As winter nears and the days grow cold, a hearty, warming dinner begins to sound more and more inviting. Aren’t Paleo and hearty polar opposites? Substitutes for white potatoes and beans surely cannot compete with Paleo.
The key is to focus on the flavors and textures of the abundant seasonal produce and pair it with whichever wild proteins we can procure most easily. Then, we add our favorite herbs or spices, throw them into the slow cooker or Dutch Oven, and let time do its work.
By incorporating proteins, veggies and fats into one dish or pot, we save time and cleanup and end up with a meal for the whole family that is not only in keeping with True Paleo, but is also tasty and satiating, without filling you up so much you feel like you need to roll into bed.
How do wild game chili or pulled pastured pork sound? Slow cook one, and Dutch oven the other. Mix and match modalities, proteins, and veggies. Thankfully this fork in the road doesn’t have a “wrong way!”
WILD GAME CHILI
A lovely wild game chili meal, best made the day before serving to allow flavors a chance to develop.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 lb free range venison boneless loin, cubed
- 1 lb free range ground bison
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (omit seeds and pith for less heat)*
- 2 cups homemade chicken or beef broth
- 1 cup red wine*
- 1 large, ripe tomato, crushed*
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp paprika*
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro and/or scallions, chopped finely, including stems
- Lime wedges, for garnish
- 4 cups wild mixed green lettuces of your choosing
2. Add cubed loin and sear on each side until browned, then remove from pot.
3. Add ground bison and cook, stirring, until browned, and then remove from pot.
4. Add onion to pan and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
5. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook one more minute.
6. Add broth and wine and bring to boil, using wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits stuck to bottom.
8. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer one hour, stirring occasionally.
9. Add cumin and paprika and simmer one hour longer.
10. Serve hot with cilantro or scallions and lime wedges on top, with greens placed in a mound on top of each bowl.
PINEAPPLE PASTURED PALEO PORK
A fattier cut from a naturally raised animal is perfectly paleo, not to mention delicious, from time-to-time. Make this at least a day ahead to experience the full decadence.
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 lbs pastured pork shoulder
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- ½ small pineapple, cored, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 large, ripe red tomatoes, halved*
- 1 cup dry white wine*
- 1 – 2 cups homemade chicken broth
- 4 cups organic baby kale
2. Place pork in oven and brown for two minutes on each side.
3. Remove pork from oven and place on plate, covered.
4. Add onion to oven and sauté five minutes.
5. Add pineapple, tomatoes and pork.
6. Pour in wine and broth (use more if you prefer more liquid, less if more of a stew).
8. Remove from heat, let cool completely and refrigerate overnight.
9. The next day, place the oven over a medium flame and cook one more hour; pork will easily pull apart with two forks.
10. Shred all pork with two forks and serve on a bed of raw baby kale to enjoy the jus.