by Karen Frazier
Jim is a meat lover. Man does that guy love his meat. If you put meat on top of meat, well he loves that even more. It’s why after his heart attack, I realized that the Paleo diet was the only way to go that would make him happy. I just couldn’t see him subsisting on a nearly vegetarian diet with a tiny amount of meat.
Fortunately, the research on the Paleo diet for people heart disease is very promising. After researching it extensively and talking to his cardiologist, this is where we settled. So far so good. He’s lost 30 pounds and his blood lipids are improving. His BP is low, and he is healthier than he has been in years.
It’s been great for me, too. I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and celiac disease. Both are autoimmune conditions, and research is showing that Paleo diets work well for those. Since October 1, I have lost 55 pounds (and still going). I have more energy than I’ve had in years. My celiac disease is under control, and I just feel so much better in general. For us, it has vastly improved our health.
Anyway – meat on meat. I got a little sidetracked there with the whole health thing. And while health is super important, if you’re eating tasteless, unsatisfying food, any diet can be difficult to stick to. Since I am so invested in Jim’s good health–I want him around for years to come–I tailor the foods I make to his tastes. I want to make him do a happy dance at how delicious the foods I provide are. That means that sometimes, I put meat on meat. Which is where I came up with the idea for smoked rib eyes with bacon jam. Because seriously – yum.
The bacon jam is the perfect combination of sweet and sour with just a little bit of spice, while the smoky ribeye is the perfect canvas for it. Jim got a smoker a few years ago for Christmas and it is his pride and joy. If it came down to his smoker or me, I think he might choose the smoker. Fortunately, I’m happy that he spends time outside adding a little smokiness to meat, because it really brings the flavor to dishes like this. If you don’t have a smoker, no worries. Just cook the ribeye (or your favorite cut of beef) on the grill, or however you enjoy cooking it. My instructions below are for the smoker.
I served this dish with a sweet potato that I’d spiralized into pommes frites style shoestrings, fried in lard, and sprinkled with a bit of Himalayan pink salt. If that sounds like a super carby choice, it is not as bad as you would think. One five-inch sweet potato (peeled) in a spiralizer makes a huge batch of pommes frites, and it only has 26 grams of carbs. Between two people, it’s 13 grams of carbs each, minus about 3 grams of fiber for a net carb count of 10 grams. If you do fry up some sweet potato pommes frites, make sure your oil is 375 degrees Fahrenheit before you start to cook the potatoes, and work in batches.
I also added a side of sautéed citrus spinach. I’ll put the recipe below. I can’t actually eat a whole ribeye, or even half one, but it gives me a few meals. As for the leftover bacon jam, roll it in your omelet tomorrow morning or warm it up and put it over a fried egg.
Smoked Rib Eyes with Sweet and Sour Bacon Jam
- 2 12-ounce grass fed rib eye steaks
- Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 6 slices bacon, cut into small dice
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into small dice
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup raw organic apple cider vinegar
- Zest and juice from 1/2 orange
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sriracha or 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons Swerve sweetener or 1 packet stevia
- Preheat your smoker to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Season the steaks generously with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
- Smoke the steaks for 50 minutes.
- While the steaks smoke, in a large sauté pan, brown the bacon over medium-high heat until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp. Remove all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat from the pan and set the bacon fat aside.
- Add the onion to the remaining fat and the bacon and cook it, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about five minutes.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the vinegar, thyme, sea salt, orange zest and orange juice, sriracha or red pepper flakes, and stevia or Swerve. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid reduces and the flavors blend, about 20 minutes.
- Heat two tablespoons of the reserved bacon fat in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the smoked rib eyes and cook until well browned, two minutes per side.
- Serve the bacon jam spooned over the top of the steak.
Sauteed Citrus Spinach
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, duck fat, lard, or bacon grease
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups organic fresh baby spinach
- Juice and zest of half an orange
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
- In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
- Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until shallot is soft, about four minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the spinach, orange juice, orange zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the spinach wilts. Serve immediately.
photo credit: junehug via photopin cc