As far back as history reaches, every civilization has utilized every part of the animal, including the toughest parts. Whether over fire on a spit or in a cast iron pot, in a Crock Pot or in a Le Creuset French Oven in your Viking range, slow-cooking a tough cut of meat is as old as time.
Which decade was it when pot roast, mashed potatoes and peas became the American family staple? Here is a modern take on a childhood classic, with a paleo twist.
Slow-Cooker Buffalo Roast
2 ½ -3 pound buffalo roast (of course any big animal roast would work- elk and beef are delicious)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 ½ cups low-sodium beef broth
Sprinkle all sides of the roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Place in slow cooker. Scatter onions around the roast and pour in the beef broth. Cover and cook until the roast falls apart, 6-8 hours on low, 4-6 hours on high.
When the roast is falling apart, is tender, succulent, and delicious, use tongs to remove it from the slow-cooker to a cutting board, reserving the onions. Use two forks to shred the meat, discarding the fat (or give it to your sweet puppies like I do or make soap like the Plains Indians did). Serve topped with a cascade of juicy onions, garlic mashed cauliflower and a crisp green salad or assorted roasted vegetables.
Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 cloves of garlic left in papery skin
Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons minced fresh herb (ie thyme, rosemary, parsley, oregano)
Place cauliflower florets and garlic cloves on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and mix. Roast in oven at 425 for 20-30 minutes, until soft and browned.
When done, remove papery skin from garlic and place in a blender, food processor or food mill. Add cauliflower and 1 tablespoon butter and blend until creamy and lump-free. You may need to do this step in batches. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired. Place in a serving bowl, fold in herbs. Top with 1 tablespoon butter and serve.
Only in the last 10-15 years has North American bison returned from near extinction. Due to careful breeding and ranching practices, bison meat is all natural and sustainable (Bison Basics). According to the National Bison Association, buffalo has more protein, iron, and vitamin B-12 and less calories, fat, and cholesterol than beef. Regulations prohibit the use of artificial growth hormones and antibiotics used to stimulate growth. Because bison are a natural part of the North American ecosystem, ranching can be beneficial to the environment. And it tastes good. Local butchers and specialty markets usually carry it, and sometimes Fred Meyer and QFC will run a special. You can order it from online retailers or you can call Washington buffalo ranches directly for more information.
Whether you dress up like a Plains Indian while you eat your buffalo, or wear a velour sweat suit circa 1979 while you enjoy your pot roast, slow cook a tough piece of meat and you’re sure to nourish your body.
And don’t forget about the online Paleo Summit starting this weekend.