Bear Carnitas

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Yes, you read that correctly. My son was gifted with some bear meat, so I volunteered to cook it for him (none of us had tried it). My mind usually goes to Mexican when I think of cooking meat and I was really leaning toward carne asada or colorado but I wanted to be able to taste the meat. So, I settled on this simple already-loved recipe.

Here’s the link (for those who do not know, if I post a recipe, I only post the ingredients. You have to visit the link to read their instructions).

http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/michoacan-style-pork-carnitas/

  • 18 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (skin-on picnic shoulder is a good choice, too), cut into 2-pound chunks
  • 1/2cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2cup salt
  • About 4 gallons lard or vegetable oil
  • If using vegetable oil: 1pound piece of slab bacon, cut it into 6 or 8 pieces

First: I did not have 18 pounds of bear meat. I had maybe two. So, all quantities were adjusted accordingly (just sprinkled with salt). Second: I used lemon juice because that’s what I had. I also cooked it in beef fat (with about a cup of bacon grease) because I just rendered a bunch a few months ago. Third: I used my crock pot on high for the first step of cooking. For the final step, I got lazy and just tossed the meat under the broiler to crisp up.

I let the meat cook in the crock pot for about 5 hours, until the meat broke apart with a little force. I drained it on paper towels, transferred it to an old pie pan and threw it under the broiler for a few minutes.

I was surprised by the flavor! Hank Shaw described bear’s flavor as beefy pork or porky beef and he was right! I love it! I did not add any other seasoning to this meat and it’s perfect. So, If I could eat all of this (it’s going home with my son after he gets off work), it would be in a bowl with grated cheese, salsa, diced onion, cilantro (see? Fruit AND vegetables), and sour cream.

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Salt Cod with Tomatoes and Capers – Baccalà alla Vesuviana

I’ve never even seen salt cod (probably because I’m in central California) but I’m sure it’s out there and here’s a tasty looking dish that just happens to be low carb, too!

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Salt-Cod-with-Tomatoes-and-Capers-em-Baccala-alla-Vesuviana-em-350700

Ingredients
    2 pounds center-cut skinless boneless salt cod (baccalà), rinsed well
    2 tablespoons salt-packed capers*
    7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    1 medium onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
    4 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
    1 (28-ounce) can whole San Marzano tomatoes in juice
    1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt
    1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
    1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh mint, coarsely chopped

Basic Pork or Wild Boar Salami

http://honest-food.net/2014/08/07/basic-salami-recipe/

And one more I’m posting to both blogs. I have always preferred making things from scratch. I love learning new techniques and, if I like them, I keep doing them. If not, well, at least I know how to do it. This is one thing I have not done yet: make my own salami but would love to. I have recipes (if I recall correctly) for bear and elk sausage, also (I’m pretty sure they are here on my Sustainablehome blog). If not, I will find some to share.

Homemade Corned Beef

I can’t believe I didn’t post about this!  I made homemade corned beef last year, leaving out the sugar and the pink salt, and it was fantastic!  I thought, well, I could make this, then can it so I know exactly where it came from and what was in it.  I haven’t gotten around to canning this because it usually doesn’t last that long!

Anyway, if you are interested (I wanted to see if I could and I did), here is how I did it:

http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/beef/home_made_corned_beef.html

And here is how to can it (ever since I canned that chicken, I prefer raw canning meats):

http://canninggranny.blogspot.com/2011/05/canning-corned-beef-brisket.html

There you go!  Give it a shot (even if you only do one).  It really wasn’t as difficult as my brain said it would be!

Product Review – Lowrey’s Bacon Curls

LOOK! Low Carb Food Storage Item! These are so tasty!

My Atkins Keto Journey

My mom is a Dollar Store fanatic.  She’s always shopping at this one or that one and gets all excited when a new one shows up.  We eat very specific foods (as you can imagine) so I don’t really shop at those stores (if we ate nothing but cereal and crackers, we’d save tons of money at those stores).  Anyway, she insisted I try Dollar General (a whole mess of them have popped up all over town).  So I went and look what I found!  I had no idea these things even existed!  It’s pork rinds that you cook in the microwave, like pop corn.  For $1/bag, it couldn’t hurt to try one.

So, after sitting there for about a week, hubby decides it’s time to try them.  He puts it in the microwave (which has always been too small for all things cooked in bags like this) and they…

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Coconut Oil (and others) Supplier

My Atkins Keto Journey

I bought a 5-gallon bucket 9 years-ish ago, when I was making soap.  Of course, that’s just about the time I stopped making soap but who knew I’d be eating this stuff and it makes the best natural (though greasy) moisturizer.  I just checked the price and it’s the same ($105 per 5 gallons plus shipping).  I think I got the 76, which smells and tastes strongly of coconut.  I love it and have barely made a dent!

http://naturaloils.com

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Cabbage

Time for cabbage?

My Atkins Keto Journey

Once I grew up, I have loved cabbage (imagine a child who ate something really sour … that was the face I made when I was little at the thought of eating cabbage).  When I first began investigating low carbohydrate eating, I was disappointed that cabbage had more carbs than lettuce.  I limited my intake much more than I needed to and now, I NEED cabbage (and at 4 grams per cup of shredded, I think I can work that into my macros)!  That is for your standard green cabbage. Red cabbage has slightly more carbs (1 gram for a cup of shredded) but tastes much sweeter to me (the one form of cabbage that I miss and cannot think of eating without sugar is Rot Kraut). Maybe it’s the change in seasons.  Maybe it’s the fact that every time I turned around my son was eating MY sauerkraut! …

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