Salmon Sat Bains

Sat Bains? Whassat, then?

Sat Bains is a Chef. He's a bloomin' good chef. In fact, he's one of my favourite Chefs.

You can look him up ....

Anyway, he makes a salmon dish which has my salivatory juices literally flowing ...

Take a look at: http://www.britishlarder.co.uk/restaurant-sat-bains-organic-salmon-miso-caramel-nettle-juice and tell me that is not one seriously gorgeous looking dish.

Let's deconstruct it ... salmon, micro-herbs, nettle jus and miso.

Let's keep it paleo ...

... and chuck out the miso - that's fermented rice, barley and soy! Tolerable to intolerable to downright awful! We don't need it, we don't want it ... it's gone!

I mused about what I could use instead because the slide of brown against the pool of green does look pretty good. Mushroom puree? Caviar?

I got to thinking ...

I had some pretty good salmon in my fridge, but it does want cooking. My dish is not going to look like this, but it is going to look pretty good.

I'm going to cook my salmon and put it with things that are great with salmon.

That brown slide is off my plate. Instead, a green slide - avocado and lime juice.

Wait! Back up a step ... there's pickled vegetables on the plate.

Way back, waaaay back when you just get in from work, snip off the smallest parts of a cauliflower, slice some thing slices of mushroom, radish, palm hearts and cucumber. Pre-boil the vegetables to soften and then pitch the lot into a bowl with sherry vinegar.

Sherry vinegar is very soft and very palatable. If you don't have sherry vinegar, cider vinegar will do. Afterall, we'll pop the salad onto a kitchen towel later to drain off.

Back to the main dish ...

Guacamole? Take an avocado, scoop out the flesh into a bowl, squeeze of lime and pulp down with a hand blender. Done.

Why? Well, nettle jus is fun, and all that, but this is a home cooked meal - I need to feel satisfied.

Good, fatty avocado will do that. Nettle won't - fun, as it is, I might well try it out another time in the summer, but we're in mid-winter here and I need feeding.

When you're ready to serve up, splat a good spoon of guacamole onto a plate and draw it along the middle. The sliiiiiiide ...

Drain and dry off the pickled salad on a kitchen towel and then arrange around the plate leaving space for the fish.

Melt some butter in a frying pan and place the salmon steaks in, presentation side down.

Fry on the presentation side for a couple of minutes and then flip over. The presentation side should now be coloured and cooked. Cook on the reverse for a few more minutes, basting as you go.

Once cooked, yet still just soft inside, place onto the end of the guacamole slide.

Dot the salad with caviar and throw a garnish on the fish - dill, parsley, whatever ... it's garnish.

Serve ... eat, enjoy.


Turkey & Chicken Squash Chilli

100! 100? Yes! 100!

This is my 100th post on this food blog and I am actually so glad it is a repeat - a meal I really enjoyed and one which is actually very quick and easy to make.

Not an exact repeat, but around Halloween I made up a warming meal for the dark evenings from roasted pumpkin, turkey and chicken.

Now the Halloween season is over, pumpkin is not so readily available ... but butternut squash is.

Tracing back what I did, I set about a repeat - I never follow recipes, not even my own, but I was glad to have made some pointers in that first post.

To the kitchen ...

Peel, de-seed and cube a butternut squash. Get it boiling in water.

Cube up some turkey and chicken breast.

Melt some fat in a large sauté pan - I used some beef dripping that I had recovered from a roast a week, or so ago.

Toss in the meat and keep turning in the hot fat to seal.

Sprinkle over some spices!

I used ground coriander, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, white pepper and paprika. Cumin would be great, and I've love it, but my wife cannot abide cumin and so I had to sneak a little onto my plate just before serving. The North Africans use cumin much as the West does with ground pepper - just a sprinkle over before eating.

Continue to turn the meat in the fat and spices.

Finely chop an onion - very finely chop it, but don't mince it.

Toss into the meat and spices and cook on a little with the lid on to soften the onion with the steam.

Mince some cloves of garlic and stir in.

Empty a can of peeled plum tomatoes into the sauté pan and break down with a masher.

Drain the now soft butternut squash and crush with the masher. Scoop the pulp into the sauté pan.

Add a little chicken stock or just plain water and give the mix a damn good stir to introduce every ingredient to every other ingredient.

Finally, finely slice a Scotch Bonnet pepper and sprinkle over.

For a more crisp alternative, chop some bell peppers - green, red and yellow.

Fit the lid and let it simmer on low for an hour or so - this will give a more uniform colour and a seriously deep flavour.

Serve out onto a plate, accompanied by a ramekin of full fat yoghurt. This can be hot!

Bone Broth

Reserve the bones from chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, whatever it is you've just eaten.

In my case Poussin.

Bone broth is an old wives' remedy for the common cold, an immune booster and mineral store. We can get our calcium from leafy greens, but bone broth delivers so more than that - calcium, magnesium, phosphorous; not to mention gelatin and collagen.

You can read so many articles about why bone broth is so good, so I won't repeat those verbatim or in paraphrase here - go hunt, go gather!

My recipe is so simple. I don't flounce it up at all other than the inclusion of a small amount of cider vinegar which assists in the breakdown of the bone, releasing all the goodness.

Other than that, it's just a case of cracking the carcass into a few pieces, breaking the joint in the leg and wing bones and pouring hot water over to just cover. Pour in a tablespoon of cider vinegar.

Bring to the boil and simmer for a while.

Feel free to add in some peppercorns, maybe cloves, garlic, herbs, whatever goodness you want to put into the initial stock. I chose to keep it really plain.

When you're about ready to serve, bring the heat up to a boil and reduce.

Ladle out into a bowl and add in whatever you want. No reason not to drink it as is, but mushrooms, a little ginger, maybe some chilli, whatever ...

I went with enoki mushrooms, spring onions and ginger.

Drink deep and be healed!


Lemon Poussin

Poussin is a young chicken, typically under 28 days old.

You guys over the wrong side of the pond might know Poussin as a small cross-breed of Red Cornish Game Hen, which is about twice the size of a Commonwealth Poussin.

Our chicks weigh in at 400-450g, never exceeding 750g which might make it a Spring Chicken. I guess you guys find your Poussin about that weight.

Anyway, one people divided by a common language ...

We've got birds to cook!

Prep? Simply stuff a lemon wedge and a skinned clove of garlic into the cavity and gently release the skin to push a good slice of butter up there. Salt and pepper over, sprinkle of thyme. Done!

Done? Pretty much ... just bung it in the oven set to 180C for 45 minutes.

Take it out and set aside to rest.

Skim off the fat from the juices and pour some boiling water over, maybe add a little chicken stock to firm up the flavours.

Squeeze in some lemon juice - this cannot be too lemony, trust me ...

Toss in some shredded spring onions and lettuce. Firm lettuce is best - I used British Cos.

Before the lettuce has sogged, serve up ...

Lettuce and spring onions into a nice bowl, Poussin on top and spoon the remaining juices over.

Have a fresh bowl to chuck in the bones and a smaller bowl of hot water with lemon juice for fingers.

Consume noisily, hungrily and enjoy every bit of meat and skin you shred from that carcass.

... and then, enjoy the carcass, simmered with a touch of cider vinegar as a soothing bone broth the following day.


Vietnamese Beef & Spinach Soup

With beef stock, spinach and a piece of fillet steak too small for two, too big for one, I sought out and set about following a Ken Hom recipe that I'd seen on the television a couple of weeks ago.

Me? Follow a recipe?

Yes! And it was a good job it was very simple and straightforward or I'd be off, deviating and freestyling!

Furthermore, a step into East Asian cuisine is something new for me. I've made similar hot noodle soups before, but that is about the limit of my venturing East where I tend to stop in South Asia, culinarily speaking.

There is a little preparation, but it is simple - Ken Hom's method is to make a quick and easy soup.

Let's get cooking ...

Slice the fillet steak into thin strips and place in a mixing bowl along with a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce, some lemon juice, minced garlic, spring onion and chilli - I used a Scotch Bonnet pepper; I like hot chillies!

Actually, I did deviate from the recipe ... I used a little red onion as well.

Allow the meat to marinate for an hour, or so.

Some recipes also make complex extractions of star anise, first blanching the spinach and so on ... but not this one.

In a wok (sorry, Ken ... I don't have a wok) or saucepan, bring some stock up to temperature. Maybe three cups is fine, up to the boil and then off the heat.

Push maybe a pound of spinach into the pan, using the residual heat to wilt the spinach and now pour in the marinated meat along with all the ingredients from the marinade.

Simmer for a couple of minutes, sufficient to just cook the meat and serve out into hand bowls. Eat with chopsticks.



Classic French tonight, guys. Provençal, to be specific.

From the word daubière, a braising pan, Daube is a simple dish of beef, carrot and onion.

Strictly, the meat should be bull - from the back. Early recipes call for a trio of meats: shin, shortribs and chuck, for body, flavour and firmness respectively. Some recipes call for all manner of ingredients to highlight, flavour and generally fluff up what is actually a straight down the line rustic meat stew.

Let's not make it too complicated ...

Daube is traditionally served with rice or noodles, although I noticed in some pictures while flying around google looking for some kind of authentic recipe and method, frites.

If you do want to go down the line of fried potato chips, do check out my article: Chips! ... for frites, you'll want some duck fat.

Let's keep it more traditional paleo ...

First, the Daube. Daube is best made in several stages.

Start by cooking the meat, just covered in water, slowly for the day. I used braising steak. Next time, I'll most definitely source the correct meats - bull, not cow.

Boeuf in French is bull - French "beef" is male, else it is vache; cow.

Anyway, get some beef ... whatever gender, and cook it for ages on a low heat. Reduce the water as you cook, so keep the lid off. This stage is about concentrating the flavours and getting the meat to a really tender stage.

The next day (the cooking day), skin and half a few shallots, mince some garlic and pour over the cooked beef into a braising pot. You can look these up, but for the modern cook, any heavy ovenproof vessel will do.

Slice some carrots and toss over.

Chop thyme and rosemary, grind some black pepper and muddle in a little tomato puree. Add to the dish.

Pour over some good French red wine. I used Prestige & Calvert Bordeaux because it was on special offer at the Supermarket - only ever cook with wine you want to drink, and I really wanted to drink this! I poured in a glass of wine, largely because I wanted to drink the rest, but that is a good quantity over a couple of pounds of meat and a large carrot.

Top up with beef stock. Okay, you could use powdered stock and make it up with water, but really ... grab one of those blocks of bone stock from the freezer and do the job properly. I'll write up my method for stock one day.

Put the dish into the oven, pre-heated to 200C for an hour, drop to 150C and cook on for another hour, or so.

This will combine all the flavours, reduce the stock and take on some colour during the first stage and not burn during the second.

Before serving, prepare any vegetables.

I wilted some young kale and made chips (fries, frites, whatever your language) with rutabaga.

Serve, garnish with chervil or parsley and enjoy!

One final note - Daube can be made with lamb. I'd suggest shoulder for the gorgeous fattiness and sumptuous flavour. White wine should be used for this variation.


Shellfish Olio

Olio? Don't worry! I've not gone all chefy and started inventing odd names for my dishes that sound more grand than the actual food - an Olio is simply a dish of many ingredients; a potpourri, a miscellany ...

Shellfish are an important part of paleo eating, containing all manner of minerals in such great concentrated packs - metals, B-12 and omega-3.

To the kitchen ...

Begin with a very finely chopped onion, garlic and a generous slug of extra virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan. Soften.

Finely slice some mushrooms and courgette. Finely slice! This is our pasta. The mushrooms and courgette will soak up the excess olive oil.

Pour in a can of pre-cooked pomodorino tomatoes. You could use fresh, but the skins will not break down as well as canned. Lightly crush.

Chop in a long sweet red pepper - the actual name of these escape me, but they're much softer than round bell peppers. Okay (days later), I've remembered - Romano Peppers.

Finely slice a chilli and toss into the sauté pan - I used a Scotch Bonnet.

Fragrance with some oregano.

Cook for a few minutes to warm through fully.

In a frying pan, lightly cook the shellfish - sear off squid, warm up prawns and sauté some scallops. Toss into the main sauté pan.

Just before serving, infuse the dish with some finely sliced basil. This will perfume the dish without adding too much flavour.

Serve out into a wide brim bowl and accompany with a glass of Sangiovese.



Stuffed Lamb Hearts

Paleo eaters are generally very keen on the whole "nose to tail" eating, but there is too often a tendency to go wild on the carnivorous aspect of that, and I must confess ... I had a certain sense of bravado picking up a pack of New Zealand lamb hearts at my local supermarket.

"New Zealand? But, don't you live in the UK?"

I certainly do! We get a lot of New Zealand lamb here in the UK. I guess New Zealand lamb is exported all over the world and whenever you think of lamb, you think New Zealand. I know, it does sound ludicrous when we have Wales right here on our island. Wales is a great lamb producer and having lived in Wales for a period, I have more than a little pride for the national product and try to get Welsh lamb whenever I can.

In this case, these hearts were there ... I wanted to try them, and the fact that they had flown half way around the world to get onto the shelf in front of me did not matter. Hearts!

"Are they grassfed?"

Grassfed is ideal whenever we can get it. Out of laziness, paleo people almost always end up buying something which is not grassfed, possibly grassfed and then grain finished, but not wholly pastured. In Wales, the hillsides are littered with sheep ... eating nothing more than grass. They are not finished on bulking grain, but taken from the hillsides and slaughtered. I presume New Zealand is the same, and after a reasonably deep google, I think that is the case. As for organic rearing, free from hormones ... I don't know.

So, to the heart of the matter ...

With the bravado over, what on earth do I do with these things? I asked for advice on paleo forums, food forums, carnivore forums, offal forums and sought the oracle known as google.

Slice up and flash fry, or stuff and slow cook.

I love slow-cooked meat and so, with the course set ... here's what I did.

For stuffings, I used mushroom and nut, and black pudding stuffings.

Chestnut mushroom and walnuts ... no, wait ... damn! No walnuts ... okay, pecans, and a little chervil, pepper and a splash of smoke chiptole Tabasco. Blend up with a hand blender.

Black pudding often has oats or oatmeal in the mix. You got me ... it's not proper paleo, but you have to have one vice, right? Black pudding is very cultural for northerners; northern English, that is. Mine was made at my local farm shop - I really should have asked what they put in, but the veil of the secret recipe would probably have been brought down in front of my eyes.

Take the heart in one hand and wash it under the tap. Take a moment to understand its construction as water flows into one hole and out through another tube. Understand not to push the stuffing in too firmly or it will simply come out somewhere else!

Push the mushroom and nut stuffing into one side and the black pudding into the other.

The tops are exposed and so as not to lose all the stuffing out of the heart while cooking, lay a strip of bacon over the top and secure with string. You may like to wrap the whole thing in bacon, but just over the top is sufficient.

Place in a lidded casserole dish, chop a shallot, some garlic and more chervil, parsley, or whatever your favoured herb for this is, top up with lamb stock, lid on and into an oven pre-heated to 180C.

Two hours later ...

Well, just before, prepare and cook your vegetables. I went for young kale, gently steamed over the gravy.

Recover the hearts and keep them warm in tin foil.

Pour out the juices into a receptacle and blend well with a hand blender. Pass the blended liquid through a sieve for an ultra-fine gravy, heat back up and thicken with a little arrowroot.

Remove the string from the hearts, set the bacon aside, slice the hearts and arrange on a plate.

Finely chop up the bacon and toss into the vegetables, plating alongside the heart.

Cover in gravy, grab your cutlery and dig in!

Wow! What a flavour! What a texture! Deep and velvet with a firm, but not rubbery bite.

It is said that when you eat the heart of a beast you assume part of that beast ...

Enjoy! I mean BAAAA!


Moco Loco!

"Moco Loco? It's Loco Moco, dummy!".

Hawaiian feel good food!

Read on ...

Beef patty over steamed rice topped with a fried egg and smothered in gravy.

Inspired by this crazy fast food, I set about keeping it paleo and keeping it feel good.

With a gravy made up from caramelised onion, ground lamb kidney and beef stock, and Porterhouse steak burgers sitting under the grill, I wilted some spinach and poached some quail eggs.

Plating up with the burgers down first, smothered in gravy and topped with spinach in an upside down and backwards take on Loco Moco, hence Moco Loco, the poached eggs were settled on the very top.

Two large Porterhouse steak burgers - we're big eaters in Yorkshire and often joke that what most people would call a main course, we call a starter.

Good, fun, satisfying and great any time of the day!


Salmon over Crab, Bacon and Avocado

Crab, bacon and avocado go together to make a perfect threesome, but how to make a full meal out of this menage a trois? Add some fish and an egg!

Here's how ...

Fry off some streaky bacon cut into small ribbons. Place in a bowl.

Drain a tin of crab meat, reserving the juice for later. Warm through in the same frying pan to get the majority of the liquid off. Place in a bowl.

Cube an avocado and place in the bowl, mixing all the ingredients well. Add any other flavours - chilli, ginger, garlic, spring onion, paprika, whatever you like. I used ginger and a good splash of Tabasco.

Boil and egg and cut into slices.

Using a Chef's forming ring, press the crab, bacon and avocado down to form the base and lay slices of boiled egg over.

Now fry the fish ...

Having melted some butter in a frying pan, cook on the presentation side for a couple of minutes, flip the fish over and continue to cook on the skin side, basting the presentation side with the butter in the pan.

Once the skin is really crispy and the fish cooked through, pat a pesto crust onto the presentation side and sit under the grill for a couple more minutes.

Pesto is simply a case of combining nuts with herbs in olive oil. Popular combinations include pine nut with basil and walnut with parsley. I used pine nut with basil.

Meanwhile, reduce the crab stock and whisk in cubes of butter to make a thick jus. Toss some cubes tomato in for further colour and a tangy flavour to offset the soft butteriness.

Spoon the jus around the forming ring and then remove it.

Lay the fish on top of the crab, bacon, avocado and egg, topping with a couple of spears of asparagus and dressing the plate further with herbs or leaves - I used spinach leaves and a cube of feta.

Cooked Carpaccio

Carpaccio is a simple dish of thin slices of meat or fish, topped with shavings of parmesan. Widening the definition to include any food sliced thin, here's a fun way to use leftover roast beef.

Trim leftover meat into a regular shape and slice as thin as you can laying the strips out on a plate.

Make up a dressing from capers, pickled garlic, dill, olive oil, lemon juice and a little sea salt. Spoon the dressing over the meat.

Dress the plate further with tips of asparagus and parmesan or pecorino shavings.


Skånsk Kalops

Swedish stew - beef, onions and spices, and often served with boiled potatoes, beetroot and green beans.

Simple, easy and everyone already knows the recipe ...

Using braising steak, make up a beef stew with meat, onions, garlic, spice and stock. I peppered the stock with Cayenne pepper.

Simmer for a couple of hours.

Some recipes warrant carrot in a thicker and darker variation, and so I cubed up some butternut squash as something between carrot and potato.

Green beans can be stirred in a few minutes before serving.

Serve out into a bowl and scatter dill over.

... and don't forget sliced pickled beetroot in your haste to wolf it down. Oops!


Swedish for small pieces in the pan, similar to the British hodgepodge Bubble & Squeak, Pyttipanna is a thrifty meal of leftover meat, potatoes, fried and a fried egg on top.

Sounds great!

Let's keep it paleo ...

My little ode to the rustic Pyttipanna was a starter.

I had a lot of leftover beef from a Sunday roast and so thought to make up a little taster - a Pyttipanna in miniature.

I use some swede instead of potato and a poached quail egg to top.

Here's how ... this will work for a full dish, taster, starter, or whatever you want to make.

Take the leftover beef out of the fridge and cube up.

Traditionally, cube up some potato - waxy is best. Any root veg will do - swede, rutabaga, parsnip, carrot, whatever.

Soften some pastured butter in a frying pan, toss in some chopped onion and cook off the root veg. Pre-boil the veg for a few minutes if you like, but it's not necessary.

Toss in the meat and continue to fry until the meat and veg is coloured and cooked through.

Meanwhile, cube some pickled beetroot and pickled gherkin.

Slide the meat and veg onto a plate, toss over the beetroot and gherkin and then crack an egg into the frying juices. Lay the fried egg over - there, proper Pyttipanna.

Alternatively, made much smaller and more delicately, place a small amount of meat and veg in the middle of a plate and carefully place a few pieces of beetroot and gherkin around.

Meanwhile, boil up a pan of water and crack a couple of quail eggs in to poach. This takes literally seconds.

Retrieve the eggs, dry off and place over the Pyttipanna.

Dress with dill.


Sorghum Flatbread

Flatbread? Bread? BREAD?

There are some foods which are just more authentic when eaten with bread.

Did I just say that? Having struck against emulation of neolithic foods as part of a paleo or paleo+ diet where bread can simply be ignored and new, more interesting and more nutritious food made, why advocate these flatbreads?

Bread is a filler. We don't want to fill up on incomplete and nutritionally poor filler! Might as well eat the dry wall?

Bread is also a simple means of communing food to the mouth. Yes, a fork will do that, and yes, lettuce wraps perform such a task perfectly, but there are a very small number of instances where you might find that authenticity is fun:
  • Curry? Scooping up delicious spicy portions of curry with chappati?
  • Baked Tortilla? Warming chilli con carne wrapped in tortilla and baked in a cheese sauce?
  • Swedish wraps? Hotdog, mashed potato and lettuce wraps contained in a wrap?
Interested? Okay, here's how I make these flatbreads ...

Sorghum is actually a pseudo-grain, so not a grain at all, and the flour is not at all glutenous, so you're not going to get the same texture as wheat flour dough. It will form a firm texture. Sorghum flour is used extensively on the Indian sub-continent where it is known as Juwar Flour.

Take a half cup of sorghum flour and add in a tablespoon or so of yoghurt, soured cream or milk. Mix it together. Need more? Add more!

You're looking for a firm, but incorporated texture.

Take a golf ball sized ball (that half cup will make two) and gently flatten it. Roll it out with a rolling pin, bottle, or whatever you have to hand ... turn, roll, push the edges back in, roll, turn, tuck, roll, turn.

At about a couple of millimetres thick, take a large fish slice and scrape it off the board or work surface and pop it into a hot frying pan, turning it after a few minutes and slinging back out onto the board once cooked.

Done like an Indian might, take a length of cotton and draw it under the flatbread to remove it from the board then carefully inverting the board so that the flatbread can be caught in the hand and dropped onto a skillet.

Cooked, these flatbreads take on a structural quality which will not fall apart when folded or wrapped.



Lasagne - classic comfort food and an excellent way to use up pretty much anything.

Here, I made up a filling from softened onions, garlic, mushrooms, cubes of carrot, some peeled plum tomatoes, green lentils, thyme and salt & pepper.

Lentils are part of the Fabaceae or Leguminosae family: legumes, and as such have no place in the paleo diet, yet are tentatively acceptable as part of what I would call a paleo+ diet.

Legumes as a family represent a wide spectrum. When considering food sources, one does need to look at the whole, the big picture - red kidney beans represent the most toxic end of the spectrum, while lentils represent the least toxic. Beyond paleo Archevore author Kurt Harris makes no mention of legumes, in fact, considers them a useful food source although not ideal.

Legumes MUST be prepared by soaking and then pressure cooking. Canned legumes will have already been soaked and then pressure cooked, or super-heated with steam.

With the filling made, we now need to make up a bechamel sauce.

Bechamel is the simple combination of butter, flour and milk and heightened with a touch of nutmeg.

Melt some butter in a pan - a centimetre slice off the end of a block of butter will do just fine.

Sprinkle some flour into the butter and whisk. Still sloppy? Add more flour. Once the flour balls up and looks as if you should discard it and try again, pour in a little milk and whisk ... a little more milk, still whisking and a little more, until the sauce has come around to a thick sloppy sauce. About half to two thirds of a pint of milk is required. Spice with a little nutmeg.

Spread some bechamel sauce into the base of an ovenproof dish and make a layer of filling.

Top with thin slices of marrow.

Repeat, creating a second layer.

Crown the dish with a final layer of bechamel sauce and sprinkle on some grated cheese.

Commit the dish to a pre-heated oven set to 180C for about 20 minutes to cook through, soften the marrow and melt the cheese.

Instead of marrow, sorghum flatbread might well be a reasonable replacement for pasta sheets.

Alternatively, sourcing gluten-free pasta sheets might be okay, but I do have an inkling that the processes involved in creating gluten-free pasta places the food outside of a source I would be happy eating. Sheets made simply from rice flour could well be acceptable.

Anyway, serve out onto a plate. Accompany with some Chips and a ramekin of butter softened spinach with a good kick of white pepper.

Döner Kebab

Ahhh ... the classic Doner Kebab, favoured by drunken louts, late night after a serious binge and destined for the gutter one way or the other.

Actually, Doner Kebab is pretty damn tasty ... especially cold the next day, which is a left-over idea for this recipe.

Doner Kebab literally means "rotating meat" - a large pack of meat formed into a huge sausage something like 9" thick and skewered right through, set in front of a grill on a rotating spit. Pieces of meat are shaved off and conveyed to the customer in a pitta bread with a light salad of lettuce, onion, tomato and cucumber, accompanied by a mint yoghurt sauce or a hot chilli sauce.

What a treat ... but how to keep it paleo?

Good meat should be used, and it should be lamb mince. Good, fatty lamb mince, not lean.

Chill the mince. That's ground lamb to folks over that side of the pond.

Place the mince in a mixing bowl and add in some spices - cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, chilli powder, fenugreek, whatever blend it is you like.

Squeeze the mince through your fingers a few times. Take care not to warm the meat too much, but do ensure that the strands of meat are well broken down. Re-chill.

Form the mixture around skewers - you can use wood or metal, but if you use wood, pre-soak them for an hour so that they do not burn under the grill. The kebabs should be about an inch in thickness. If it is easier, make a thick sausage and poke a skewer through afterwards.

Place the kebabs under the grill, broiler or whatever it is you call your overhead source of heat, or better still, on a barbecue, grill, or whatever it is you call a hot coal fired underneath heat source. Confusing, eh? Good job we've not been drinking ...

Right! The meat is now well chargrilled, grilled, heated, browned and even a little burned by whatever means you used. It should also be cooked through.

Set the kebabs aside for just a couple of minutes to lose the fierce heat and then slice as thin as you can. If you get a thick slice, lay it flat and try to slide it thinner on the flat.

You should be left with a plate of meat slices.

Why not just make a thin flat minced lamb pattie and slice it? Well, it's all about giving the appearance and texture of having shaved these slices off a larger kebab.

Pop the slices into a hot oven for a few minutes to dry out further and colour up.

Serve out in a bowl with salad to accompany - onion is essential, cucumber, too, tomato if you like, even boiled egg slices if that floats your boat! This is your treat kebab!

Smother with whatever sauce you like - I used a Habanero sauce. Garlic and mint in yoghurt is also a popular sauce and there's no reason not to have both mint and chilli sauces on your kebab.

Make up wraps using strong lettuce leaves like Cos, laying strips of meat in, more sauce and sprinkle salad on top. Do this before, during or after drinking lots of alcohol, or just enjoy it with a glass of clean, fresh water.

Burp! Love it!


Scallops in a Bird Nest

Matchstick chips, or fries depending upon where you are in the world make the bird nest for this simple dish.

We're going to use butternut squash ...

Boil an egg, cool and slice. Lay out in a circle on a circular plate or in a line on a rectangular plate.

Prepare some matchstick chips from butternut squash - the sweetness works so well to compliment the sweetness of the scallops and is not at all the same sweetness.

Any root vegetable, even bacon or chorizo, can be used for the matchstick chips for variation.

Shallow or deep fry the matchstick chips. Settle a little nest on the egg base.

Warm some pastured butter in a frying pan and sear the scallops, taking care not to overcook. The insides should be warm, tender and soft. Place the scallops on the nest of matchstick chips.

Splash a few drops of Tabasco sauce over the scallops for additional flavour.



Chips? That's Fries, French Fries or Pommes Frites in other popular languages - the key difference is, the English Chipped Potato (Chip) is cut much thicker than its European and North American counterparts.

Chips represent a huge pack of carbohydrate and fat energy with a potentially high glycemic load ... unless they're eaten with fat. Simply put, fat slows the digestive process dramatically lowering the glycemic load.

Want to know more? Check out J Stanton's article on Fat and the Glycemic Index: The Myth of Complex Carbohydrates.

What you fry your potatoes in is vitally important - saturated fats are the best!

Dripping is the perfect fat for deep frying and in the UK we are very fortunate to see Britannia brand dripping on the shelves of our popular supermarkets. Britannia brand dripping is an additive-free pure beef dripping block.

Dripping has a higher smoke point than either ghee or lard, something like 280C compared to 250C for ghee, 180C for lard or 175C for butter.

Furthermore, the Rancimat analysis shows dripping to be a far superior fat when it comes to frying. The Rancimat analysis is the time taken in hours for fat molecules to form volatile organic acids. While sunflower oil will become volatile after a mere 3 hours, dripping can go to almost 40 hours! It can be seen that beef dripping has high oxidative stability compared with vegetable oils.

Another useful fat is palm oil - with a smoke point of 235C and 23 hours of frying time, it is quite equivalent to dripping on paper ... but it's about the taste!

Duck fat provides the key flavour component for French Fries, which are actually Belgian and known as Pommes Frites on mainland Europe, and dripping is the key flavour for Northern English Fish & Chips.

Dripping is the right fat to use, but what about the potatoes?

Waxy potatoes hold their moisture when cooked and retain their shape. Floury potatoes fall apart easily when cooked and lend themselves more to mashing. Too waxy, and the chip is not soft in the middle. Finding a potato which meets the middle balance of enough softness with just enough firmness to retain shape makes the perfect chip.

There is one variety of potato which finds this balance perfectly - the Maris Piper.

One final thing - the fryer.

I think it is safe to say that most people do not have a fridge that they can keep a large deep fat fryer in, but a litre in a container should easily fit in somewhere. With dripping, it is important to keep it refrigerated between use so that it does not go rancid.

I use a small fryer with a litre capacity of oil - this is perfect for a small portion of chips for two, or a large portion for one. These portions are paleo-sized - we do not want to eat a lot of carbohydrate as part of a balanced meal and should guard against over-consumption of carbohydrate through limiting portions.

So, to work ...

Peel the potatoes well and then slice them on the length or across the width about half an inch thick to produce a pile of similarly sized chips.

We're going to go for the triple-cooked method.

Boil the chips in water for a few minutes - I go for around 5 minutes.

Take the dripping from the fridge and scrape it into the fryer - set the fryer to around 175C.

Once the chips have boiled for a few minutes, drain them off and allow them to steam dry for a couple of minutes, patting with kitchen paper just to remove all the excess water. Chef Heston Blumenthal likes to chill the chips in the fridge to firm up at this point, but we're home cooks - we're going to get straight on with it.

Immerse the chips in the dripping at 175C for around 10 minutes, or until they start to float - this is the second stage of cooking and the stage which puts the flavour into the chips.

Remove the chips from the dripping and set the temperature to 190C.

Once up to temperature, immerse the chips in the dripping at 190C for a couple of minutes - this will give them a deep golden colour.

Retrieve the chips and spread out over kitchen paper to soak off the excess fat.

While the fat is still liquid, pour it back out into the container that you use to store it in the fridge and allow it to air cool for an hour, or so, before returning it to the fridge. The fryer can be wiped out and washed clean.

Needless to say, this method can be used for skinny chips - that's fries, if you've not heard the term skinny chips before. The same temperatures can be used for matchstick chips, although the initial boiling is not necessary; likewise, for other root vegetables - rutabaga, swede, carrot and parsnips, or even with sweet potatoes, butternut squash or pumpkin!

Serve out with a few ground crystals of sea salt to accompany your favourite meat and green vegetables. Delicious!


Leftover Oxtail Salad

Oxtail is such a cool cut! Cheap, easy to cook and absolutely sumptuous in flavour and texture.

Cook lots and enjoy the leftovers ...

Simple to do! Just shred the meat from the tail with your fingers, shred more, shred even more ... and cover with capers.


For a more rounded salad, add some cucumber, tomato, maybe load some probiotic yoghurt over and add a couple of boiled eggs.

Easy ...

Braised Oxtail with Pickled Vegetables

Oxtail is such a cool cut! Cheap, easy to cook and absolutely sumptuous in flavour and texture.

Time for some tail out action!

That might well mean one thing to one set of people and quite another thing to another set of people ... anyhoo ... I'll leave the mind to boggle ... thinking is paleo!

Oxtail needs nothing more than braising ... long and slow.

You can put some flavours in - I fried off some onions, garlic, mushroom and green pepper to make a base for the gravy which would come from long, slow braising.

Put these pre-fried flavours into a casserole dish, push the oxtail in and cover with water. That's all. Place the casserole dish into the oven and set it to 100C. Leave it there as long as you can - 6-8 hours is ideal.

About an hour before serving, retrieve the casserole dish, remove the oxtail and carefully trim off the large fat section. Put the remaining oxtail into a foil parcel and return to the oven.

Pat off some of the excess fat from the juice with kitchen towel, blend up the solids with the liquid and pass through a sieve for a really fine gravy. Thicken with arrowroot and set to reduce slowly.

Meanwhile, steam some vegetables - I used mini-vegetables: parsnip, carrot, sprout, cauliflower, tenderstem broccoli and asparagus.

Steam for a few minutes and stop the cooking by dropping the vegetables into ice cold water, kept cool with fresh ice cubes.

Return the vegetables to a pan already primed with onions, garlic and herbs - I used tarragon.

Cover with a good glug of extra virgin olive oil, some sherry vinegar and mix thoroughly.

About 15 minutes before serving, simply put the vegetables on the heat ... low, ensure the gravy is reduced and tasty and retrieve the oxtail from the oven.

Keep the oxtail warm in a parcel of tin foil.

Plate up ...

In a wide-brim bowl, pour in some gravy and arrange the oxtail pieces.

Arrange the vegetables around the meat, discarding the aromatics.

Open Burgers

Inspired by somewhere between Danish open sandwiches and paleo-style burger meat in lettuce leaves, here's a really fun way of setting up burgers.

This is your burger! Get the best meat. I went for Aberdeen Angus fillet and had it minced.

Once cold, squeeze it between your fingers a few times to break down the structure. Form into a burger patty - that it! That's all there is to burgers. No rusk, no egg, no onion, no more fat. This is the perfect burger!

Put some streaky bacon under the grill.

Pop a couple of eggs into boiling water.

Get your griddle pan on the heat and get it smoking hot before dropping your burgers on. Once flipped over, add a slice of cheese - I used gruyere.

Meanwhile, build the plate ...

Set out a couple of choice lettuce leaves - I used British Cos Lettuce.

Add a good blob of mayonnaise or guacamole; something fatty.

Lay the cheese burgers on this bed.

The streaky bacon should now be done, lay these on the cheese burgers.

Pop a good blob of tomato  ketchup on this - make up your own if you will not eat bought ketchup.

Lay slices of tomato and gherkin on top and to crown, slices of boiled egg.


Of course if you just wanted to eat a burger, grille your burger, lay some cheese on and pop between a couple of lettuce leave with whatever you want:

See: http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk/2011/10/leftover-burger-wrap.html