Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hashing It Out

I've been eating hash for breakfast lately (of the meat/veg kind). There's no reason not to, but I've been doing so mainly because I've cut eggs out of my diet recently, as part of my endeavor to get down to the bottom of what's going on with my health issues. I highly doubt I'm actually allergic to eggs--they have been a staple of my diet forever--but they are a common allergen, and aside from that they can be problematic for lots of folks due to something called lysozyme, which can cross the human gut barrier and mess with our cells. For a better explanation of how it works, look here, or here.

So, I'm off the eggs for now. I'm also cutting out dairy, nuts, seeds, and grains, for the most part, and I'm not eating any nightshades, which includes potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. This leaves the question of what to eat for breakfast... Until recentlyI would often (5+ days a week) eat frittatas which contained some or all of the foods I am now excluding. With all those things off the list, meat, veg, and fruit is about all I have to work with, so... hash.

My version from last Sunday used ground turkey, leftover ground mild italian sausage, sweet potato, and arugula. Pretty tasty, but yesterday's variation, using lamb, rutabagas and kale, was by far superior... Savory, satisfying, energizing, nourishing, and super tasty to boot!

Disclaimer: Part of the reason this dish turned out so well was that I used a cast iron skillet that had a little bit of seasoned pork fat left in it, which added a depth of yummy brown flavor. (Tip of the day: When cooking meat, strain and save any good fat skimmings, and leftover juices, and put them in the fridge or freezer in small containers (or make ice cubes). Pork roasts and chops are great for this, but beef roasts are good, too. Use the seasoned fat to add some pizzazz to fried potatoes, meat or fish, and use the juices to add depth to soups, stews, stocks, casseroles, roasts, etc. Don't waste the goodness!) 

Ground Lamb and Rutabaga Hash with Kale
1 tsp fat of your choice - lard, bacon fat, beef tallow, butter, olive oil, canola if you must
1 c diced yellow onion
1 lb rutabaga, diced into 1/2 cubes
1 lb ground lamb
2 c chopped kale (I used dino, but any other kale or leafy green of choice would work)
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley (optional, but good)
garlic powder (I was out of fresh garlic, but powder was fine here if not better)
Tony's Creole seasoning (if you don't have this, you can substitute some chili powder, paprika, cayenne, plus more garlic, salt and pepper, but I would recommend picking up a can. It's cheap and very handy.)
curry powder
freshly ground black pepper
dried thyme

In a 12" cast iron skillet, heat your fat. Add the onions, saute until just translucent and then add the rutabaga. Sprinkle with garlic powder, Tony's, curry powder, salt and pepper--just eyeball it, you've done this before!--and stir to combine. Cook the rutabagies over medium-high heat to brown them a little on the edges, turning occasionally. Once they've started to soften slightly, make a space in the middle of the pan, add the lamb, and season with garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Let the meat brown on the bottom, then use your spatula to break it into smaller pieces as it cooks, while mixing it into the rutabaga. Cook until the meat has mostly browned, then add the kale and parsley and stir to combine. Let cook over medium heat for a few more minutes, until the meat is cooked through and the kale is tender. 

I'm not telling you that you shouldn't put an over-easy egg on top of this, but I do know you won't be missing it if you don't. Serve with a side of tangerine slices, and fresh black (decaf) coffee sweetened with homemade maple syrup. 

What's wrong with that? Absolutely nothing.

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