high setting gets the slow cooker to boiling point faster than the low setting. Then, the contents will remain at a simmer for the rest of the cooking process. I personally prefer the low setting because I think meat comes out a bit more tender with the longer cooking time.
Paleo meal planning doesn’t have to be intimidating, and you’re going to learn the essentials of putting together a one week menu in this post. Cool, right?
Paleo Meal Planning, Step 1: The Weekly Cook-Up
When you eat Paleo, you tend to cook at home (a LOT) but one thing that can slow you down is cooking every single meal fresh, from scratch. By eating leftovers, you’ll be able to reach into the fridge, grab and reheat a meal without having to start the process from step one.
Instituting a weekly cook-up day is the an important part of meal planning. You’ll need to set aside one day a week to do a big shopping trip and a large amount of batch cooking. (Two or three hours usually does it.) Pick a day where you preferably don’t have to work. If you’re off on the weekend, pick Sunday as your big cook-up day.
With enough planning you’ll be able to create meals for Monday through Wednesday. Then, on Thursday, a small trip to the market and a little cook-up will get you through to the weekend. (Adjust according to your days off.)
This is probably the key to a successful meal plan: Create a template that you can pop recipes into by type. That way, you keep the template and vary the recipes week to week so that you’re taking some of the guesswork out.
Lunch: Big salad with slow cooker chicken, homemade dressing
Dinner: Oven-baked meatballs and sauce with spaghetti squash, sautéed greens
Breakfast: Sweet potato hash, bacon and eggs
Lunch: Collard wraps, avocado and fruit
Dinner: Baked fish with homemade sauce, fresh slaw
Breakfast: Forage for leftovers
Lunch: Lettuce-wrapped burgers and sweet potato fries
Dinner: Slow cooker curry with cauli rice
and so on…
Individual preferences and how many leftovers you have will vary.
Paleo Meal Planning, Step 3: Browse for Recipes but KISS
Now that your cook-up days are scheduled, it’s time to decide what you’ll make. For a majority of meals, KISS. Don’t try to get involved in fancy schmancy techniques and complicated recipes for everything. Stick to recipes with ingredients that are easy to find in your local market. Running all over tarnation for random ingredients is not a great way to maximize your time.
I recommend doing this a day or two before your weekly big cook-up, plugging it into your template (see step 2) and making a list of ingredients.
Of course, there is no one right or wrong way to do this. Experiment and find out what works for you!
Other Paleo Meal Planning Tips
You don’t have to slave over a soup pot for hours and hours to create every meal. By including a variety of techniques, you can actually minimize cooking time. Eating a mix of raw and cooked veggies will help.
You can eat breakfast for dinner or dinner for breakfast. The first meal of the day does NOT have to be a Paleo version of a traditionally carb-heavy dish. You can really eat anything for breakfast. In fact, mine is usually eggs with leftover meat and raw veggies or fruit. Simple.
Try a meal exchange
Rope a couple other Paleo friends into creating a meal exchange. Basically how it works is this: Cook and prepare a main dish, side dish and sauce for your friends and yourself. Swap meals and you’ll have instant variety!
Plan one meal out to eat
Fill a gap in your template by going out to eat. Many restaurants are Paleo-friendly if you ask for substitutions.
Have fun with it
Learning to meal plan and balance your time with other demands in your life takes practice, but the more you do it, the more innate it’ll get it. Pretty soon, you’ll be planning meals like a pro!
Or…if all else fails, let someone do the planning for you!
Slow-Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole is the perfect blend of two worlds: simple cooking and huge flavor! When my friend Arsy Vartanian, author of the brand new book The Paleo Foodie Cookbook, asked me to share one of her recipes with you, I jumped at the chance. I know you all love chicken recipes, and slow cooker food definitely fits my criteria of stupid-easy. While it may seem like there are a lot of ingredients, they’re integral in creating a savory, complex mole sauce with a richness and depth of flavor.
If you love the sound of this recipe, go check out Arsy’s cookbook. She’s also got two awesome bonuses for you: We are giving away a copy of her book (sorry, contest is now closed) and you can get a free copy of her ebook, The Paleo Dinner Party, if you pre-order (details also at the bottom).
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole
2 pounds (900 grams) chicken pieces (breasts and legs work well), bone in, skins removed
Salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons (30 grams) ghee
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
6–7 whole tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
5 dried New Mexico chili peppers, rehydrated and chopped
1/4 cup (60 grams) almond butter
2-1/2 ounces (70 grams) dark chocolate (70% or above)
1 teaspoon (5 grams) sea salt
1 teaspoon (3 grams) cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon guajillo chili powder
Avocado, cilantro and jalapeño, all chopped (garnish)
Directions for Slow Cooker Chocolate Chicken Mole
Generously salt and pepper the chicken.
Place a pan over medium heat and add ghee. Once the ghee has warmed, add the chicken and brown on all sides. This may need to be done in batches. Move chicken to the slow cooker.
Add onion to the same pan and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer onion and garlic to slow cooker.
Add the tomatoes, chili peppers, almond butter, dark chocolate, salt and spices (cumin, cinnamon, chili powder) to the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or until the chicken is tender and pulls apart easily. If you are home when making the dish, lift the lid once and give it a stir to make sure all the ingredients are well combined. Remove chicken bones. Top mole with avocado, cilantro and jalapeño and serve!
To enter for a chance to win a FREE copy of The Paleo Foodie Cookbook:
The winner is… lynn.s****@e*******l.com. Thank you to all who entered!
Use the Rafflecopter widget below to complete your entry! (This is how the winner will be drawn, so don’t skip this step!)
The autumn months are here. Longer nights. Colder days. It’s getting to be soup weather (though I love soup all year long).
This creamy, really simple dish is modeled after vichyssoise, a silky soup made with potatoes and cream or milk. My friend Claudette made me her Paleo version this summer, and I was shocked to find out that instead of potato it contained….
When I served this to my unsuspecting taste testers and asked them what was in it, they could not guess cauliflower. Haha…fooled ‘em! A traditional vichyssoise is served cold, and while you could do that, I liked it better warm.
And for an extra added special factor, I sprinkled mine with some Bacon Gremolata or just crispy bacon, crumbled up. You’re welcome
Ingredients for Creamy Leek Soup
3 cups of leeks, dark green ends removed, roughly chopped (~2 large leeks)
Wash the leeks well. I usually cut off the root end then slice it down the middle lengthwise. Hold under running water and separate the leaves, rinsing well (especially the outermost leaves). Sandy soup is not delicious. I usually cut off the top 1/3 of the leek and save that for making stock. Chop the leeks roughly. Add to a large soup pot.
Cut the core out of the cauliflower and trim off any leaves. Roughly chop it. Add that to the pot.
Add the onions, chicken broth, coconut milk and ghee to the pot.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until all the veggies are tender.
Allow to cool, then puree until smooth using a blender. Be careful: You may need to do two or more batches so the blender doesn’t overflow.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
p.s. You can make this in the crock pot. Add all the ingredients and cook on low for 3-5 hours. The flavor is the same but the consistency won’t be as thick. To troubleshoot that, you can remove the crock pot lid for the last hour of cooking so some of the liquids evaporate.
Do you think you might try this recipe? What toppings would you use?
It’s time for another giveaway here at Stupid Easy Paleo because y’all are such phenomenal fans!
Starting in October and continuing monthly, I’ll be hosting a free giveaway for a wonderful ware that’ll help make your Paleo cooking easier. I’m kicking it off with this kickass crock pot – and it’s not just any old slow cooker. It’s a deluxe 6 liter programmable slow cooker from Crock Pot brand (a $60 value)!
I’m a firm believer that slow cookers are one of the top three kitchen tools to make healthier cooking – despite a busy lifestyle – that much simpler. For a PDF of my favorite crock pot recipes, click here.
How to Enter to Win
Contest is now closed. Congratulations to Nadine A., the winner of the deluxe Crock Pot!
It’s simple…use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.
You MUST sign up for my mailing list to be eligible to win. After you complete your entry, be sure to check your email inbox and confirm your subscription (your email address remains private, and I don’t spam…EVER).
You can earn bonus entries for doing the following:
The contest will end on October 31, 2013 at 11:59 PST. The winner will be announced on November 1, 2013 on the Stupid Easy Paleo blog and must claim the prize by November 30, 2013. This contest is open to all readers, regardless of country. If you live outside the United States, you’ll receive an Amazon gift certificate in the amount of the prize.
Last week on Facebook, I asked which you – fantastic fan – would like more recipes for: veggies, meat or crock pot, and the slow cooker was the winning vote by far. Here’s my guess on why: crock pots do everything for you…except clean up. Yup. It’s true. Put it in and walk away…it’s like the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie Oven for the busy Paleo eater (I know you remember those “Set it and forget it!” Saturday morning infomercials).
I took one of my most adored recipes from my Slow Cooker Recipe Guide and gave it a slight makeover. What resulted was a warm, filling, and savory curry that’s not at all spicy hot. Best part, it’s free from the weird ingredients found in most premixed curry pastes. and you don’t have to worry about that lonesome jar of rarely used curry powder getting stale because you’ve made it fresh. Makes about four servings.
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Chicken Yellow Curry Soup
1-1/2 lb. (~700 g) boneless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into chunks
6 cups of veggies, chopped (I used one cup each of onion, carrots, green beans, broccoli, tomatoes and red bell pepper. Use what you like or have on hand.)
1 cup water (for a thicker, curry-like sauce, omit the water)
Salt, to taste
Directions for Slow Cooker Chicken Yellow Curry Soup
Cut the chicken and veggie into medium-large chunks. Put everything into the crock pot.
Stir in the coconut milk, and crushed tomatoes. Then add the spices: cumin, ground coriander, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Add the water. Stir to combine everything.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours. [I cooked mine for 8 hours overnight since my current crock pot does not have an automatic shut off function, though, at it came out perfect nonetheless.]
If the you want it more like a curry and less like a soup, omit the 1 cup of water above. You can also remove the lid from the crock pot for the last hour of cooking so some of the moisture evaporates.
Season to taste with salt.
Serve. Would be great over cauliflower rice, but it’s tasty on its own, too.
I had the distinct honor of writing a guest post for the one and only, incredibly creative, OG of Paleo food blogs, Michelle T. of Nom Nom Paleo. Her site’s has been a favorite of mine since my early days of Paleo, and she’s been a huge inspiration regarding clean and tasty eats.
If you’ve never checked out her site, now’s the time! You can find my recipe for Kickin’ BBQ Shredded Chicken there – and trust me when I say it’s an easy one that can be made ahead to fit your busy schedule and utilizes my favorite kitchen secret weapon…wink wink.
Slow cooker mocha-rubbed pot roast. What’s not to love already?
You’re probably thinking, “Coffee? Pot roast? What?!” but rest assured that it’s not like downing a cup of joe. The coffee adds a subtle depth of flavor that the spices alone can’t achieve. The end result was fall-apart tender.
Be sure to select a roast that’s not ultra-lean. You want some fat marbled through the meat to prevent it from drying out.
If you have time, I highly recommend taking the liquid from the crock pot and reducing it down by boiling until it becomes thicker. It’s nice to drizzle on top, almost like a gravy. Of course, if you’re in a rush, you can skip that step. If you don’t have access to this awesome cold-brew coffee, and java will do. This recipe is easily doubled.
Prepare the mocha rub by mixing together the finely ground coffee, smoked paprika, black pepper, cocoa powder, Aleppo pepper (sub: sweet paprika), chili powder, ground ginger and salt in a small bowl. You won’t use the entire batch if you’re making a 2-pound roast. It stores well in an airtight container.
Pat the beef roast dry with a paper towel. Spoon 3 to 4 tablespoons of the mocha rub mixture over the roast and rub it in well with your hands.
Combine the brewed coffee, beef broth, onion, figs, and balsamic vinegar in a blender. Puree until liquified.
Pour the liquid into the crock pot and place the roast gently on top.
Cook for 5 to 6 hours on low.
Remove the meat and shred with two forks. You can then boil the liquid until it reduces and thickens or simply serve as is. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to taste.
What the heck is oxtail? Most of what we – and by we I mean Americans – call oxtail is actually tail sections from a cow. It contains a center bone and can be a bit fatty, but when cooked low and slow, the meat becomes super tender. Sounds like a perfect job for the crock pot though you could certainly braise these on the stove top instead.
Have I told you how much crock pots rule? Yes, I have, but it bears repeating: if you are strapped for time and think you don’t have the chance to cook, a slow cooker is probably the single best use of $30-40 that I can think of. It’s the ultimate in lazy smart cooking because once the food goes in, you literally have to do nothing but wait. Win!
When I researched Caribbean recipes for oxtail, most of them had Paleo-unfriendly ingredients like flour or sugar. Ick. Instead, I’ve given you all the amazing flavor without any unsavory additions. This would be super tasty served over cauliflower rice. For an even *faster* version, eliminate steps 2-4 and just throw everything into the crock pot together. I think the extra couple minutes it takes to brown the meat is well worth it though.
If you can’t find oxtail, you could substitute stew meat instead.
Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 6 hours Makes: 2 lb of meat plus veggies
Prepare all the veggies: dice the onions and carrots. Mince the garlic and ginger. If using jalapeño pepper, you can remove some or all of the seeds and mince. If you like it spicy, you can keep the seeds or even add a hotter pepper such as habanero (Scotch bonnet).
Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add a spoonful of coconut oil. Sprinkle the oxtails with salt and pepper. Brown them on all sides, and place them in the crock pot.
In the same skillet, add the onion, carrot, garlic, ginger and jalapeño. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes.
Add the beef stock, tomato paste, allspice berries, fish sauce and thyme. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up all the browned bits from the oxtail. If you want to get fancy, this is called deglazing the pan and the bits are called fond. Fun with cooking!
Remove the pan from the heat and pour the contents into the crockpot to cover the oxtail.
It’s almost Memorial Day weekend, and you know what that means: Sun’s out, guns out! Yussss! Summer is almost here!
Parties and BBQs with friends and family will be had. Days are still getting longer and evenings are getting warmer which makes for perfect outdoor dining. And, it’ll now also be socially acceptable to wear white pants – I won’t be taking advantage of that because I ruin anything white. Anyone who can explain where that rule came from will win my adoration forever.
In case you need some party-dish inspiration for the weekend ahead, I’ve pulled together some of my favorite summertime recipes in one place. See, I love ya! Leave a comment and tell me what YOUR favorite summer party take-along dish is.
I have this thing about getting my hands sloppy and messy with finger food. It kind of freaks me out, and I’m not sure why. Back in college, I was a cake decorator at a local grocery store chain, and getting frosting all over my hands would make me come undone. True story. Luckily, these ribs are so tasty that I didn’t even notice I was tearing in with my paws until they were almost gone.
My amazing Australian pen pal (yes, I have a pen pal) Georgia sent me the most thoughtful care package last week, and inside was a super tasty brown mustard. I thought there was no better way to enjoy it then to make a sweet and spicy honey mustard glaze for the ribs. The ribs came out so tender.
Do you have not as much time to cook as you’d like? You’re not alone. Okay, now go and order yourself a crock pot if you don’t already have one (I recommend one with a digital timer and keep warm function) and make this recipe. Smile and enjoy your tasty meal knowing that it basically cooked itself. This recipe is a mashup between two non-Paleo one’s from Rachel Ray and the White On Rice Couple. I adapted them and put them together. Voila! This batch of ribs was relatively small (1.5 lb of meat) because, well, I’m a single person. Double your recipe (or more) depending on how many people you’re serving.
Prep time: 15 min Cook time: 6 hours Makes: 1-1/2 lb of ribs
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Spare Ribs
Directions for Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Spare Ribs
Prepare the braising liquid for the ribs by combining the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, mustard, hot sauce, and broth in a small bowl.
Put the ribs in the crock pot. Cut to fit, if needed. Pour the braising liquid over and drop in the ginger and star anise.
Cover, set to low, and cook for 6 hours. I flipped the ribs over once during cooking.
For the sauce, combine the ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until it has reduced / thickened a bit. Stir often.
I kept it simple by removing the ribs from the crock pot (gently because they will probably fall apart) and basting them with the honey mustard sauce. I served with extra sauce on the side for dipping.
Pork shoulder, citrus and spices come together in this super-easy crock pot dish that I guarantee will be a huge punch of flavor. I adapted the recipe from one I found on a pressure cooker website and had to modify the achiote paste portion using dry ingredients from scratch because I couldn’t find it at my local market. Puerco pibil (roast pork shoulder with achiote and spices) comes from the Yucutan region of Mexico. It’s traditionally cooked in banana leaves but since I didn’t have those (nor did I have a pit to bury it in – the traditional way of cooking puerco pibil) I just threw everything in the crock pot and let it go for about 8 hours on low. The next morning I was greeted with a savory broth and fork tender pork.
In a small bowl, mix the annato, cumin, black pepper, 1 tsp salt and pinch of nutmeg. Stir in a bit of water until the spices have a thick, paste-like consistency.
Slice the onion and add to a skillet with a spoonful of fat (coconut oil, etc) over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until translucent, then add the can of tomatoes. Cook for a few more minutes until softened.
Prepare the pork by trimming off any large pieces of external fat (if there is fat on the inside of the meat, most of it will cook out). Slice each roast into long pieces about 1.5″ wide. Season with salt.
In the crockpot, mix the juice of one orange with the cider vinegar. Add the annato / spice paste and stir until dissolved. Lay the pork into the liquid. Top with the tomato / onion mixture.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours (longer is okay, too). Skim the excess fat off the top while it’s still warm or refrigerate and the fat will solidify on top and can be scooped off.
This was delicious with a couple of eggs for breakfast!
These satisfying little rolls of meat and cabbage take me back to my childhood, and having a Polish grandmother meant that golumbki were often on the menu when we went to visit. When I made this recipe, I instantly reminisced about her standing in the kitchen cooking for all of us. Traditionally, golumbki are made with rice so I substituted cauliflower to give a similar look and texture.
Grandma always used a can of Campbell’s tomato soup (contains corn syrup and gluten!) to pour over the golumbki while they cook, but I used plain crushed tomatoes to give the same flavor without any weird ingredients.
This one takes a little bit of time to prepare so to make up for it, I threw it all in the slow cooker on low for 5 hours—you could bake them in the oven at 350°F for about 90 minutes. Or to make the process super easy, layer the ingredients in a dish, lazy-style.
Recently, I re-photographed this recipe, so if you’re thinking it looks new, that’s why. I think you’ll agree it’s an improvement!
Rice or grate the cauliflower. I use the grating attachment on my food processor or you could grate by hand, but it’s a pain in the butt. Save 1-1/2 cups for this recipe and the rest for something else. It’s tasty fried up in this side dish.
In a large bowl, mix the beef, pork, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Put a large pot of water on the stove over high heat. To prepare the cabbage for rolling, you’ll lightly boil it whole and peel the leaves off a few at a time. Cut the core out of the cabbage and place in the pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. As the leaves soften, you can peel them off with a spoon. Take care not to rip them in half. The whole process usually takes about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can throw the whole cabbage in and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. The outermost leaves will become very soft but still usable. In either case, peel as many of the leaves off as you can and let cool a bit.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of coconut oil or your fat of choice. Add the onion and grated cauliflower and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and the cauliflower is softened. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Combine the onion and cauliflower with the meat, and mix by hand to incorporate all the ingredients.
Roll the golumbki by holding a cabbage leaf, concave side up with the stem toward you, and placing a large spoonful of the meat mixture at the stem end. Then roll forward, fold the sides in and end with the seam down.
Mix the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce in a bowl. Put ~1 cup in the bottom of the slow cookers (or casserole dish). Lay the golumbki in with the seam side down. Cover with the remaining tomato mixture once the slow cooker is full.
For a slow cookers, cook on low for 5 hours. If using the oven, cover the top of the dish with foil and bake for 90 minutes at 350°F (177°C).
Lately I’ve received many requests for crockpot recipes, so I decided to keep it simple and create something with Italian flavors but with a special addition.
I’ve had two pounds of grass-fed calf’s liver sitting in my freezer for months now, unsure of what to do with it. Liver is known as one of the most potent superfoods and is ridiculously high in micronutrients. I recently tried sheep’s liver fried in butter and onions and while it wasn’t utterly terrible I didn’t find it great either. The idea of hiding the liver in something else (meatballs) came to me, and so I pulled the calf’s liver out of the deep freeze and grated it into the meatball mixture. You could very easily make these meatballs with any type of ground meat you’d like (bison, turkey, elk, pork, etc) and certainly leave out the liver if you prefer. I made two pounds of meatballs and in the future might even do three pounds at a time since they will freeze well or make great leftovers throughout the week.
Ingredients for Slow Cooker Italian Meatballs
2 lb (1 kg) grass-fed ground beef
1/3 cup calf’s liver, frozen and grated*, optional