Hi, my name is Russ Crandall, and The Domestic Man is my website. Here you'll find gluten-free and Paleo-friendly recipes that focus on classic, traditional, and international dishes from a historical, linguistic, and cultural perspective.
I’ve received a few questions concerning the Table of Contents for The Heritage Cookbook, which is completely understandable. There is a lot to digest. Since the book covers such a variety of topics, it’s difficult to summarize all of its material in a sentence or two; I wish I could promote the book by saying “just do this one trick and all your health woes will disappear!”. But that’s never really been my gig in the first place — nutrition is exceptionally complex, and therefore there is a lot of nuance in the book..
So let’s walk through how the book is laid out. It took me several months (and many mistakes) to figure out how to make it flow just right for the reader, but I think it falls into place fairly well now. (Please note that the page numbers reflect the PDF version of the book.)
Chapter 1: Who We Are
Introduction // 21
Discovering Your Heritage // 33
My Ancestry Journey // 35
Genealogy Research // 43
DNA Testing // 46
In this chapter, I discuss my personal journey in discovering my family history and traveling to some of my ancestral homelands. As part of my book research, I spent a couple years investigating my genealogy, and undergoing a number of at-home DNA tests. I compiled the results and present each service’s pros and cons so that you can decide whether you’d like to do the same.
Chapter 2: What We Eat
Basic Dietary Principles // 55
Human Genetics and Diet, in a Nutshell // 56
Plant and Animal Foods: Now vs Then // 59
Plants, Meat, and Gut Bacterial Genes // 63
Macronutrients and Micronutrients // 66
Commonalities and Staples Across All Cultures // 69
Examples of Genetic Variation // 73
Here, we set the foundation of historical eating patterns, and how genetics can influence your dietary health. Topics include the disparity between historical and modern foods, and our microbiome. Additionally, we discuss common staples across all traditional cultures, and examples of genetic variation (specifically how the genes LCT and CSN2 interact with dairy).
Chapter 3: Our Collective History
A Brief History of Humans and their Migrations // 80
Our Recent Evolutionary Past // 86
Genetics and Race // 90
The Data: Cultural Representation and Annual Food Consumption // 90
Europe // 97
North America // 112
Latin America & the Caribbean // 123
Africa // 135
Middle East & the Mediterranean // 146
Central & South Asia // 160
East Asia // 175
Southeast Asia & the Pacific // 187
This chapter is where the rubber meets the road: we’ll look at the history of humankind, from our appearance as a species to the migrations that placed us around the glove. From there, we’ll look at some genetic adaptations that developed as we encountered a variety of environments, and discuss the fundamental flaws of using skin color to assume genetic diversity. This chapter also explains how I calculated cultural representation to define our common ancestry groups, and which data I used to get an idea of traditional eating patterns. Finally, we’ll look at each major region of the world, and break down their cultural history, historical foods, meal customs, staple food groups, and recommendations based on all of the above.
This is the first of two chapters that include The Heritage Cookbook’s recipes. This chapter highlights all things related to plants, including the origin of our modern crops, and how some of us are better adapted to digest the fats found in some plants. As with the following (“Animals”) chapter, each section contains a history of the food group, its historical consumption rate for traditional cultures, and recommendations.
Chapter 5: Animals
Animal Fats and the LCP Gene // 491
Red Meat // 495
Pork // 584
Poultry & Eggs // 630
Fish & Seafood // 697
Like with the Plants chapter, the Animals chapter breaks down major food groups from a historical perspective. We also investigate genetic adaptation to meat (and animal fat) consumption.
Chapter 6: Putting it All Together
In Conclusion // 758
References // 770
Acknowledgements // 787
About the Authors // 789
Finally, we put it all together to briefly cover some lessons learned from the book, and provide an exhaustive list of references if you wish to keep digging into the research.
That’s it for now – if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below. See you next Tuesday, with another recipe from the book.
Ajiaco is a soup found in both South America and Cuba. Its name comes from the word aji (“pepper”), originally traced to the indigenous Oto-Manguean family of languages that were prevalent in present-day Mexico as far back as 7,000 years ago. Today, the aji pepper refers to a specific pepper fruit (Capsicum baccatum) popular in South America, and is also known as the “bishop’s crown” pepper throughout the Caribbean. This aji pepper serves as the flavor base for the soup, giving it a subtle intensity and unexpected bite.
Another signature element of this dish is the potato. Nearly 10,000 years old, potatoes originated in the Andean mountain regions of present-day Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, and it is estimated that over 4,000 native varieties of the tuber exist in these regions. This dish is traditionally prepared with a variety of potatoes, a testament to the diversity of potatoes available in South America.
This recipe is modeled after the Colombian version of Ajiaco, which always features chicken, corn, and potatoes (and the aji pepper, of course!). Like peppers and potatoes, corn is native to the Americas. The Colombian version is also spiced with guasca leaves, which are in the daisy family and native to South America. If you can’t find these dried leaves at your local international market, you can easily find them online.
The Cuban version of Ajiaco, also very popular, is a bit thicker (more akin to a stew), and features chicken, beef, and pork – what a feast. The Peruvian version is quite different from these soups, in that it isn’t served as a soup at all, but ran even thicker dish of braised potatoes and peppers (often without meat). And while all of these dishes now include ingredients that weren’t native to the Americas, such as garlic and onions, they still capture the spirit of the original (and likely forgotten) native dishes that inspired them.
And last but not least, a gentle reminder that the limited edition print version of my latest cookbook, The Heritage Cookbook, is only available for purchase through June 30th. Once they’re gone, they’re gone – they won’t be available in stores or on Amazon! These physical versions are really special to me; because I am publishing and shipping them myself, I can make the book look exactly how I envision it to be, and can sign/personalize each copy as I ship it out to you. CLICK HERE to learn more and to grab a copy for yourself!
Ajiaco - Chicken, Corn, and Potato Soup (Gluten-free, Paleo, Primal, Perfect Health Diet)
Time: 1 hour 45 mins
¼ medium onion, coarsely chopped (about ¼ cup)
½ medium tomato, coarsely chopped (about ¼ cup)
1 aji chile or other spicy chile (serrano, jalapeño, etc), stems, seeds, and ribs removed (or 2 tsp aji paste)
4 tbsp fresh cilantro, stems included
¼ tsp salt
2 large bone-in, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 ½ lbs)
1 bunch green onions, ends trimmed, divided
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp salt, more to taste
8 black peppercorns (about 1 tsp)
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried guasca or oregano leaves
2 tsp olive oil
½ lb small red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ lb small Papas Criollas, yukon gold, or other golden creamy potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ lb russet or other starchy potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
2 ears corn, cut into 3” lengths
crema de leche (see note below)
1. Combine all of the Aji paste ingredients in a blender, then blend at high speed until uniform, adding a little water if needed to assist in the blending process. Store in the fridge.
2. Place the chicken, half of the green onions, garlic, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaf in a stockpot and fill with enough water to cover the chicken by 1”. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the chicken just starts to pull away from the bone using tongs, about 45 minutes, skimming off any foam that accumulates at the surface of the water.
3. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and loosely cover. Strain the simmering liquid through a colander into another container, then discard the solids and wipe the stockpot clean. Return the stockpot to the stove and warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the Aji sauce and sauté until the liquid evaporates and the oil separates from the ingredients, about 3 minutes. Add the simmering liquid and potatoes, plus enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 13 minutes. As the potatoes simmer, pull the chicken meat from the bones and shred into bite-sized pieces.
4. Using a slotted spoon, remove about half of the russet potatoes and transfer to a bowl. Mash the potatoes then return them to the pot to help thicken the soup, and add the corn. Simmer until the corn is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and the other half of the green onions and simmer until the chicken is heated through and the onions are bright green, about 1 minute, then remove from heat and season with salt to taste. Serve with capers, fresh chopped cilantro, avocado slices, and crema de leche.
*** If you do not have access to crema de leche, you can make a similar profile by combining equal portions heavy whipping cream and whole milk sour cream.
Hi, sending out a quick note to let you know that my friends at ButcherBox are running a deal where new customers receive a pack of BBQ favorites – baby back ribs, 2 lbs of ground beef, and 2 NY strip steaks – free with your first box (and in addition to everything else that comes in it!). This is a pretty great deal, and much better than what they usually throw in for new customers.
We have enjoyed our monthly ButcherBox package for the past couple of years now: they ship 100% grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught sockeye salmon directly to your door. They offer two main types of boxes – the first is a mixture of cuts selected by the team to help get your creative juices flowing (which comes bundled with recipe cards!), or an a la carte box where you can pick exactly what you receive. They also have two different sizes so you can customize your box to meet your family’s size. We like the value of ButcherBox (it comes out to less than $6/meal per person) and the fun of opening a box of new surprises each month — plus they let us specify the type of meat we want each month (all beef, or beef + chicken, and so on), which makes their service even more user-friendly.
Click here to learn more about their service and to sign up. This deal ends on Monday, June 10th (midnight PST), and please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below — happy grilling!
Here it is: my first recipe published on the blog that features dried beans. Well, technically, I posted a recipe in 2013 for Cow Heel Soup which featured split peas, but I made them optional. If you’re wondering why I incorporated beans into the recipes for my latest book, be sure to check out this post from last week – but long story short, the recipes in The Heritage Cookbook are historically accurate for a reason. The book investigates the link between traditional foods and health, with the underlying idea that we may have specific adaptations to the foods our recent ancestors relied on as staples. So to omit historical ingredients, prepared in traditional ways, undercuts the entire premise of the book. And just maybe, if eaten in a traditional context, some of these foods might not be so bad from time to time.
So yep, beans. We’re going to use fava beans or lima beans, which are nice and meaty. And like with all of the recipes in the book that feature beans, we’re going to soak them overnight, which increases their digestibility and makes them far easier to cook (plus, this is the way they have been traditionally prepared for thousands of years). One interesting note: while they have a similar appearance and taste, they are from two different corners of the world. Fava beans are part of the pea family, from the eastern Mediterranean, and have been cultivated for 8,000 years; lima beans, on the other hand, are a New World bean, discovered in Peru about 4,000 years ago. There’s an easy way to remember the origins of beans: peas, chickpeas, and fava beans are Old World, and everything else is from the Americas. Pretty cool, huh?
Oxtail stews are found all over the world, and were recorded as far back as the Roman times (but definitely eaten before then – it’s just that nobody was writing about them). This dish in particular is modeled after the Caribbean (specifically, Jamaican) version of this dish, developed at a time when slaves had to make do with lesser cuts of meat, like oxtails. This oxtail stew uses a healthy dose of allspice (native to the Americas) for its base flavor, and the meat is coated in a bit of sugar before being browned. This technique caramelizes the stew nicely, and is likely a remnant of sugarcane plantation cookery.
Oxtail Stew with Broad Beans (Gluten-free)
Time: 4 hours plus overnight soak
1 cup dried broad (fava) beans or white butter (lima) beans, soaked overnight
4 lbs beef oxtails
8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt, more to taste
1 tsp black pepper, more to taste
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp raw sugar, organic cane sugar, or coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp coconut oil, olive oil, lard, or bacon grease
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp Caribbean hot pepper sauce, more to taste
2 to 3 cups beef stock
2 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
chopped cilantro to garnish
white rice to serve
fried plantains to serve
1. Place the beans in a large bowl and fill with enough cold water to cover the beans by 3”; soak overnight. Combine the oxtails, thyme, paprika, salt, pepper, allspice, and sugar; marinate for at least 1 hour, but up to overnight.
2. Warm the oil in a dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Brown the oxtails on each side until dark and crusty, in batches if needed, about 8 minutes, turning the oxtails every couple minutes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the oxtails and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions, garlic, tomato paste, and hot pepper sauce; simmer until the onions and peppers are very tender and the tomatoes have lost their shape, about 15 minutes, stirring often.
3. Return the oxtails to the dutch oven and add enough beef stock to nearly cover everything. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the oxtails are tender, about 3 hours. Add the carrots about 20 minutes before the oxtails are tender.
4. While the oxtails cook, prepare the beans: drain them and transfer to a saucepan, then fill with enough water to cover the beans by 1”. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the beans are just tender, about 55 minutes, then set aside.
5. Once the oxtails are tender, fish them out using a slotted spoon or tongs and set aside. Increase the stovetop temperature to medium-high and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half and the sauce takes on a coffee color, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and return the oxtails to the pot. Transfer the beans to the pot along with about 2 tbsp of the liquid you simmered them in. Simmer for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to marry.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste then garnish with chopped cilantro and serve.
A few readers have asked whether The Heritage Cookbook should be considered a Paleo or Primal book, like my previous two books.
While I didn’t specifically tailor the book to any specific diet, the fact that the entire book relies on whole, traditional ingredients mean that it is mostly adherent to many popular healthy eating trends. Flipping through the 303 total recipes in the book, I count 176 (58%) that are naturally Paleo or Primal friendly without any major adjustments, and the majority of those are also Whole30 (you may have to omit or substitutes a bit of butter, honey, or alcohol here and there). If you consider white rice to be okay, that’s another 26 to add to that list (so a total of 67%). Finally, 175 of the recipes are also low in starch or sugar, making them Keto or low-carb friendly. The rest of the recipes either feature some ammount of traditionally-prepared corn and/or beans, or call for wheat.
The presence of gluten in the book may throw you off, since this blog is 100% gluten-free. I continue to avoid gluten in my diet, but this is a good example to underscore the foundation of The Heritage Cookbook. The book investigates how our genes affect our interactions with certain foods – including those that contain gluten (wheat, barley, and rye). Cutting out entire food groups undermines the principle of the book, in that people with specific ancestry may be at an advantage to eat the historical ingredients of their ancestry group(s). But that doesn’t solve the issue we have with food interactions outside of genetic predisposition – my ancestors have a long history of wheat consumption, but learning that fact doesn’t make me able to eat wheat again without any adverse effects. After all, dietary reactions are the result of many factors, and genes are only one of those factors–albeit a very fascinating one! And since gluten reactions are one of the most prevalent digestive issue Americans face today, I made it a point to include gluten-free substitutions in every recipe (except a couple that specifically rely on bulgur or durum/semolina wheat).
Given the sheer volume of recipes in the book, another way to look at it is that these numbers nearly justify a cookbook of their own. For example, most Paleo cookbooks feature less recipes than the 176 that are found in this book (and same for the 175 keto recipes!). So there is still a lot of value to be had in these pages – and we haven’t even started talking about the 200+ pages of genetic and nutritional research, food history, and cultural observations found within the book!
So to recap: 58% of the book is Paleo/Primal friendly, and most of those are Whole30
67% of the book is Paleo/Primal + white rice (e.g. Perfect Health Diet) friendly
99% of the book is written to be adaptable to gluten-free
58% of the book is Keto or low-carb friendly
In answer to the blog title’s question: is this book Paleo/Primal/Gluten-Free/Keto-friendly? I would say yes. But also no (way to make a decision, Russ). I’m not marketing it as aligned to any specific diet for a reason – the variety of traditional foods found in our ancestral diets lean more towards eating a bit of everything around you (provided they are made from scratch and in a traditional context) than to eschew entire food groups. And that context matters; nowhere in the book do I call for someone to use wheat products (or really, any food product) as their sole main source of calories. Instead, I encourage the reader to eat along historical trends. Take a look at this graph below:
This indicates the changes in poultry consumption from the first year that global figures were calculated (1961, a time when more people were eating traditional foods than today), versus 2013. You can see that the landscape of food consumption has changed significantly over the past 50 years (I looked at it as two generations, since generations are typically calculated as 25 years). An American looking at modern consumption trends around them may assume that eating 70kg/year of poultry meat is totally normal, but in 1961 the average was more like 17kg/year. Same goes for ingredients like corn, beans, and wheat – at the very least, the 1961 figures are a better indication of historical eating patterns than 2013 figures. But the key will be to look at the historcal eating trends of your ancestral origins. Are you an American of Italian origin? In 1961, Italians ate only 5kg/year (a little over 11 lbs, or 22 8oz servings a year!)–a far cry from the 70kg/year consumed by contemporary Americans.
And that’s one of the many insights and tools you’ll find in the book to help you figure out the best diet for your unique heritage.
More to come in the following weeks! And don’t forget that you only have until June 30th to grab a physical (hardcover) edition of The Heritage Cookbook!
With the release of The Heritage Cookbook last week, I’m ready to get back to how it all started–blogging. And honestly, it feels pretty great to be back in the saddle, fiddling with my old writing tools and codes. We’ll start pretty light for now, with recipes from my new book. I figure that since there are less than two months left to put in your order for the special print edition of the book, you won’t mind if I share recipes and stories from the four years it took me to get it into your hands!
Dimlama is a stew popular in Central Asia (especially Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan), made during that short window when vegetables are in season. It’s hard to grow vegetables above the ground on the Central Asian steppes, because constant winds are disruptive to the growing process; that’s why Central Asian cuisine has historically relied on underground vegetables like onions and carrots as their source of vegetables.
Preparing this dish is relatively simple: grab all the vegetables you have available, and layer them over meat (usually lamb, but sometimes beef or horsemeat), cover and simmer until everything is tender. No need to add water – the vegetables will release their own liquid. And it turns out that this dish is actually a bit of a revelation to cook, because it really brings awareness to the vegetables’ subtle flavors. Plus this meat-to-veggies ratio makes the rare chunks of meat that much more pleasurable. When first developing this recipe, I assumed that this wouldn’t be one of my favorites from the book; I was totally wrong.
2 lbs boneless lamb shoulder or beef chuck roast, cut into 2” pieces
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 tbsp ghee (or 1 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp avocado or olive oil)
1 ½ tsp cumin seeds
1 onion, quartered
1 lb yukon gold potatoes, about 2” in diameter, peeled
3 large carrots (about ½ lb), peeled and cut into large chunks
1 whole head garlic, outer skins removed (all but skins around individual cloves)
2 sprigs dill, more to garnish
2 roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 small head cabbage (about 1 lb), outer leaves removed and reserved, cut into 2” pieces
1. Combine the meat, salt, and pepper. Warm the ghee in a dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat, then add the meat and brown until darkened and crispy, about 3 minutes per side, in batches as needed to prevent overcrowding; set the lamb aside as it finishes browning.
2. Reduce heat to medium, then add the cumin seeds. Sauté until aromatic, about 30 seconds, then return the meat and any accumulated juices to the pot. In layers, add the onion, potatoes, carrots, dill, garlic, tomatoes, and cabbage chunks, then cover everything with the reserved outer cabbage leaves. Once you hear sounds of bubbling, cover the dutch oven and reduce heat to medium-low; simmer until the cabbage is tender throughout, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
3. Remove the dutch oven from heat, then discard the outer cabbage leaves and carefully transfer each layer onto a platter; loosely cover with aluminum foil and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high and reduce any leftover liquid until it is mostly oil, about 5 minutes. Distribute the meat and vegetables into four bowls, then pour the sauce over each bowl. Serve garnished with dill.
Hello everyone. After several years of research, writing, and designing, I’m ready to release my third cookbook. It’s called The Heritage Cookbook, and it combines genealogy and genetic testing with nutrition and cooking. The book is both a comprehensive dive into ancestral nutrition, food, and cultural histories, and a massive cookbook with 300+ historical and traditional recipes from around the world.
The digital version of The Heritage Cookbook is available for purchase today, with a variety of options. The simplest option is a PDF version of the book, which can be enjoyed on any home computer, tablet, or smartphone. If you prefer to read your books on Kindle or Apple Books, I created those versions as well. I designed each version from the ground up, so they all look pretty great no matter which format you prefer. All digital editions are $14.99 each.
Initially, I was going to limit this book to digital formats only, because it’s nearly too big to print (780+ pages!), and I am no longer affiliated with my previous publisher, so I don’t have the resources to print and distribute physical copies through bookstores or Amazon. But after a lot of positive response from friends and family, I’ve decided to do a special, limited edition print run of the book.
Here’s how the hardcover edition will work:
I’ve set up an online store at TheHeritageCookbook.com, where you can pre-purchase the hardcover book for a limited time period (now until June 30th).
At the end of the ordering period, I’ll compile and send my order to a small, US-based printer; however many books are ordered is how many books I will have printed.
I’ll then personally sign, number, and ship each book by hand with an expected October 2019 delivery date.
Shipping is included in the price and you will also get an instant download link for the digital (PDF) version of the book, so you can enjoy the recipes immediately.
The hardcover book price is $60, and I have to limit shipping to US and military (APO) addresses only, but I am positive that the stunning hardcover copy and included perks (free shipping, digital edition included, signed and personalized) make this version truly special.
This limited edition version of The Heritage Cookbook will only be available for purchase between now and June 30th. After that, they’re gone forever! Click here to read more and to purchase a copy for yourself. I’m especially excited about the hardcover’s unique cover, which is taken from a beautiful, custom painting made by one of my favorite artists, Martin at Continuum Watercolors. The physical version will also be the same dimensions as my previous cookbooks (although much thicker!), so they’ll all sit nicely on the same shelf.
If you’re not able to purchase the physical edition, never fear: the digital edition contains all the same content, and is super convenient to take with you on your phone when grocery shopping. Be sure to visit the digital edition landing page to see some more pictures from the book!
I think this is a really neat way to wrap up this chapter of my life. I really hope you love this book as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I think that the recipes you’ll find in The Heritage Cookbook are by far the best I’ve ever written, and the photos are the best I’ve ever taken–I’m very proud of this book. If you have any questions, I’ve also made a handy FAQ page that has all sorts of information. Or leave me a question in the comments below. Enjoy!
Adobo is one of my favorite dishes; my original Pork Adobo recipe has lived on this site for over six years, and I published an updated, streamlined version last year (see: Oven Roasted Pork Adobo). And while I initially assumed that folks would seamlessly adapt those recipes for a chicken version, I’ve had several requests over the years. So voilà, this week’s recipe.
Adobo, often considered the national dish of the Philippines, is a method of stewing meat in vinegar. The word adobo itself is linked to a Spanish method of preserving raw meat by immersing it in a mixture of vinegar, salt, and paprika. When the Spanish observed an indigenous Philippine cooking method involving vinegar in the 16th century, they referred to it as adobo, and the name stuck. The original name for this dish is no longer known.
One last note – don’t forget about this month’s offer for Free Ground Beef for Life from my friends at ButcherBox. The deal expires at the end of this month, so be sure to check it out by the end of the week!
2/3 cup cane vinegar
1/3 cup tamari
15 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
2 tbsp whole black peppercorns
6 whole bay leaves
4 lbs bone-in dark meat chicken (thighs, drumsticks, and wings)
1. In a mixing bowl, combine the vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves. Place a handful of the chicken in a large re-sealable plastic bag, then pour in a little of the marinade. Continue to add chicken and marinade in batches to ensure the chicken is well-coated. Transfer to the fridge and marinate for at least 4 hours, but overnight preferred.
2. Preheat the oven to 400F. Place the chicken (skin-side-up for the thighs) and marinade in a large rimmed baking sheet, then cover with tinfoil. Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and turn the chicken pieces; roast, uncovered, for 20 more minutes. Turn the chicken and roast until the skin is browned and crispy, about 10 more minutes, then transfer to a serving dish and serve.
Hi everyone, my friends at ButcherBox are offering a special promotion this month and I thought you’d want to hear about it.
All new customers who sign up via this link during the month of September will receive 2 lbs of their 100% grass-fed ground beef for the lifetime of their subscription.
I’ve mentioned ButcherBox several times before on my site, and they’re one of my favorite sources of quality meat. They deliver grass-fed beef (free of hormones and antibiotics), heritage breed pork, and free-range organic chicken directly to your door each month through curated or customizable boxes (complete with recipe cards). Their service is very economical, rounding out to less than $6 a meal. And by taking advantage of this promotion, two extra pounds of ground beef in every box is a pretty sweet bonus.
You may be wondering what to do with yourself, since you’ll be swimming in free ground beef for the rest of your life (well, the life of your subscription). Never fear – here are my eight favorite recipes that use ground beef:
This dish is summer in a bowl, equal parts comforting and exotic.
Bobó de Camarão (sometimes called Shrimp Bobó) is a shrimp chowder dish from coastal Brazil, thickened with mashed cassava (mandioca). This stew was likely inspired by a similar, traditional West African dish made with yams, which was brought to Brazil by West African slaves during the transatlantic slave trade from the 16th to 19th centuries. Other signature flavors from this dish include buttery red palm oil (dendê) and creamy coconut milk (leite de côco).
Red palm oil, originally from West Africa, is a controversial ingredient: the majority of palm oil is produced in Southeast Asia, where deforestation of palm oil trees has negatively impacted orangutan populations. For this reason, I prefer sustainably-harvested palm oil, like this one from Nutiva; their oil is part of the “Palm Done Right” international campaign, grown and harvested in Ecuador without contributing to deforestation or habitat destruction.
Given that red palm oil requires such careful consideration, you may be wondering why bother with it in the first place. Red palm oil is high in antioxidants and vitamins A and E, and has a health-promoting fatty acid profile (about 42% each saturated and monounsaturated fats)–in truth, it has one of the best nutrient profiles among cooking fats. And from a culinary perspective, the oil imparts a rich flavor, velvety texture, and has a high smoking point (about 350F). Over the past few years, I’ve come to prefer making popcorn in red palm oil, which adds a pleasing yellow color to the final product. If you don’t have access to sustainably-harvested red palm oil, never fear: this dish is also delicious when made with coconut oil or olive oil.
This dish is relatively simple overall, but does require a few phases: first, you’ll make a seafood stock using the shrimp shells, then boil the cassava and make a flavor base using tomatoes, onions, and peppers; next, you’ll blend the flavor base with coconut milk, pan-fry the shrimp, and put it all together. To save time, you can use peeled shrimp and pre-made seafood stock. But even then, this isn’t a dish I’d recommend you first tackle on a busy weeknight–it really benefits from an unhurried cooking environment, when you can play some relaxing music and envelop yourself in these tropical aromas. It’s worth the extra bit of effort and planning.
Bobó de Camarão - Brazilian Shrimp Stew (Gluten-free, Paleo, Primal, Perfect Health Diet)
2 lbs shrimp, head and shell-on (see note below)
1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
2 tbsp butter, divided
1/2 bunch cilantro, divided
8 black peppercorns (about 1 tsp)
1 lb fresh or frozen cassava, peeled and cut into 2” chunks
1 medium onion, diced (about 1 cup diced)
2 medium tomatoes, quartered (about 1 cup)
1 medium yellow bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup diced), divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2” fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
1 (13oz) can coconut milk
4 tbsp sustainably-harvested red palm oil, divided
1 spicy red chili pepper (optional), seeds and ribs removed, diced
1. Peel the shrimp and set aside the heads and shells (I like to keep the tail ends on the shrimp, but feel free to remove them as well). Toss the peeled shrimp in a bowl with a pinch of salt, then refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the meal.
2. Warm 1 tbsp of the butter in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp heads and shells and a few pinches of salt, and sauté until the shells are bright pink and starting to crisp at the edges, about 3 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching. Stir in 6 cups of water, 1/2 tsp salt, the stems from the cilantro, and the peppercorns; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain the shrimp stock and set aside, discarding the shrimp shells and other solids. Wipe the stockpot clean.
3. Add the cassava pieces to a saucepan and cover with enough water to cover the cassava by 1”. Bring to a boil and simmer until easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes, then strain and mash with a fork or through a ricer to create a fine, dry mash. Discard any hardened pieces.
4. As the cassava cooks, prepare your vegetables. Warm the other 1 tbsp of the butter in the stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, tomatoes, and all but 2 tbsp of the yellow bell pepper, and sauté until very soft, about 10 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and ginger and a pinch or two of salt; sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds, then ladle in 2 cups of the seafood stock. Simmer until half of the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
5. Transfer the vegetables to a blender; rinse and wipe the stockpot clean. Pour the can of coconut milk into the blender and blend everything at high speed until uniform, about 1 minute, then strain through a mesh sieve into the stockpot to collect any unblended tomato skins and other solids. Heat the stockpot over medium heat and whisk in the mashed cassava and 2 tbsp of the red palm oil, and stir until incorporated. Add any of the remaining seafood stock as needed to create a chowder-like consistency. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low to gently bubble as you prepare the shrimp.
6. Warm the remaining 2 tbsp of palm oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and brown on each side, about 1 minute per side, in batches if needed to prevent overcrowding. Gently stir the browned shrimp into the soup along with the remaining 2 tbsp of yellow bell pepper and the spicy red chili pepper; increase heat to medium and simmer until the shrimp is bright pink and curling, about 3 minutes. Season with salt to taste, then remove from heat and serve atop white rice, garnished with chopped cilantro.
** To shave off nearly an hour’s cooking time, use peeled shrimp and 6 cups seafood stock instead of peeling the shrimp to make your own stock.
** Cassava is often found at Asian or Latino food markets; if you can’t find it fresh, try looking in the frozen aisle. Frozen cassava is sometimes available in conventional supermarkets as well.