Paleo Beef Stroganoff

Paleo Beef Stroganoff 2013

Do you have a pressure cooker? If you do, this recipe is done in less than an hour. If you don’t, it’s okay – you can still make this recipe. Just follow the instructions until it talks about the pressure cooker timing and either cook it on the stove top or in the oven for 2-3 hours until your meat is tender. Whichever cooking method you choose, the flavors in this recipe are rich and hearty, just perfect for a cold winter day.

Beef Stroganoff has been around for 150 years or so. It has stood the test of time for sure, sometimes disappearing for a while but always coming back into vogue. For most of its history, however, noodles were the base. Not so in the paleo world – here it’s all about zoodles! I quickly steamed my zucchini noodles for this recipe because they don’t need any flavor other than their own. All the deep, complex deliciousness comes from the beef and mushrooms.

If you’re short on time, break out the pressure cooker. If it’s a lazy weekend, you can let this simmer and fill the house with its wonderful aroma while celebrating the simple pleasures of the season!

Paleo Beef Stroganoff

1 lb. stew beef, cut into 1 in. chunks

3 tsp. coconut oil, divided

1/2 tsp. + 1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1 medium onion

8 oz. baby portabello mushrooms, thickly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. onion powder

2/3 c. beef broth

1/2 c. full fat coconut milk

1 Tbsp. parsley, chopped

Directions

1) Coat the beef with 1/2 tsp. salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Use your hands to rub it all over the meat and set aside for a few minutes. Melt 2 tsp. coconut oil in a pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to get nice and hot and then brown the beef on all sides. This is best done in batches to avoid steaming the meat. It takes about 4 minutes per batch, adding additional oil as necessary. Remove each batch of browned beef to a bowl to catch any juices.

2) Add onion, mushrooms, and 1/4 tsp. salt to the pot, stirring to scrape up any browned bits. Cook until slightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

3) Return the meat to the pot with the mushrooms and onion, add the garlic, paprika, thyme, and onion powder and stir to coat everything. Add the beef broth to the pot, close and seal the pressure cooker lid, and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to the point where the pressure cooker top is gently, but steadily, rocking (for me this is just below medium on my stove). Keep at this steady pressure for 15 minutes and then remove the pot from the heat. Allow the pressure to dissipate on its own, which should take about 10 minutes.

4) Remove the lid, add the coconut milk, and simmer over medium-high until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly. Serve over zucchini noodles (below) with a sprinkle of parsley.

Steamed Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles, zoodles3 medium zucchini

salt

Directions

1) Cut the tops and bottoms off your zucchini. If you have a spiral slicer, use the flat blade to create these beautiful thick ribbons. If you have a julienne peeler or are using a knife, slice your zucchini into long strands.

2) Place the zucchini in a strainer over the sink and sprinkle liberally with salt. Let rest for about 20 minutes to allow some of the moisture to be pulled out of the zucchini.

3) When you are ready to eat, rinse the zucchini well and steam for about 2 minutes. I used my steamer bowl in the microwave, but you can use whatever you have. We just want the zucchini lightly steamed, not mushy.

4) Place in a bowl or on a plate and top with the Beef Stroganoff. Enjoy!

Serves 2-3

Spicy Pepper Meat Sauce

I always find it handy to have a meat sauce in the freezer to throw on top of zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash at any time. Sometimes I’ll just eat it like chili or put it on sautéed kale or a sweet potato. Whatever you choose to do with it, you can’t go wrong making a big batch and saving some for later.

A few years ago I stumbled across a light pasta recipe in Eating Well Magazine that wowed me with its use of pepperoncini. For my paleo-eating ways, though, I like to have a meaty sauce that fills me up because it’s almost always the main event. While I’m smitten with my zoodles or spaghetti squash as a base, they’re pretty light so I’m looking to the sauce for the oomph.

I assure you, this recipe does not disappoint! The sauce gets its heat and a vinegar-tang from a whole jar of hot banana peppers. You could easily swap in pepperoncini here as well. Don’t worry about the heat too much because the meat will absorb a lot of it.

IMG_0152

Hot Pepper Meat Sauce

4 slices of bacon

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, sliced

2 lbs. ground beef

16 oz. jar of hot banana peppers, sliced, stems and seeds removed

28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes

15 oz. jar of tomato sauce

1/2 c. water

Directions

1. Chop the bacon and brown over medium heat until crispy. Set aside, reserving 2 T. of the bacon grease in the bottom of the pot.

2. Add chopped onion and garlic, sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.

3. Add  ground beef and cook, breaking it into chunks, until browned, about 8 minutes.

4. Add all of the sliced hot peppers, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1/2 c. water, and the reserved bacon.

5. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 45 minutes. Even longer is great!

Serves 6-8