Here follows another amazing recipe of a stew made in the Wonderbag! This time our favorite meat, the oxtail, had to stand back for some beef cheeks. Not bad competition!
That is something we haven’t cooked for several years since we have had trouble to find it. But now we were able to get some really nice cheeks from grass-fed cows, which were even better than we remembered them to be. So tender and loaded with fat.
Beef cheek stew w. celery
Apple cider vinegar
Bone broth + water
Brown the beef cheeks on both sides in a hot saucepan with some cooking fat. Put the cheeks aside.
Chop all the vegetables in small pieces and add to the pot.
Place the cheeks back and add bone broth + water until all is covered.
Add the seasoning and a splash of apple cider vinegar for some acidity.
Let it boil for about 30 minutes on the stove and than place it in the Wonderbag. Seal tightly and leave for a couple of hours. (Or leave at the stove until the meat is really tender.)
When ready, slice the meat and serve with the yummy broth.
The taste of the celery was a really nice complement to the meat and the bay leaves gives such a nice depth of all the flavors.
We had the stew with some steamed carrots and savoy kale and topped with soured cucumber and some greens. Turned out as a great dinner, with a glass of red wine to as well.
Minute steak along with other “fine” cuts are, as I am sure you all have seen by now, quite rare in our kitchen. However, when we can find it on short expiration date for half price we just might buy it. This time it was a package of minute steak that we picked up.
The nice thing about minute steak, as the name suggests, is that it is quick to cook. Given our inexperience with cooking something for less than 25 minutes this dinner took its share of time to cook despite the minute steaks…
To go with the minute steak we made oven roasted beets of mixed colours, namely red and polka. After cubing them we placed them in a large ramekin, seasoned and topped with neutral coconut oil. The beets were then placed in the oven for roasting at 210 °C for 40 minutes.
We were also lucky to have some leftover capers from one of our boeuf tartares which we combined with the oven roasted beets together with some crumbles of feta cheese. To top it all off we added a small amount of sauerkraut.
Excluding the planning time to get the beets roasted and done the whole dish did not actually need that much preparation. Once the beets are in the oven one can pretty much do whatever one wants to for about 30 minutes before it is time to get back to the kitchen and finish the minute steaks, laying the table and planning the plating. So, in that regard it is quite nice to cook minute steak for a change. It was tasty for sure, but it is a long way from being comparable with slow cooked meats with marbled strains of fat. Like ox-tail or loin of pork. Anyhow, hope you enjoyed the inspiration for the side and happy paleo cooking.
This Saturday we had a short, but interesting, trip planned over the lunch hours, so we had brunch again.
Cecilia picked up some sheep’s yoghurt at the supermarket this week and we have really enjoyed them. Not the least in the ice cream we made earlier this week. For the brunch we sliced some melon and put that together with blueberries and desiccated coconut on top of the sheep yoghurt.
We of course also made ourselves a cup of coffee in the french press, as is our usual weekend morning routine. While waiting for the coffee water to come to a boil we fried an egg each and enjoyed that together with some seed crackers and butter.
It has actually worked quite well for us to have breakfast/brunch for the past few days. Before, we have felt a loss of energy when breaking the fast that early, but for some reason that has not been the case these brunch days.
One other thing that we realised was how much we have missed yoghurt. Before starting with paleo, Magnus had yoghurt every single morning. None of us has thought about that we have missed it before, but it was really nice to have it again for the first time in a long while. That said, we won’t go back to eating yoghurt every single day again. Not only for the boringness of repetition, but we are also not very keen on going back to having breakfast every single day.
Before our walk to Gunnebo on Saturday we started the day with a brunch of coffee (of course) and some coconut pancakes.
Ingredients for coconut pancakes
The pancakes are really easy to make. You only need (three-four pancakes)
1 Tbsp coconut flour
1 Tbsp desiccated coconut
Berries to taste (optional)
Coconut oil for frying
Place a frying pan with some coconut oil on the stove on medium temperature. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and when the pan is hot pour the mixture into the pan to create 7 cm wide pancakes. Let them fry for about two minutes on one side, then flip them over and leave for another minute.
We used frozen raspberries and blueberries to create some extra tasty pancakes. Since the berries were frozen we had to fry the pancakes for an additional minute maybe, but when doing that make sure to keep the pan on reasonably low temperatures, as to not burn the pancakes.
To the pancakes we had some more blueberries, desiccated coconut, almond butter and carob powder. It turned out to be a really great combination.
The pancakes might get quite dry, depending on the size of the eggs and the coconut flour, so one option is to make a mix of berries rather and heat them in a sauce pan and serve together to compensate for the possible dryness. In our case it was sufficient with the blueberries and the almond butter, but previous times making the pancakes we could definitely have benefited from some more berries.
Today we went for a nice long walk to the castle at Gunnebo. Once we got there we had a really nice fika, that is the Swedish word for having a piece of cake and cup of coffee. The café at Gunnebo makes superb food. All organic and many of the herbs and vegetables are even from their own garden.
Last time we were there we ate a terrific lunch. This time however we ate before leaving home and also found that they had flour and milk free cakes, so we just had to try those. One chocolate muffin and a fruit and seed bar.
Of course we bought ourselves a cup of coffee each as well. The coffee is also organic and roasted at a roastery really close to Gunnebo, so in a sense it is locally produced…
With cake and coffee in hand we went outside to their yard and enjoyed the fresh air. It actually started to drizzle while we sat there, but fortunately they had large umbrellas that we could retreat to.
After finishing the fika we took a stroll in the kitchen garden right beside the café. They have a beautiful variety of flowers, herbs and plants. We even found the flowers they decorated our cakes with.
They had also placed some plants and herbs in the yard where we ate.
Ending our stroll in the kitchen garden we started back for home.
Once home we had walked a total of 16 kilometers during three hours. The walk in the woods around Gunnebo is really nice, unfortunately it is quite a noisy walk to get out of town, which is also the majority of the distance, as you can see… It sure raises some thoughts about where we live.
As promised in a previous post here comes some details on our coffee brewing. After much training with brewing at least one batch of french press a day for a long time we have reached a good routine that makes brilliant coffee every time.
Why we love the press coffee
One of the best things with the press coffee is that you extract a lot of the taste from the beans as well as healthy oils. Since the grounds are immersed in water for a few minutes it allows a lot of the flavours as well as the oils of the beans to be released. The resulting taste is much more full-bodied, in our opinion, compared to a cup of espresso. The moca brewer that we use in the mornings make a superb cup as well, but it creates a heavier and stronger taste, whereas the press pot bring out even subtle flavours from the beans.
That said, we have still to invest in a set for making drip coffee, so we don’t make any claims on comparing those two methods of brewing.
How to make the perfect cup of press coffee
The first step is getting the ratio water vs. grounds right. We use 7 grams of coffee for every 100 g of water. After weighting the beans we pour them into our ceramic mill from Hario and grind them coarsely.
Here we have a slightly different approach from what you might find in other places. We don’t pre-heat our press pot, primarily because we like our coffee to cool a bit quicker, so that we can drink it quicker, but also because we don’t have a thermometer measuring the hot water going in to the brew and thus we believe that the cold pot helps bringing the water to a better brewing temperature. Supposedly the water should be a few degrees below 100 °C (~95 °C) for the best extraction to take place, so we lift off the water from the stove for about 10 seconds before pouring it over the beans.
The next step is one of the real deal breakers for our part. Only pour enough water to just about cover the ground coffee. Then use a spoon to swirl around the coffee and water, ensuring that all the coffee is in contact with water. Only then continue pouring the rest of the water at a slow pace. We prefer pouring the water to break the lid of coffee that is created as the beans rise to the top of the pot. It is quite convenient to use a scale here to ensure that the right ratio of coffee-to-water is reached.
When the water has been added let it brew for three to four minutes. Then break the top layer of coffee with a spoon. Take the opportunity to smell the coffee as you break that layer and release flavours of the brew. Gently and evenly push the net through to the bottom of the pot. Serve the coffee and enjoy!
There is obviously a lot more to the perfect cup than the brewing in and of itself. The beans and the roast only to mention a few, we will hopefully get back to that again later. We use high quality organic beans and for the press we prefer medium to light roasted ones, whereas for the moca we use espresso roasts.
How do you brew your coffee? Any perspectives or thoughts, please share!
Nuts are a really good source for energy as well as nutrients of many kinds. In a previous post we described how we use to soak the nuts in order to activate them and get as much of the nutrients out as possible. That might be the healthiest way of eating nuts, but the tastiest is definitely salt roasting them. The trick with salt roasted nuts is to boil them in salt water before roasting them in the oven!
Salt roasted nuts – what you need
250 g nuts
1 Tbsp salt
2,5 dl water
The amount of salt you want to use also depends slightly on the type of nuts you use, so it might be worthwhile experimenting a bit. Softer nuts that absorb water quicker, like walnuts will get saltier than hazelnuts for example. We roasted 800 grams of a mixture of brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts (one fourth each) and used three Tbsp of salt and 9 dl of water. You need water enough to cover the nuts when boiling them. If you add more water make sure to scale the amount of salt, since the amount of water will affect the saltiness of the nuts more than the amount of nuts.
How to roast the nuts
Start the oven at 180 °C.
Pour the salt into the water and bring the salt water to a boil.
Add the nuts and let it boil for about five minutes.
Drain the boiled nuts and place on a baking tray and place into the oven for 11-12 minutes.
Allow the nuts to cool slightly, but remember to taste one or two of them while they are hot as well.
After having roasted the nuts we prepared a brew of french press coffee to enjoy with them.
It was definitely a great combination. Maybe we will add a piece of dark chocolate next time though.
The salt roasted nuts is just a perfect snack before dinner or in the afternoon together with a cup of coffee. And rather than paying a fortune for already roasted nuts at the supermarket, not to mention the difficulty of finding organic ones without additives or bad fats, it is both simple and really tasty to roast the nuts at home.