Tag Archives: lamb

THE MOST BADASS MEATZZA YOU’VE NEVER HAD! (But will again!)

It was a drizzly, blackened evening.

Damp leaves and soggy grass threatened to give way under my feet as I stumbled out of my last bus onto the grass, up the hill to a cat walk.

Going home.

My trusty backpack full of groceries.

I went to Whole Paycheck after work and barely broke $13:

6 organic avocados (on sale)
1 bag frozen broccoli (on sale)
1 bag frozen butternut squash (ditto)
1 large bunch of locally grown spinach

Upon arriving, I got to work in the kitchen. I seared two large pieces of beef shank (that’s osso bucco to you fine readers of mine), and threw a large guillotined head of cauliflower into the crock pot. The cauliflower was sharing the space with a gelatinous goo of pork scraps, onions, garlic, rosemary and other casualties of a long, drawn out pork butt crock pot war.

A local grocery store makes awesome, made-from-de-scratch soup in a jar. Their tomato soup is excellent, and this week, I bought a sweet potato and leek concoction. Delicious. This soup was poured over the cauliflower and just arriving beef shanks, browned and glistening in slick fat, marrow and blood. A final oddment of leftover chicken broth was added at the end, a dash of chopped red onion, a few bits of rosemary. Lid on. Low heat, 8 hours. Done.

Two packages of ground meat were glaring at me from the fridge.

Ah, crap. I’m so hungry. That meat must be made.

Roughly one and a half pounds each of grass-fed beef, and ground lamb.

I threw this mixture together with a random mix of vegetable drawer leftovers. Insignificant carrots, celery. Garlic. Onions. Fresh parsley. The last wave of potent garlicky chicken broth I’d made to stave off illness this past week.

A clever assortment of flavours and textures. As I was mixing, I thought:

Meatloaf.

Bacon on top.

In the oven. Like last week. Yeah. That’ll be tasty.

Ahhh…

No.

Burgers. Let’s make burgers. Yes. Good. Okay.

Brow furrows. Batman scowl.

No.

Then, a thought. A twinkle. A big grin.

OH MY GOD.

This is going to be the MOST BADASS MEATZZA EVER!

Ensuing happy dance.

I’ve done meatzza before. I love it. I actually haven’t made some in a while. Probably because I usually put red peppers on my meatzza, but my body is like, uh, no. We don’t like that. 

Edited March 27th, 2015. I was never ‘intolerant’ to red peppers or any of the hundreds (yes, hundreds) of foods that my IgG blood test said I was. Those tests are bogus.

Fine.

FINE!!!

Bacon fat ensnares taste buds, pleases the belly and brings joy wherever it is mixed in to. Crunchy, crumbled bacon bits top this meatzza that is lovingly draped with wilted spinach, and a merry mix of chopped grape tomatoes.

I don’t care if Jules thinks pigs are filthy animals. He’d eat this badass mother of a meatzza.

I have to watch me some Pulp Fiction soon.

Dig in.

Let joy ensue.

BADASS MEATZZA THAT YOU’VE NEVER HAD (BUT WILL AGAIN)

1.5 lbs ground grass fed beef
1.5 lbs ground lamb
3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1 large garlic clove, smashed, chopped, obliterated
2 small stalks of celery, thinly sliced
2 – 3 small carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chicken broth
A few splashes of homemade soup (Don’t have any? Don’t worry about it)
Small bunch of celery leaves, chopped
Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to a hot 375 degrees. Combine this meat and veg amalgam thoroughly. I mean, really. Get in there. Take off your jewelry, watch, and bracelet. Maybe put your hair up. Maybe put on some music. But get in there, dammit!

Make a ball.

Flatten said meat and veg ball onto a baking sheet. I have a typical round pizza one that I used this time, but you don’t have to. When you’re flattening your ball, make sure it’s nice and even. I even formed a bit of a crust around the edges. Toss that bad boy into the oven. Give it 15, 20 minutes tops.

You smell that?

That’s happy.

In the oven.

Take out your ‘crust’. There will be a pool of liquid and fat. Drain this carefully, but don’t toss it! Use it for soup, or for boiling some sweet potatoes in, or squash, cauliflower. That’s flavour, baby. Don’t waste it.

For shame.

Next, crank your oven to broil.

You will need:

1/2 pint grape tomatoes, chopped
2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
2 slices bacon

Chop up your bacon into bits and bites and fry it up until browned and crispy. Scoop out the bacon and set it aside. Don’t eat it. I know it’s tempting. Hell, I’d do it.

Use half the rendered bacon fat as your ‘sauce’. Spread it evenly over the base.

Toss your spinach into the remaining bacon fat on high. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until just wilted. Baby spinach would be perfect for this, but the adult kind is all I had.

Spread your wilted, bacon infused spinach over the base of your meatzza. Add your chopped tomatoes, and crumble that bacon on top. Salt and pepper.

This now goes into your smoking hot oven.

Now.

WATCH THIS!

Don’t step away for too long.

Use your nose! If it smells good. it’s DONE. The edges of your meatzza will be dark and crusty, the tips of tomatoes barely singed.

Slide this badass mother onto a cutting board. Wait a few minutes.

If you can.

I guess…

Cut it up.

Eat.

Love,
me

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AHM SUCH A BIG DEAL MAMA MEATBALLS!

I know, I know. You’ve seen my post, and you’re mad.

“Pat, what the $%#@ took you so long?!”

In the past few months, I married, honeymoon-ed, and moved into a new house. It was a stressful, but a very exciting time. Also, MOVING SUCKS. Moving is like ONE LONG CROSSFIT WORKOUT. We’re never doing this again.

Linda and I were unpacking clothing in our dual walk-in closets, cursing like sailors.

“$#@! WE’RE NEVER, EVER MOVING EVER AGAIN”

But wait. I’m sure you want proof that we got married. I’m the blonde. Linda’s the hotter one 🙂

At the end of July, I discovered I have a ton of food allergies.

My naturopathic doc took a blood sample from me earlier in the month and shipped it off to Washington. I went in for a followup appointment the day after returning from honeymoon, which was in Los Angeles, by-the-way. We had an awesome time. I’d live there. Not permanently. The US lack of a health care system is ridiculous.

Back to my insane food allergies. LOOK AT THESE FOOD ALLERGIES:

Eggs…AVOID! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Dairy….moderate…but it may as well say AVOID!
Gluten….moderate…oh well. I’ve been avoiding it anyway.
Brewers yeast….no beer for me. This is only slightly upsetting. BUT COME ON.
Spices like cumin, ginger, turmeric, vanilla, paprika, nutmeg. Vegetables like kale! KALE!

I very nearly cried in my doc’s office. What the %$#@ was I going to eat?

After a few weeks, I got over it. Symptoms I’ve had for years and years started disappearing: dark circles under my eyes, post-nasal drip. Discovering these allergies actually made things a lot simpler for me. I started eating a lot more seafood: canned sardines, canned wild salmon, shrimp. An entire avocado is usually part of breakfast.

In talking with my doctor, we realized I have a case of adrenal fatigue. Your adrenals are a major part of your overall health and well-being. They regulate your immune system and blood sugar levels. Food allergies, and being overly sensitive to certain scents are a typical symptom of adrenal fatigue. Never feeling well-rested no matter how much you sleep is yet another sign of adrenal fatigue. It’s a vicious cycle. For my readers suffering from candida, it usually arises because of adrenal fatigue. In fact, I’m confident in saying that if you treat the main source of your problem, which in this case, is adrenal fatigue, the rest should probably, well, EFF OFF.

At the suggestion of an herbalist, I’m now taking liquorice root powder a few times a day in some water. My sleep has improved, and I don’t really feel the need to drink tea in the morning as I normally would. I do anyway, because I love yerba mate. Things are not perfect, but they are a step in the right direction.

I’ll blog properly about the adrenals one day very soon. I have loads of ideas for upcoming blog posts. I promise I’ll behave.

Edited March 27th, 2015. OMG SO MUCH INCORRECT BS.

Maybe.

Now on to a stupendous meal. My cat Harry plays a part in the making of this meal. You’ll get to meet him. I sincerely hope you enjoy this as much as I did. It is intensely rich, incredibly flavourful, nourishing and delicious!

AHM SUCH A BIG DEAL MAMA MEATBALLS

2 lbs ground lamb
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons each: roughly chopped fresh oregano, fresh basil, fresh mint, plus 1 extra tablespoon each oregano and basil
1 whole head of garlic
1 700ml bottle pureed tomatoes (yeah, mine came in a BOTTLE)
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
Lard
1/2 large onion, roughly chopped

Combine lamb, salt, pepper, garlic powder, 2 tablespoons each fresh oregano, basil, mint. Mix this up thoroughly so everything is evenly combined. Roll into large meatballs. You’ll make 6 big ones.

Fry in lard until your meatballs are nicely browned all over. Set them aside.

Melt some extra lard in large pot over medium heat. Add onions, stirring until translucent and lightly browned. Add pureed and diced tomatoes. That entire head of garlic? I want you to smash it all up, but no chopping. Leave the cloves whole, but SMASHY SMASHY. Add to tomatoes. Add your 1 extra tablespoon oregano. Bring to boil. Turn down to medium low and simmer for about an hour to reduce. This sauce will get thick and concentrated with flavour. It’s food-gasmic. Don’t forget to stir frequently. You can burn tomatoes!

Harry doesn’t like it when I smash garlic. He scurries low to the ground and vamooses out of the kitchen.

OH MAMA AH DO NOT LIKE IT WEN U SMASH DA GARLIK. WAI U GOTTA B SEW MEAN. DAT GARLIK IS SEW NICE LIKE ME U NO.

Add meatballs to reduced sauce. Cook for about 20 – 30 minutes. Add the extra tablespoon of basil at the very end.

Serve this on top of baby spinach; the heat will wilt and cook them nicely. Or spaghetti squash. Or even a roasted sweet potato. The possibilities are exquisite!

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Luscious Lamb Curry with Spicy Spaghetti Squash

This lamb curry is out of this world. Wow. I thought my butter chicken was awesome the other week, but this dish is special. However, I have successfully burned my tongue twice since digging in. You can’t fully enjoy food with a burnt tongue, or when it’s too hot. You end up gobbling it down and not really enjoying it at all. It simply becomes sustenance.

Amazing food should be like an awe-inspiring, brilliant album. Or amazing sex. You should want to talk about it, make it for all your friends and family, spread it around (whoa, ok, maybe not the sex part), and proclaim undying love for it. Food that is nourishing, not just filling, should do just that.

Marinating overnight helps flavours mingle and settle in. You know, get to know each other:

“HEY GINGER! Haven’t seen you in a while!”

“What are you talking about, garlic? We were hanging out with butter chicken last week!”

And so forth.

I love spaghetti squash. In fact, I knew not of its existence until a few years ago. It is a more than ‘good-enough’ substitution for actual spaghetti. It is slightly sweet, crunchy and satisfying. Ridiculously easy to prepare, as well.

This curry is full of coconut oil, and coconut milk. I even snuck in some butter. It’s a party going on in there, folks! An intensely flavourful, creamy, luscious party. You know you want to jump in.

Food has better parties than me!

Luscious Lamb Curry with Spicy Spaghetti Squash

Meat and Marinade

1kg stewing lamb chunks (about 2.2 lbs)
1 sweet onion, chopped
7 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 to 3/4 coconut milk
3 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons white pepper
2 tbsp finely grated ginger (I keep mine in the freezer)
1.5 tsp cumin

Other Stuff

10 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
1 can coconut milk
1 large spaghetti squash, about 4 lbs in size
2 teaspoons turmeric
Black Pepper
Sea salt
Red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons organic butter
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine the “Meat and Marinade” ingredients and marinate 24 hours, if not more. I think mine chilled in the fridge for about 26 hours.

Remove from fridge. Preheat a large pot, and add 1 – 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to the pot. Brown this curried mix of lamb and onions in batches. You will need extra coconut oil for each batch. Oh no, more coconut oil. How horrid!

Once you’ve browned all your lamb off, set it aside. Empty 1 can of your favourite coconut milk into the pot, and add 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed, and one whole cinnamon stick. Let this simmer on medium high for about 4 minutes. Add your lamb in. Season generously with sea salt, as we did not put any into the marinade.

Stir. Cover. Add your 2 tablespoons butter. Turn the heat down to low for about an hour. Stir frequently, as coconut milk tends to stick to the bottom of your pot and burn. We do not want burnt coconut milk. No way.

Stab your spaghetti squash multiple times all over with a fork or sharp knife. Sorry squash, but your time has come!

STAB!
STAB!
STAB!

Are you done venting your days frustrations? Place the wounded squash into your microwave, and cook it on high for about 20 minutes. Mine was done at around 18 minutes. Your microwave will vary. If you hear steam escaping after about 15 minutes, take it out carefully with a set of tongs. Place it into a large bowl, and slice it open. Be careful with this step, as you may end up with a face full of steam, and a nice burning sensation that you did not ask for! Using a spoon, scrap out the seeds. Throw this away. Using the same spoon, continue to scrape out the innards of the squash, until all you have left is an empty shell. Discard.

After an hour, remove the lid, and crank the heat back up to medium high. We want to reduce the sauce to make it nice and thick, and make the flavours more intense. Stir frequently again. After about 20 minutes, turn off the heat. Add your cilantro at the very end.

In a large frying pan, add your 2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil to a hot pan. Add in your spaghetti squash and leave it to slightly brown. Toss like a professional. C’mon, you can do it! Add 2 teaspoons of turmeric, and about 1 teaspoon black pepper. Season lightly with sea salt. Turmeric will turn the already beautiful, golden squash even more golden. It will add smokiness, depth and a hint of sweetness. Ah, turmeric. You sexy bitch you.

Look at the colour of that squash! This is before adding turmeric. Brilliant.

Serve this up, allow it to cool slightly, as it will be tantalizingly hot. And monumentally delicious. Savour each bite of tender, spicy lamb and aromatic squash.

This is what good food should do for you!

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