Bluberry Balsamic Beef Roast

One of the first thing I noticed about paleo is the importance of grass fed beef.  I’d like to think this option would be a whole helluva lot easier stateside, but maybe I’m wrong.  There are some decent options here in Okinawa like I posted in 2012, but the problem with the off-base-grass-fed beef is: 1. the price (ouch) and 2. the size (the cuts of beef off base are made for Japanese families- petite).

One of my absolute favorite cuts of beef is the prime rib.  During my time in Klamath Falls I would visit my great grandfather who lived in Medford.  We would take long Sunday drives around the Rogue Valley where he would transform the land into the way he remembered it in the 1920s and 30s: majestic.  The area where Costco is now used to be my great grandfathers fathers farm.  Our timing was epically off.

After a few hours every Sunday we would find ourselves in Jacksonville, Oregon.  Nestled quietly in the Rouge Valley, Jacksonville, Oregon, is one of my most favorite places in the world.  Quaint, rustic and simple.  The Bella Union with its gourmet menu, gorgeous staff and stiff martini- is my favorite local restaurant.  My great grandfather and I would order the same thing every time: a gin martini and the prime rib.  Our dates together were filled with history lessons, memories of the olden days and talks of the future.

Since his passing in 2004 I have not been back to Jacksonville, however, during the holidays I attempt to make a prime rib he would be proud of.  This past Christmas season had me so far off the paleo bandwagon, I went with this recipe: Webers Prime Rib in a Blue Cheese Crust.  I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, he would have approved!

After a soul satisfying Christmas Dinner, I bagged up the prime ribs and saved them for beef broth.  I used the recipe by eatyourbeets and went with the crockpot-for-8-hours option.

I’ve had the broth sitting in the fridge for a couple of days and finally found a recipe with sacred beef broth potential… here’s the recipe that was my inspiration: Mushroom and Blueberry Balsamic Pot Roast.

Blueberry Balsamic Beef Roast with Shrooms and Carrots

  • chuck roast “Chuck”
  • 2 plastic containers of mushrooms
  • 6 T fat of your choice
  • 1 package of fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 bag baby carrots
  • 1 onion, quartered, peeled and core removed
  • 1 c beef broth
  • 1/2 c balsamic vinegar (I used strawberry)
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

Turn your crockpot on low.  Remove Chuck from the fridge, wrapper and let him breath while you chop and brown.  Slice the mushrooms in halves, the onion into quarters and leave the blueberries and carrots be.

Heat a pan to just above medium heat, add 2 T of fat of your choice (I used ghee… next time, bacon grease).  Brown the onions, then remove the onions on both sides- place them on a plate.  Do the same with the carrots (they wont “brown”), then remove the carrots and throw them on top of the onion plate.  Add 2 more T of your fat (+some if you’re feeling frisky).  Brown the mushrooms and garlic.  The mushrooms will soak up the fat leaving you with darker colored shrooms, browned garlic and a dry pan.  Add the shrooms and garlic to the onion/carrot plate.

Add the last of your fat to the pan and salt and pepper Chuck.  Brown all sides of Chuck.  Once he is brown on all sides (yes you may have to hold him while you sear the ends) remove him from the pan and lay him ever so gently in the crockpot.

In the same hot pan add the broth, balsamic vinegar and tomato sauce; bring to a boil.  Turn down to a simmer until reduced by half.  Add the garlic, shooms, onions and carrots to the crockpot.  Tuck all those veggies around Chuck.  Once the sauce is reduced by half pour it over the Chuck and his friends.

Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

the sauce

the sauce

dinner

dinner

approved!

approved!

When you’re ready to eat, pour the sauce back into the pan and reduce it by half again.  While its reducing slice the roast against the grain, plate your veggies and prepare for tender, flavorful, rustic roast!  Pour the sauce over Chuck and his friends.  Enjoy!

Tootles.

jess

Good-bye Twenty twelve

Living overseas makes the holidays a tad bit tougher.  Shopping online just isn’t the same as strolling through a mall with one hand clenched to your purse, apologizing every time someone runs into you, smiling at sales clerks who hate their jobs, and finding that perfect gift that the receiver will never use and will eventually re-gift.  Waiting on overseas packages has just about the same fun-factor.

This is my 7th year living overseas and you’d think Id have it nailed by now.  I don’t.  I usually pride myself on writing in each Christmas card and getting those cards out by December 1st, to ensure my kids faces will be displayed at the top of each receivers beautifully decorated card display.  Not this year.  I blame it on shutterfly.  It’s the 28th of December and I still havent received my cards!

Christmas disappointments aside, we had a beautiful Christmas this year!  On Sunday we had a small “family” dinner.  The husband and I each cooked a prime rib: his was garlic and herb, roasted on the weber with mesquite chips; mine was seasoned with salt and pepper and roasted in the oven.  I also made a salad, ginger-honey carrots, roasted brussel sprouts.

His:

8 cloves of garlic cloves, minced and rubbed onto all sides of roast

2 T each: basil, rosemary, thyme (fresh) & olive oil (plus a bit salt & pepper) minced rubbed onto all sides

Fat trimmed, banded and indirectly roasted for 3 hours (until internal temp was 135)

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Carrots: sliced 1/4 inch, boiled for 7 minutes then drained and put back into hot pan with 2 T honey and 1 t ground ginger & a dash of dried thyme

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Roasted brussel sprouts: sliced and tossed in 2 T olive oil, 2 T balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper; roasted in oven at 350 for 40 minutes

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Mine prime rib was tasty but didn’t qualify for a photo shoot.  Yes, the brussel sprouts beat out my prime rib!  Meh, better luck next year!

At the last-minute my husband mentioned that one of our guests didn’t eat beef.  The horror!!!  Cue panic attack!  Since I have a paleo refrigerator, I have no shortage of left overs!  Yes, I fed one of my guests left overs for Christmas dinner.  Thank goodness I had one of my tastiest meals as my non-beef eaters Christmas dinner!

This recipe is one that my MIL shared with me over the summer!!

Italian sausage and peppers:

  • 2 packages of italian sausage (mild)
  • 4 bell peppers of any color, sliced thin
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 T tomato paste (the commissary doesn’t sell this in a tube, which would make sense…. so I use the smallest can and then put any leftover in a tupperware with saran wrap on top)
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 2 T minced fresh basil

brown the sausages in a large pan over med-hi heat

once they are nice and brown, add: wine, chicken broth, tomato sauce and garlic; mix well

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 then add the peppers on top of the sausage, lower heat to low and cover 2012-12-22 12.11.58 Cook on low for 20 minutes.  Remove lid and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes to make sauce thicken.  Add chopped basil and serve.

I don’t post many recipes because honestly I don’t come up with my own stuff.  I like recipes.  Especially if they have few ingredients, are easy to make and taste amazing!

Now that 2012 is coming to a close, I’m starting to look at 2013.  I’ve never been big on New Years Resolutions, but this year is going to be different!  I’ve dabbled in fitness for the past few years, but this year I’m going to narrow it in a bit.  I’m starting off the new year with going to the Crossfit Level One Certification.  Not because I want to be a trainer, but to expand my knowledge and to better educate myself and my family on fitness.  The following weekend I’m going to go to the Crossfit Kids Certification!

My goal for 2013 is to lower my sons BMI from 22.3 to under 20, learn a choreographed dance, write more hand written letters and quit smoking.  More on each of these in the 12 months to come!  Wishing each of you a healthy, happy and safe 2013.

jess