Your Online Paleo Recipe Resource 2013-11-08T21:51:51Z WordPress Craig <![CDATA[Paleo Ragu Alla Bolognese]]> 2013-11-08T21:51:51Z 2013-11-08T21:51:51Z

Ragu alla Bolognese

To make a Northern Italian meat sauce, many people, especially untrained American-Italian restaurant chefs, head down the wrong path by trying to doctor up a tomato-heavy sauce like marinara, with some meat and garlic, and call it good.

Bolognese, originating from Bologna, in Northern Italy, is the complete opposite. It’s lot’s of different meats, with just a touch of vegetable mirepoix (called a soffritto in Italian cooking) and then just a smidge of tomato paste, so as not to get in the way of all the super tasty MEATS!

This recipe works best if you make your own Beef stock as the extra collagen in home-made stock will dramatically increase the finished texture of the dish. If you don’t have any homemade, then you can sprinkle plain gelatin (paleoish!) in your broth to mimic the collagen effect of homemade stock.

To keep it Paleo, I removed the heavy cream finish to the sauce, instead utilizing chicken livers at the end.

Don’t get sidetracked if you cannot find authentic Mortadella or Pancetta for this recipe, simply substitute some plain side pork or bacon for the pancetta, or try some finely chopped salumi or prosciutto (reduce salt at end.)


  • Blender or Food Processor



    • 1 lb. Beef  – Ground (80% Lean)
    • 1 lb. Veal – Ground
    • 1 lb. Pork – Ground
    • 8 oz. Mortadella – Chopped into small cubes
    • 8 oz. Pancetta – Chopped into small cubes
    • 8 Oz. Chicken Livers


    • 1 Medium Onion – Coarse Chopped
    • 1 Medium Carrot – Coarse Chopped
    • 1 Rib Celery – Coarse Chopped
    • 2 TBS Dried Sage
    • 1 Can (6 Oz.) Organic Tomato Paste


    • 2 Cups Red Wine (or substitute 2 additional cups of beef stock)
    • 2 Cups Beef Stock
    • 1 Oz. (1 pkg) Unflavored Beef Gelatin (if using store bought stock)


    • 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 1 TBS Garlic – Chopped Fine
    • Salt & Pepper to taste



If using store bought stock for the broth to prepare THE BRODO, pour 2 cups of it in a bowl and bloom the gelatin by sprinkling it over the stock. Set aside. Prepare THE MEATS by pulsing the Mortadella and Pancetta in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. If additional moisture needed to keep the items moving in the hopper, use a splash of the wine or stock – don’t overheat the ingredients while blending them. Set aside. Puree the Chicken Livers in a blender or food processor until liquefied – aprox 10-15 seconds. Set aside in fridge. Prepare THE SOFFRITTO by pulsing the onion, carrot, celery, sage and tomato paste until finely chopped and combined. Set aside.


Heat oil on medium high heat in a large, heavy bottomed dutch oven, sauté pan, deep skillet or stock pot. Add the beef, veal and pork and sauté them until all the moisture has evaporated and the meat begins to sizzle (rattle) aprox 15 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté with the meats for 2-3 minutes. Add the Mortadella mixture to the pan and sauté until the pancetta is translucent, aprox 7-10 minutes. If necessary, adjust heat to prevent bottom of pan from burning. Add the Soffritto to the pan. Stir well and sauté until vegetables are softened and the entire contents are reddened by the tomato paste, aprox 10 minutes. Deglaze mixture with the wine and loosen the fond from the bottom of the pan by gently scraping with a wooden spoon or a whisk. Cook until wine has reduced and the sauce has thickened, aprox 5 minutes. Stir in the beef stock, stir well and bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, uncovered, until sauce is thickened, aprox 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn off heat, adjust flavor with salt and pepper and add the Purre’ed chicken livers. Stir well, cover pot and allow to stand while you prepare pasta for a cheat meal, or some Paleo Spaghetti Squash Noodles.


8 Large Servings – enough for dinner for 4 and some leftovers!

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Craig <![CDATA[PALEO LIFE December 5, 2012 Balanced Bites Invades Tacoma Strength. Part 1 I Cook Dinner For Her]]> 2012-12-05T20:22:14Z 2012-12-05T20:22:14Z Have I told you that I love my day job? Well I do!

As many of you know, part of the work I do is as Hero Support for Tacoma Strength and Conditioning, a CrossFit style gym in Tacoma, Washington. I work with gym members interested in learning about Paleo cooking and adopting a clean eating lifestyle. If it has to do with Paleo or healthy food at the gym, you probably will find me close by. A large part of my job there is also spent planning Events, leading Clean Eating Challenges, teaching Cooking Demos, holding Social Gatherings and conducting Educational Talks for the gym members to take part in.

Here’s a pic of me in action teaching a Paleo Blender class using my favorite red Blendtec Total Blender: We prepared an entire Paleo meal, including beverages, appetizer, entrée and dessert in a blender that day!

CavemanBistro Blender Class

Recently, one of our gym members Ben, of Cool Dudes With Fanny Packs fame, asked if Tacoma Strength would be interested in having a friend of his come give a talk at the gym. She had just written a new book about Paleo health, lifestyle and cooking and was looking for seminar opportunities and book signing events. Seems Ben had seen an early copy of the book and thought it might be pretty cool.

TACOMASTRENGTH: “I don’t know, we’re kinda busy doing BURPEES here Ben. Maybe… Who is your friend?”

BEN: “Oh, her name is Diane, and her company is Balanced Bites.”

TACOMASTRENGTH: Long, long pause… “Wait. What?!!!”

BEN: Smiles.

TACOMASTRENGTH: HEAD SMACK “Are you kidding me? Hells Yeah!”

So, as I said earlier, I love my job!

At some point in the planning process though, the higher-ups at Tacoma Strength decided that since Diane travels and eats out so much, she might appreciate a good home cooked meal for once. Therefore, we will all go over to Craig’s house, the “CavemanBistro” as it were, for dinner Friday night before the seminar…

CAVEMANBISTRO: Long, long pause… “Wait. What?!!!”



Let me get this straight. Not only am I going to meet Balanced Bites, one of my absolute Paleo idols, but now she’s coming to my house, AND I’m going to cook a Paleo meal for her?

No pressure… Paleo chef reputation hanging in the balance…

After I came to grips with the situation, I got busy shopping and cooking!

To start the evening we enjoyed NorCal Margaritas, Kombucha, Sparkling Spa Water and Red Wine.

Bottles of Kombucha

We enjoyed Paleo Pork Belly Porchetta Roll, prepared in the SousVide, served on a bed of Organic Spring Greens, Sided with Fermented Probiotic Carrots, Toasted Butternut Squash Seeds and a Besar Spiced Cranberry Apricot Chutney.

Paleo Pork Belly Porchetta

For dinner we enjoyed Spanish Braised Beef Oxtails With Homemade Chorizo, sided with Roasted Root Vegetables with Savory & Garlic, and Organic Baby Kale sautéed in Bacon fat.

Braised Beef Oxtails With Spanish Chorizo

We also passed several jars of OlyKraut around as garnish. They make my favorite live, raw sauerkraut varieties.

OlyKraut Raw Live Kraut

For dessert I served simple pieces of dark chocolate, made locally by Theo’s Chocolates, along with coconut shavings, dates, nuts and berries. The Theo’s 85% Dark is one of my personal favorites!

Chocolate Berries Coconut Chilies Mint Dates

Joining the CavemanBistro Clan and the Tacoma Strength Crew to welcome Diane and her new seminar partner Anthony DiSarro from CrossFit Redline, was the gang from

Balanced Bites Dinner

We had a blast and I cannot remember a more memorable Paleo dinner party with tasty food, great Paleo & CrossFit conversations or awesome enthusiastic guests! I’ll post the individual recipes shortly as well as a wrap-up about Diane and Anthony’s seminar at Tacoma Strength. Thanks Ben for setting this opportunity up. To hear a podcast of Diane Sanfilippo/Balanced Bites being interviewed by Cool Dudes With Fanny Packs, Click HERE.

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Craig <![CDATA[PALEO LIFE December 4, 2012: Pan-Fried Grass Fed Beef Liver With Sauteed Onions, Apples and Sage]]> 2012-12-04T17:06:24Z 2012-12-04T16:56:40Z Grass Fed Liver and Onions with Sage and Apples

Last week I got a call from the guys over at looking for help with a little situation they had. When they placed their last butcher order, they requested the liver be delivered in one pound containers. Instead, it had shown up whole & frozen! Now, if you don’t know much about meat cutting, a whole Grass Fed cow liver weighs about thirteen to fifteen pounds and takes up a fair amount of real estate!

A Big Piece Of Grass Fed Direct Beef Liver!

Now that’s an “offal” lot of “nature’s multivitamin” for one family!

So, being in a mood to help, and having many hungry, healthy, Paleo friends, I took that bad boy off their hands and put the word out! In no time flat, five of my Paleo CrossFit buddies each wanted 2-3 pounds of 100% Grass Fed Beef Liver.

After thawing it over the weekend, I portioned it up, kept a big chunk for dinner here at the Cave, and using my spiffy, BalancedBites Freezer Bag, delivered the rest of the Grass Fed Goodness to the Tacoma Strength gym refrigerator. Woo hoo! Enjoy everyone!

Balanced Bites Freezer Bag

Eating liver is one of the best things you can do for your health. It is a veritable SuperFood! Don’t believe me? Well then check out what Diane Sanfilippo at Balanced Bites has to say about it when discussing 10 Ways To Be Healthier (Inside & Out). Still not convinced? Then also check out what Chris Kresser L.Ac has to say about Nature’s Own Multi-Vitamin HERE.

But, not all multi-vitamins are created equal and not just any beef liver will do. Here is a clear case where the Grass Fed version will have higher levels of Omega 3 fatty acids over its traditional grain fed counterpart.

So, when you’re ready to buy some awesome 100% Grass Fed Beef Liver, go see the guys at Their new inventory has Grass Fed Liver for you in much smaller portions than what I got from them!

GrassFed Direct

Preparing Grass Fed liver and onions is one of the easiest, healthiest dishes you can make. But liver also scares a lot of people, as they conjure up terrible memories of their grandmother’s tough “shoe leather” dinner. Also, people who don’t enjoy liver often cite a heavy, awful, liver flavor as the main reason. To combat that we are adding apples and sage which sweeten the already tender flavor of the Grass Fed liver.

The secret to a great liver is to just flash fry it quickly in a pan, no more than a couple of minutes per side, then reserve the cooked pieces in a 180F warming oven while the rest of dinner finishes up.

Traditionally, chefs dust liver in flour, then pan-fry it in butter, which helps to create a roux. This pan sauce works because of the gluten in the flour. To make it Paleo, we don’t use any flour. In fact, we don’t actually need to dust it with anything. There are several Paleo recipes calling for coating the pieces in ground almond flour, flax or coconut flour. But these ingredients don’t contain gluten, won’t create a decent roux, and are thus not necessary. They do help dry the surface of the liver, but our version achieves the same effect with paper towels, and we simply use well-flavored bacon fat to get dinner moving quickly!

Serves 4

2 lbs. Grass Fed Beef Liver
2 LG Sweet Yellow Onions, Julienne
1 Med Red Onion, Julienne
1 LG or 2 Med baking quality apples, Dice
3 TBS Fresh Sage Leaves, Chop
4 TBS Bacon Fat
Sea Salt & Pepper

If the liver is whole, slice it into pieces approx 1cm thick and 3-4 inches in diameter. Season the pieces with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, then layer them on a clean platter lined with paper towels.

Grass Fed Liver Pieces

In a large sauté pan, heat 2 TBS bacon fat. NOTE: You may also use GrassFed Butter as a fat! When the fat is hot, add the onions and sauté them well about 7 to 10 minutes. When the onions have started to brown, add the chopped sage and the diced apples. Add some sea salt and fresh ground pepper to the mix, and continue to sauté, covered, for about 5 minutes just to soften the apples.

Sauteed Onions With Apples and Sage

When the onions and apples have finished cooking, place them in a 180F oven to keep warm until the liver is finished. Reheat the sauté pan, adding the remaining 2 TBS bacon fat. In batches, add the liver pieces, making sure not to crowd the pan. Depending on thickness of the pieces cook 1-3 minutes per side, flipping once at midpoint to yield a beautiful medium rare. Reserve the finished pieces on a sheetpan and place them in the warming oven.

Pan Fried Grass Fed Beef Liver

When the batches of liver are cooked, remove the onion mixture from the oven and add it back into the hot sauté pan. Using a wooden spoon, stir mixture well to remove the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When finished, remove from heat, place in a serving bowl, and serve with the liver. Enjoy!

Grass Fed Liver and Onions with Sage and Apples

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Craig <![CDATA[PALEO LIFE November 30, 2012: Movember Ends]]> 2012-12-04T01:34:19Z 2012-12-04T01:31:59Z Friday ended MOVEMBER 2012.

For those of you unaware why everyone at CrossFit, especially at Tacoma Strength, was growing Trucker Mustaches during November, you can click HERE for an explanation.

Now, my prostate is fine, and I don’t know anyone with a bad one. So I didn’t grow a 70’s ‘stache ONLY to support awareness for this important men’s issue. More importantly I grew it because Nick Offerman, aka Ron Swanson, said most men wouldn’t be able to do it.

Gauntlet thrown down. Then picked up by CavemanBistro!

I’m still waiting to hear the official results of Tacoma Strength’s competition, but the rules were simple:
1. Put a little money on the line for charity.
2. Be clean-shaven on Nov 1
3. Don’t shave till December 1
4. Go!

Here are my results:

November 1
Movember Before Photo

November 30
Movember After

I know what you’re thinking: THAT is a CrossFit Bad-Ass There!

Can’t Deny It!

After our Friday CrossFit WOD, my buddy Josh and I did a quick Tacoma Strength gym promo for Movember:

“Hey! How’s Your Prostate? Get it Checked.” This PSA Brought to you by Craig, Josh, Tacoma Strength & Movember.
Tacoma Strength Movember

Now with a Movember ‘stache like that, you do not hide at home on a Friday night.

Instead, you take that ‘stache out on the town!

So out into Tacoma Alisa and I went, hitting some of the hot Paleo spots. First, we enjoyed charcuterie and hand-made craft drinks at 1022 South. NOTE: I love attention to details in bar drinks! The “housemade” root beers, tonics and bitters do rock there! And they hand carve their clear snowball size ice cubes. Good Times! Highlights from the 1022 menu included white anchovies, a terrific mushroom pate’ and out of this world olive tapenade.

Afterwards, we headed over to Marrow, to enjoy a glass of wine and some of their super crunchy house made chicharonnes! Nom!

Saturday morning, clean-shaven once again, we went to watch as Little Q finished up her fall soccer season. During her warmup I got to sneak over to the Proctor Farmers Market to pick up some more OlyKraut Live/Probiotic Sour Pickles and then over to Bluebeard Coffee to pick up some CostaRican Coffee Beans that fit the “mold free” parameters that the BulletProof Exec says we should use, or else we will die!

Talk to you tomorrow.

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Craig <![CDATA[A Shoutout From CavemanBistro To The Tacoma Strength Fall 2012 Clean Eating Challenge Winners!]]> 2012-11-21T20:27:16Z 2012-11-21T20:27:16Z Tacoma Strength October Clean Eating Winners

I love my job! It is so very rewarding!

As part of my day job as Hero Support and Head Cheerleader at Tacoma Strength and Conditioning, I help gym members stay excited about their dietary and workout goals. I also lead gym members in Clean Eating Challenges three to four times per year. These challenges are a time to clean up SAD diets and toxic lifestyles and to explore Paleo cooking and healthy lifestyle choices.

We recently finished our Fall 2012 Clean Eating Challenge, and it was amazing!

Over 35 gym members registered for the challenge and pledged to clean up their diets. For this challenge, we followed Dallas and Melissa’s Whole30 program.


For each participant we tracked before and after photos as well as changes in weight, body fat percentage, and chest, waist and hip measurements. Also we logged gym WOD performance changes throughout the entire challenge. The tracking was exhausting but important!

Throughout the challenge we kept in constant contact with participants through the help of our already active Tacoma Strength Clean Eating FaceBook Group. This virtual eating group, separate from our regular Tacoma Strength FaceBook Page, has over 110 gym members who love to swap Paleo recipes and tips as well as post more pictures of Bacon than you ever thought possible.

In the end though, there could be only one winner, well two actually.

I wanted to give a shout out here to Bob and Shanan, the top male and female participants of the Fall 2012 Tacoma Strength Clean Eating Challenge. Nice Job and Awesome Work! Your hard work, determination and adherence to the established Whole30 parameters, not only earned you the esteem and envy of the rest of the gym, but also the top prize of a new Blendtec Blender! WooHoo! Go Blend a Paleo Smoothie now!

And a big cheer of congratulations goes out to ALL the Tacoma Strength participants. You have all worked hard, achieved some great results, and set yourself up for surviving the upcoming holiday season and its potential dietary and lifestyle pitfalls! And don’t worry! Shortly after the holidays are over, we will be back with the first Tacoma Strength Clean Eating Challenge of 2013!

Do you live in Tacoma? Are you ready to change your life through better exercise and better eating habits? Then come check out Tacoma Strength and Conditioning!

Tacoma Strength

They would love to see and help you! Then, in the New Year, you can join me and the rest of the Paleo gym members as we shake off the holidays, clean up our diets and compete to win some awesome Paleo prizes!

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Craig <![CDATA[Bacon Ninja Zombie CrossFit Socks ForSale – The Shop is Open!]]> 2012-11-20T22:46:58Z 2012-11-20T22:45:15Z It’s been a crazy, busy last few days here at the CavemanBistro.

I have a huge update coming that will talk about the last few days including awesome Paleo food pics and recipes, great CrossFit WODS, and the fact that Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites came to the Tacoma Strength gym for an all day Seminar last weekend!

So much news to share with you, but in the mean time, I just wanted to take a moment and tell you that CavemanBistro has just unleashed the new Paleo-Bacon-Ninja-Zombie Shop!

No not really.

But, well… Sort of!

I write a lot about nifty Blendtec Blenders and phenomenal cooking with the SousVide Supreme water oven system. Now it’s time for you to share in some of these great tools I use!

Going forth: If I write about it, or use it and like it, I’ll put it up for sale in the Shop!

Right now, there are a bunch of cool kitchen gadgets that I truly believe in, as well as some great Paleo and Health books you should own and read. Plus some fun CrossFit style clothing for awesome work outs.

I have teamed up with to bring you a safe, secure, and convenient shopping experience for all your Cavemanbistro needs!

Please check out the page, and let me know what you think. Don’t see an item you want? Let me know, and I’ll add it! Now, Go buy a pair of Bacon socks and Ninja socks and wear one of each while climbing the rope to get away from the zombies!

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Craig <![CDATA[PALEO LIFE Nov 15 2012 – Portabella Stuffed Turkey Breast – Vuelve A La Vida’s Birria De Chivo – Grass Fed Beef Breakfast Sausage]]> 2012-11-16T17:17:25Z 2012-11-16T17:14:58Z Thursday was a crazy, busy day of appointments and errands including a super fun annual trip to the eye doctor followed up with food shopping with severely dilated eyes. Good Times! Yes, there really is nothing quite like getting your eyeball touched by a needle and then strong puffs of air blown into it to remind you that you’re alive!

For lunch I enjoyed my remaining portion of Paleo Portabella Stuffed Turkey Breast. Totally tasty, and super easy to make! Buy a turkey breast, chop and season some mushrooms, throw a net around it (available at better kitchen stores) and bake the football at 350F till done (165F in the middle.)

Portabello Stuffed Turkey Breast

Daughter Q had her first Varsity Middle School Volleyball game today, so off we trundled to watch her on the hardwood. Very exciting stuff!

Afterwards, to console the loss, we headed to our favorite Mexican Restaurant Vuelve a La Vida. Do you live in Tacoma or are you visiting here? Do yourself a favor and head over there for extremely authentic Mexican food.

As a rule, they don’t serve chips and salsa, which means you have more room for a tasty appetizer. Try one of their large seafood cocktails. My favorite is the ceviche style one that has a little bit of everything in it including tasty oysters and octopus. Also, their tacos are just like being on the Baja Peninsula. Here is a screen shot of the taco choices:

Taco Choices

Since it’s cold out, I have been enjoying some soups from them lately. Last week I had super terrific bowl of Birria De Chivo, or in English: Goat Stew.

If you embrace your Paleo lifestyle, then a few pieces of sinewy connective tissue really hit the spot! No, seriously though: the goat soup is terrific! The meat is tender and flavorful and the dish is very filling.

Birria De Chivo Goat Stew

I crushed that meal, and here is what was left:

Birria De Chivo Aftermath

Now I haven’t made my own Paleo Goat Soup yet. But the plan is in the works! In the mean time to tide you over, check out Masa Assassin’s post HERE from a few years back about it. Looks pretty Paleo except for the tortillas!

Tonight I had their 7 Mares Soup. Terrific! A huge bowl of bouillon with a tomato back bone. Filled with seafood and 5 or so huge crab legs sticking out of it. Very fresh and very fulfilling!

Heading to bed early now, but I am excited for tomorrow’s breakfast! I will be serving up a big chunk of GrassFedDirect’s Beef Breakfast Sausage! They gave it to me as a sample to try. They don’t currently carry it, but they are thinking about adding it. It is super clean and smells super tasty! Just GrassFed Beef, salt, sage, ginger, cayenne and allspice added to it. No sugar, dextrose. rogue MSG spices, or nitrates!

The meat is from the Gleason Ranch. Heritage Meats in Rochester/Olympia processed it. And GrassFedDirect would sell it! Not too confusing eh?

GrassFed Beef Breakfast Sausage

In tomorrow’s post, I’ll let you know how it tasted and what the Cave Family thought about it. Should go great with some backyard chicken eggs!

In the mean time, if you can’t wait for it, contact GrassFedDirect to let them know that YES you think they should carry this type of product for you to buy from them! Shoot them a line, they would love to hear from you. Tell’em Craig sent ya!

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Craig <![CDATA[PALEO LIFE Nov 14, 2012 Cheating At Corina – SousVide Pork Belly Porcetta – Braised Oxtail With Chorizo]]> 2012-11-15T22:10:12Z 2012-11-15T20:34:26Z I’m preparing a special Paleo dinner this Friday night. Wednesday was spent shopping and cooking for that meal. It was also my “cheat” day. Though I don’t have them often, when stopping off at Cornina Bakery for a cup of coffee, I just couldnt say no to a generous slice of homemade Pork Sausage and Sweet Potato Strata. That downhill slide was followed up with one of their famous Majestic bars (pretty much the only regular pastry I ever eat!) The coffee is awesome too. If you haven’t had Sean jerk you an espresso, you’re missing out. They truly do practice Latte Art at Corina!

I’m excited for Friday’s dinner for 12 as it gives me a chance to prepare a few of my most requested Paleo dishes. For the starter I will be preparing a Paleo All Belly Pork Porcetta Roll slow cooked in the SousVide Supreme for about 36 hours. Once out of the Sous Vide, I’ll deep fry it in Coconut Oil. I’m serving the Porcetta on a bed of Organic Baby Spring Greens with Fermented Carrots and Housemade Cranberry Chutney Spiced with my Besar blend. Besar is an ancient Arab spice blend of pepper, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric and fennel. The Porcetta roll is seasoned with toasted fennel and black pepper and a ton of fresh organic sage and I think the medicinal lamb ear shaped leaves of sage will hold up well to the spicy backbone of the Besar Chutney.

Here is a pic of a previous Porcetta roll that I did earlier this year in the Sous Vide:

Paleo Pork Belly Porcetta

For the entree, I’m preparing Braised Beef Oxtail with Spicy Chorizo and Tomato Sauce. That will be sided with a simple Smash of Roasted Root Vegetables like Parsnip, Rutabaga and Turnip. Then, depending on time, I’ll either saute’ some local Kale in Bacon fat, or I may prepare Baked Red Cabbage with Apples, Onions and Juniper Berries.

As I was working with the Oxtail and Pork Belly, my two “assistants,” Rescue Lhasa “You Go Glen Coco” and “Cappuccino” the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, were waiting patiently to jump in and help if I needed it. Yes they got some scraps later in the day!

OxTail and Pork Belly

Dessert is up in the air right now. If I don’t use the apples in the cabbage side dish, then I may crank up some fresh applesauce in the Blendtec Blender. It’s so easy to make, you literally will have the best tasting, most healthy applesauce in under 1 minute. Otherwise, a platter of dates, almonds, flaked coconut, and dark chocolate with raspberry sauce will suffice.

To make the Oxtail requires Chorizo sausage, and there are a few different types. Spanish style is generally sold in link form and is fully cooked. Mexican style is usually raw in the meat section of your market. Adhering to a Paleo lifestyle, I like to control every ingredient that goes into my dishes, and being a Chef, I like to be able to call the dish 100% mine. So I made my own Chorizo sausage. It’s really simple and sometime down the road, you should make some too! That way you aren’t getting any MSG, sugar or dextrose (common Chorizo ingredients) that you are probably trying to avoid. I wrote about Chorizo the other day. You can click HERE to see the spice blend for making your own. After Friday’s dinner, I’ll post all the specific recipes that were used.

Here is what the Chorizo Seasoning looked like before it was added to the Ground Pork:

Chorizo Spices

Last night before heading to bed, I started the Porcetta and braised the Oxtails. I like to prepare braised dishes well in advance of when I need them. If you’ve ever had a dish like Osso Buco, Pot Roast or even Homemade Soup the next day after preparation, you already know how much better they taste after the flavors have had a chance to gel together and rest a bit after cooking. So two days rest for the finished Oxtails should yield a very tasty Friday night Entree!

The Paleo Pork Belly Porcetta needed to be completely prepped yesterday so that it could get into the SousVide by this morning. The Belly was huge so I have 4 nice portions to use. It’s a rich dish, high in fat content, so a portion size only needs to be small (Ha-Ha. Yeah, Right!) In any case, two of the pieces marinated in the fridge last night and went into the 155F SousVide first thing Thursday morning. They will be done Friday afternoon and ready for deep frying. The other two pieces are in the freezer as a treat for a future dinner party.

Raw Pork Belly Porcetta Rolls

Now I wish I could take credit for creating this awesome dish of tasty, fatty rolled meat. But I cannot. Although Porcetta has been served for years at Itlaian dinners, I believe the idea of only using the pork belly came from the awesome dudes over at The Food Lab portion of Serious Eats. They arent super Paleo over there, so the major changes I’ve made to the recipe to keep it in line with the Paleo diet lifestyle is to NOT rub it down with Baking Soda and to NOT fry it in Peanut Oil. I just can’t see that caveman would have found sodium bicarbonate to rub down their food with to make the skin extra crispy. But then again, I can’t see caveman taking the time to roll and tie a giant pork belly filled with herbs for that matter. To deep fry my pork belly roll, I will be using coconut oil, which, thanks to Costco, is now available in the super large economy size jug, bringing cost per oz way down. Go get a giant tub of Nutiva at Costco today!

Nutiva Coconut Oil

If you just cannot wait for the Porcetta recipe to be posted, I’ll entice you with this start to finish photo montage that I prepared earlier this year. NOTE: this Pork Belly Porcetta Roll was done in the oven, not the SousVide. Enjoy!

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Craig <![CDATA[PALEO LIFE Nov 13, 2012 SousVide – Montreal Spice – GrassFedDirect – New Cooking Toy – Kombucha]]> 2012-11-15T22:09:44Z 2012-11-14T07:55:16Z This morning Q had middle school jazz band practice at 715am. To get her ready to rock the Rhumba on her drumset, I quickly took the last New York Steak that I had dunked in the SousVide Supreme this past weekend, thin sliced it and fried it up in bacon fat with some super fresh backyard chicken eggs!

Sous Vide Steak

I have written before that when trying to adhere to a strict Paleo & Clean Eating life, you need to be careful when using spices, especially blends that you buy in the store. Spice companies are notorious for using additives, fillers and anti-caking agents in their blends, and often when they list the ingredients simply as “spices,” that is legal limbo for them to sneak in forms of MSG without telling you. To combat this problem, don’t be afraid to buy and mix your own spice blends. If you have the spices in the pantry, and the recipe at hand, it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes max! Besides, if everyone is telling you that your dish is the best they’ve ever had, but you’re using a store bought spice blend for it, is it REALLY your dish? A homemade spice blend is your chance to make the dish your own! So, as a test for you to test your culinary powers, I’m going to list the ingredients to the spice blend below, but only in descending order of quantity. You get to experiment and fill in your own amounts of each spice. Like more garlic? then put more in! Cant stand paprika? Then leave it out! Have some fun with it.

Ive been tweaking some 80 or so spice blends for the last 20 years, and for these steaks I decided to try an old standby blend again: Montreal Seasoning. This ancient spice blend was originally created as a pickling style rub for smoked meats. Today we use it liberally on steaks for the grill.

Paprika (Sweet or Smoked? you decide!)
Crushed Black Pepper
Granulated Garlic (garlic powder will work fine!)
Toasted Granulated Onion (Onion powder will work fine!)
Crushed Coriander
Dill Weed
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Celtic Sea Salt

Have fun with it, and let me know how it turns out!

To complete the meal, I needed 1 store bought egg this morning. Can you see the difference between the 5 orange backyard egg yolks and the 1 anemic yellow store bought one up at the top? Real food is good stuff folks!

Backyard Eggs

Breakfast is served!

SousVide Steak and Eggs

After breakfast, I loaded up the Blendtec with a big pot of French press coffee, Grass fed German butter, Nutiva Coconut Oil, and Raw Cocoa Nibs to make my version of Bulletproof Coffee. Don’t know about adding butter to your coffee? Well then, check out the Bulletproof Executive website and prepare to be schooled! Totally creamy and satisfying.

Bullet Proof Coffee

After breakfast I rushed over to see Andrew and Brian at GrassFed Direct and pick up my order of GrassFed Beef Goodness: Suet, Marrow, Kidney, Stew Meat (gonna make some Steak and kidney pie next week!) And a nifty reusable recycled shopping bag! Thanks guys!

GrassFed Direct Meat

There was only time for a smoothie for lunch, whipped up in the Blendtec. Here is a post from a long time ago about my smoothie recipe. Make the base, add some fruit and suck it down after a WOD!

Then it was time to shop for Cavemanbistro! Check it out!

Cooking Cart

I bought a rolling cook top to keep at Tacoma Strength. Now I can expand my Paleo cooking classes! Nice! Stay tuned for more details about that in the near future!

For dinner we practiced our skill of making the best Paleo decisions we can when shopping in a deli. Bought a Metropolitan Market Roasted chicken and had a side of purple cabbage salad with apples and some chilled roasted carrots with a bite of feta. Washed it all down with a home taste test between my friend Candis’ excellent homemade Kombucha and this pretty tasty store bought one from Townshend’s Brew Dr. More to come about Kombucha down the road too.


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Craig <![CDATA[PALEO LIFE Nov 12, 2012 Chorizo – Memphis Dry PorkRib Rub –]]> 2012-11-15T22:10:58Z 2012-11-13T17:01:08Z For quite awhile I have had all these grand ideas about awesome recipe and food posts that I would create for you. But, then things would happen, life would get in the way, and I would just end up putting a quick blurb on the Cavemanbistro Facebook page and never circle back to create the in-depth post for you here. Truth is, I’m doing the cooking. I’m doing the food research. I’m doing the Paleo eating! I have been cooking 3 scratch Clean & Paleo meals everyday for 2 years, and also taking photos of all the food too. But getting it onto this blog has sure NOT happened! So for moving forward, I commit to being better at getting the word out about what I’m doing with my food research, recipes, spice blends and Paleo work in the community.

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day Observed. And you know what that means! That’s right! A Hero type WOD at CrossFit… So off to Tacoma Strength I went for the 930am WOD. Turns out we were (just!) doing Cindy… 20 minutes of As Many Reps As Possible of 5 Pull Ups, 10 Push Ups and 15 Air Squats. No Biggie! HA HA HA! I hit a Personal Best for the WOD, and with my CrossFit Rep intact, I headed home to hunt up some sustenance.

Being a holiday, Little Q and Alisa were home for the day. I cooked us up a big batch of Mexican Chorizo and eggs with sauteed onions and Poblano peppers.

Ginger, Morpheus and Cheeky, our backyard chickens, have finished their Fall molt, so the egg laying factory is at full production again. I always appreciate when I can have a clean, healthy, tough shelled, dark orange yolked egg right from the back yard coop, rather than a thin shelled, anemic yellow factory egg from a grocery store. Backyard Chicken Eggs

For the Chorizo sausage I used some simple ground pork purchased over the weekend from Cheryl the Pig Lady’s stand at the Proctor Saturday Farmer’s Market. I mixed it with my own clean, homemade Chorizo Spice blend.

The secret ingredient to a great tasting Chorizo isn’t any one specific spice – though the color comes from tons of paprika in it. No, the secret ingredient giving it a familiar tang is vinegar! So add your spices, then a good whack of Organic, Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar, or even White Vinegar to help create that awesome familiar mouth feel.

For 3-4lbs of fresh ground pork, add the following:

4TBS Sweet or Smoked Paprika
2tsp Crushed Red Pepper
2tsp Celtic Sea Salt
1tsp Coriander (Crushed Well!)
1/2tsp Cumin (ground)
1/2tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Dash of Mustard Powder
Dash of Garlic Powder
Dash of Oregano

Combine all spices in a large bowl and sift well. Add 2 to 3oz vinegar to the bowl and make a slurry. Add the slurry to the pork and mix well with clean hands. Cook & Enjoy with eggs, peppers, and a splash of Tapatio’ sauce! If it’s a Paleo cheat day, find a good quality fresh tortilla made from some real Masa (just a few!)

Chorizo and Eggs

It was a long day of prep for the upcoming Balanced Bites Seminar on Saturday at Tacoma Strength, so for dinner we simply had leftover Baby Back Pork Ribs along with some Roasted Root Vegetables with Garlic and Hawaiian Black Sea Salt.

2 parsnips, 2 turnips, and 2 rutabagas chopped small, 4 cloves of fresh garlic sliced, drizzled with EVOO, and roasted 30 minutes at 400F are a satisfying Paleo side dish and awesome substitute to starchy potatoes. For color we enjoyed our old standby of kale, sauteed in bacon fat.

Late last week I seasoned some ribs with a Memphis Style Dry Rub, then let them sit in the fridge overnight to marinate before cooking them over the weekend.

For 2 whole racks of ribs:

4tsp fresh ground black pepper
1TBS Celtic Sea Salt
2tsp Celery Seed, crushed
2tsp Cayenne
2tsp Garlic Powder, Granulated
2tsp Yellow Mustard Powder
2tsp Cumin, Ground

In bowl, combine all spices and mix together well. Generously apply the rub to the meat. Store any extra rub in dark container with tight fitting lid in a cool dark pantry.

Baby Back Ribs

Sauteed Kale

For dessert, I was craving something sweet,probably because I’m still pushing Little Q’s bag of non-Paleo Halloween leftovers around the kitchen. Knowing there wasn’t anything good for me in there, I opted instead for a nice piece of dark Theo’s chocolate, slathered with a spoonful of Maranatha Almond Butter. This homemade “Paleo” Peanut Butter Cup far exceeded the commercial version! Better, more vibrant taste, and no soy lecithin!

Today, I am looking forward to heading over to see the guys at I’ve been working with them over the last few months with some recipe and spice blend combinations. They are providing beef that is exactly what they say they are: 100% GrassFed from start to finish.

A few of us have been sampling some of their product over the last few weeks. They now have 7 full cows in stock from the Gleason Ranch in Washington – the same ranch that supplies the Canlis Restaurant with their awesome steaks! Do yourself a favor, check out their website and place an order. They are set up to ship anywhere in the US. If you’re close to Tacoma, you can avoid shipping charges by picking up your order at their office. Tell them I say Hi and be sure to try the Osso Buco! Today I’ll be picking up a sirloin roast, ground beef, some Oxtail, beef kidneys, marrow bones, suet for rendering, and some ground beef – can’t wait to cook with all that awesome grass fed meat!

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