Mustard and Herb Leg of Lamb

20150201_144406by Karen Frazier

What I really want is Super Bowl food, but it’s not going to happen. I love stuff like nachos and chicken wings, but they just don’t like me. Too much stuff I’m allergic to. So instead, I’m making a lovely roast that should be ready at halftime. While the roast sits for the last 20 minutes, I’ll roast some carrots on high heat and toss them with a bit of balsamic and mustard. It will be tasty and super easy.

Mustard and Herb Leg of Lamb

  • 1 5-pound leg of lamb, bone in
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 5 sprigs rosemary, stems removed and discarded
  • 1 small bunch chives
  • 2 bunches fresh basil, leaves only
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Season the leg of lamb with salt and pepper.
  3. In a food processor, combine the rosemary, chives, basil, salt, pepper, garlic, mustard, and olive oil. Blend until a paste forms.
  4. Rub the paste all over the outside of the lamb.
  5. Roast in a roasting pan in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and continue roasting, 10 to 12 minutes per pound until the roast reaches 145 degrees.
  6. Remove the lamb from the oven and tent it with foil. Allow the lamb to rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

Balsamic and Mustard Roasted Baby Carrots

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, rosemary, mustard, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
  3. Toss the carrots with the mixture and put in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
  4. Roast for 30 minutes, until the carrots are cooked.

Paleo Slow Cooker Pork Chili Colorado

dried chiliesby Karen Frazier

With Tanner off to college and Kevin only here a few weekends a month, Jim has become my primary cooking “audience.” As you may have noticed in previous posts, I spend a lot of time discussing what Jim likes to eat as the impetus for the foods I cook. My Paleo pork chili Colorado is no exception. I want Jim to enjoy the foods he eats so he is more easily able to stick to the plan. His health (and mine) is very important to me.

Pre-heart attack and pre-Paleo diet Jim really liked to eat Chili Colorado at Mexican restaurants. One night about a month into the Paleo diet, he got a wistful look in his eyes and started talking about how much he missed Azteca’s chili Colorado burrito. Clearly a burrito was out of the question, but I figured I had chili Colorado within my reach.

For my first attempt, I had some grass fed bison stew meat in the freezer, so I thought I’d try that. I nailed the spice blend, so the flavors were great, but the bison was just too dry to lend itself well to the slow stewing that happens with chili. This week, I decided to try some pastured pork shoulder instead. What a difference. The fat in the pork added a richness of flavor, and the meat took on the spices nicely.

So now, when Jim gets that wistful look in his eye, I’m ready for him with a nice pot of pork chili Colorado.

Paleo Slow Cooker Pork Chili Colorado

  • 1 pastured pork shoulder roast (4-5 pounds), cut into one-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 dried New Mexico (or guajillo) chilies
  • 2 dried chipotle chilies
  • 1 teaspoon dried cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups homemade beef, chicken, or pork stock
  1. Season the pork cubes with salt and pepper and put them in the slow cooker with the onions and garlic.
  2. Roughly chop the dried chili peppers and put them in the bowl of a food processor. Run the processor for 20 one-second pulses. Then, run it continuously until the peppers are chopped into a powder with a few small pieces in it.
  3. Add the peppers to the slow cooker, and then add the cumin, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, and stock. Stir to combine.
  4. Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for eight to ten hours.

photo credit: MarxFoods.com via photopin cc

Slow Cooker Paleo Jambalaya

Jambalayaby Karen Frazier

I love spicy food. Jim is a little more reticent. He will eat it, but he prefers it not be too hot. Most jambalaya recipes have a lot of heat in them, making them spicier than Jim’s palate prefers. So I set out to make jambalaya (without rice for obvious reasons) that would fit Jim’s heat preferences.

This recipe turned out perfectly. It had a little heat from the andouille without setting fire to our mouths. If you like it spicier, add more cayenne.

Slow Cooker Paleo Jambalaya

  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 organic red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 organic yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 organic green pepper, peeled and chopped
  • 1 organic jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup homemade beef bone broth
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh organic thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh organic oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh organic basil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 pound wild caught shrimp, tails removed, peeled, and deveined
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  1. In a large slow cooker, combine the onion, peppers, jalapeño, garlic, andouille, chicken, tomatoes, broth, thyme, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Cook, covered, in a slow cooker on low for seven hours.
  2. Stir in the shrimp and lemon juice. Cover and continue cooking, turning the slow cooker up to high, until shrimp is pink, about one hour.
  3. Stir in the parsley.
  4. Serve garnished with the scallions.

Crispy Skinned Pork Belly with Orange-Jicama Slaw

pork bellyby Karen Frazier

Pork belly is often difficult to come by, but if you can find it, snap it up. For those who don’t know, it’s essentially uncured slab bacon that comes with the skin on the top. With the unctuous fattiness of the meat and the crispy skin on top, it makes a delicious main course. Check with local ranchers to find pork belly, or dig around on the Internet and you’ll be able to find some to order.

In this recipe, the spices in the rub and the acidity of the orange, as well as the crunch of the slaw all serve as a delicious counterpoint to the sweet fattiness of the pork. When I made this, it was the first time I cooked pork belly, so I borrowed the crispy skin cooking method from The Clothes Make the Girl blog. Then, I added my own flavors and spices. Trust me, it’s really delicious and rich!

For the pork belly:

  • 2-pound pork belly
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons Swerve sweetener (or 1 packet stevia) (optional – omit for Whole30)
  • Juice from half an orange

For the slaw:

  • 1 jicama, julienned
  • 1 cup julienned cabbage
  • 3 green onions, very thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or sriracha to taste)
  • Juice from half an orange
  • Zest from half an orange
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

For the pork belly:

  1. Pat the pork belly dry with paper towels. Score the pork skin in a cross-hatch pattern, cutting down to the meat but not through the meat.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the paprika, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, coriander, cumin, sea salt, and sweetener.
  3. Rub the spice mixture on both sides of the pork. Wrap the pork in plastic and refrigerate for about two hours.
  4. Thirty minutes before cooking, put the unwrapped pork belly on a foil-lined baking sheet with the skin-side facing up. Allow it to come to room temperature.
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Just before putting the pork belly in the oven, rub the skin with the orange juice.
  7. Bake the pork belly at 450 for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake for another hour, until the skin has browned and crisped.
  8. Rest the pork, tented with foil, for 20 minutes before serving. While the pork rests, prepare the slaw.

For the slaw:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the jicama, cabbage, onions, and carrots.
  2. In a blender, add the avocado, garlic, red pepper flakes, orange juice and zest, apple cider vinegar, cilantro, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Taste and season with salt, starting with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and continuing to add it until it is properly seasoned.
  3. Pour the avocado mixture over the vegetables and toss to coat.
  4. Serve the slaw alongside the pork.

photo credit: linecook via photopin cc

Asian Pork Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Dipping Sauce

pork meatballsby Karen Frazier

This recipe is not strictly paleo because I use a few non-paleo ingredients. But it’s still low-carb and pretty darn delicious. While I avoid non-paleo ingredients 80 to 90 percent of the time, I occasionally do use them. I like to serve the meatballs with leaves of tender butter lettuce. Wrap the meatball in the lettuce and dip it in the tasty sauce.

Asian Pork Meatball Lettuce Wraps with Spicy Dipping Sauce

For the meatballs:

  • 2 pounds ground pastured pork
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 bunches scallions, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped green cabbage
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos for paleo)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (omit for paleo or find cold pressed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili oil (or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes for paleo)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • Butter lettuce leaves

For the dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup gluten-free soy sauce (or coconut aminos for paleo)
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic chili sauce (or to taste) or 1/2 teaspoon chili oil (or to taste) (for paleo, try red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon Swerve sweetener, 1 packet of stevia, or 1 tablespoon honey (optional – omit if using coconut aminos)

To make the meatballs:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all of the meatball ingredients together (except for lettuce leaves). Use your hands to mix well.
  3. Roll into medium-sized meatballs and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve wrapped in lettuce leaves dipped in the sauce.

To make the dipping sauce:

Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Start by adding a little of the garlic chili sauce or chili oil, and then adding more to achieve the desired level of heat.

photo credit: matthewf01 via photopin cc

Paleo Spicy Shrimp Chowder with Coconut and Sweet Potatoes

shrimp chowderby Karen Frazier

I’ve probably mentioned this in my blog about a zillion times now, but I’m super allergic to dairy products. In fact, I re-discovered just how allergic I am on Christmas Eve when I dipped a piece of lobster in a tiny bit of butter. I’ve been paying for it for the past two days.

Still, I love chowder. I love its rich creaminess paired with seafood. I love it so much, I almost feel like I’d be willing to suffer the wrath of dairy for it. However, after Christmas Eve, I am reminded that really, no bite of food is worth all of that. And so, I had to come up with a way to make a delicious creamy seafood chowder without dairy and without a grain-based roux to thicken it.

I just made this chowder, and it’s pretty darn tasty if I do say so myself. Yesterday I prepared some homemade chicken broth, which I made from chicken feet (creepy looking!), chicken necks, onion trimmings, rosemary, and a few other ingredients. I refrigerated it overnight, and then skimmed the fat from its surface this morning. I used the defatted stock to make this delicious shrimp chowder. The recipe yields about six to eight servings, depending on how much you eat. For me, it makes eight servings. For Jim, it’s six or fewer. Anyway – based on eight servings it has around 230 calories, 8 grams of fat, 9 net grams of carbs (unless you leave out the sweet potatoes or pick around them like I do), and 28 grams of protein. To make it lower in carbs, leave out the sweet potato.

Spicy Shrimp Chowder with Coconut and Sweet Potatoes

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 piquillo pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon paleo fish sauce (I use Red Boat)
  • 1white sweet potato, cubed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (14 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
  • Sriracha or red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  1. In a large soup pot, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add the onions and all of the peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown, seven to ten minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the lime juice, chicken stock, and fish sauce, stirring to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes and carrots and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes and carrots are tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is pink, 5 to 10 minutes more (five if it’s thawed, about ten if it’s frozen).
  6. In a small bowl, combine the arrowroot powder with the water and whisk to make a slurry. Pour the slurry into the soup, stirring constantly. Simmer until the soup thickens.
  7. Stir in the coconut milk, sriracha or red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Photo used under flickr creative commons license. Some rights reserved by InSinU8.

Spicy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

PotRoastby Karen Frazier

I tend to cook fairly seasonally. In the spring, summer, and early fall, I go to the local farmers market to pick out beautiful locally grown fruits, vegetables, and herbs and then plan my meals based on whatever I bring home. In the late fall, winter, and early spring our local farmers market closes, and I am left with what I can find in grocery store’s organic section or, occasionally, what I can pick up at the year-round farmers market in Olympia.

Cooking in this way also follows my natural appetites. In the summer, my meals are lighter with fresher flavors and lots of greens. As summer fades, however, I tend to cook heartier foods with more warming, deeper flavors. I also cook lots of root vegetables, because that’s what is available.

Pot roast is the quintessential fall/winter meal. It features an affordable and fatty cut of meat and flavorful root vegetables. Because the fatty cuts you use for pot roast perform best under low, slow, and moist cooking conditions, the slow cooker is the ideal vehicle for a tasty pot roast.

I’m a big fan of browning meat and vegetables before putting them in the slow cooker. This just adds an extra depth of flavor. However, if you don’t feel like doing any browning, then just toss everything in the slow cooker raw. It will still be pretty darn tasty.

Spicy Slow Cooker Pot Roast

  • 4 tablespoons fat, divided (I used rendered bacon grease for this one for a little bit of additional smoky flavor)
  • 1 organic onion, sliced
  • 4 organic garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 three to four pound grass fed chuck roast
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup red wine (or beef stock)
  • 1/2 cup homemade beef bone broth
  • 1 teaspoon organic garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon organic ground mustard seed
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated organic horseradish root (or more to taste), divided
  • 2 cups organic whole baby carrots
  • 2 bulbs organic celeriac, peeled and cut into cubes
  1. In a large saute pan, heat two tablespoons of the fat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to brown, seven to eight minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until it is fragrant, about 30 seconds more.
  3. Put the onions and garlic in the slow cooker and return the sauté pan to the heat. Add the remaining two tablespoons of fat.
  4. Season the chuck roast liberally with salt and pepper. Put it in the hot fat and cook it, searing it on all sides, four to five minutes per side. Put the chuck roast in the slow cooker with the onions.
  5. Return the sauté pan to the heat. Add the wine and stir, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan with the side of a spoon. Add the beef stock and whisk in the garlic powder, onion powder, ground mustard seed, and freshly grated horseradish. Simmer for about three minutes to allow the flavors to blend.
  6. Put the baby carrots and celeriac in the slow cooker with the roast and onions. Pour the wine mixture over the top.
  7. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low until the meat is tender, eight to ten hours on low or four to five hours on high.
  8. Grate in the remaining one tablespoon of horseradish root just before serving.
  9. Optional: If you wish to turn the sauce into gravy, then ladle out the liquid from the slow cooker. Put it in a saucepan and whisk in 1/4 cup of arrowroot powder mixed with 1/4 beef stock. This will add about 28 grams of carbs to the entire recipe, so if you are eating low-carb paleo, you may wish to skip this step. For low-carb paleo, simmer the liquid in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it reduces and thickens, about ten minutes.

photo credit: jypsygen via photopin cc

Shrimp and Mushrooms with Garlic Mojo

shrimpby Karen Frazier

I know – more mushrooms. Like I said in an earlier post, fall is the perfect time to find delicious seasonal mushrooms, so I take advantage of the bounty. Plus, I love mushrooms. If you don’t care for them, go ahead and leave them out of this delicious paleo recipe.

I use a modified version of Rick Bayless’s garlic mojo. Make the mojo ahead of time, and keep it tightly sealed in the refrigerator for several weeks. Then, use the garlic mojo in the recipe.

Garlic Mojo

  • 1 1/2 cups peeled garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil (or some type of melted animal fat, if you prefer)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Juice of three limes
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a square glass pan (8×8″), spread the garlic along the bottom of the pan. Pour the olive oil or fat over the top. Add the salt and stir to combine, making sure all of the cloves are completely covered with oil. If they aren’t, add a little more oil or remove a few garlic cloves.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the garlic begins to turn golden, 45 to 50 minutes.
  4. Remove the garlic from the oven and stir in the lime juice and chipotle.
  5. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the garlic mojo from the oven and mash the garlic cloves with a potato masher or a fork.
  7. Allow the garlic mojo to cool completely and then put it in a container that seals tightly. Refrigerate for up to 90 days. Be sure the garlic remains submerged in oil when you store it.

Shrimp and Mushrooms with Garlic Mojo

  • 1/4 cup garlic mojo, divided
  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced (use any kind you wish)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/8 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 recipe guacamole
  • 1 recipe pico di gallo (recipe follows)
  • Several large lettuce leaves
  1. Stir the garlic mojo before measuring it.
  2. In a large saute pan, heat two tablespoons of the garlic mojo over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until it turns pink, about six minutes.
  3. Remove the shrimp with a slotted spoon and set it aside on a platter.
  4. Add the remaining two tablespoons of garlic mojo to the sauté pan. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and begin to brown, six to eight minutes.
  5. Return the shrimp and any juices that have collected on the platter to the sauté pan.
  6. Add the lime juice, chipotle chili and sea salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp heats through, about four minutes.
  7. Serve the garlic mojo using the lettuce leaves as tortillas. Top with guacamole and pico de gallo.

Pico de Gallo

  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.

photo credit: Rene Venturoso via photopin cc

Slow Cooker Lamb Osso Buco

osso bucoby Karen Frazier

Several years ago, I came into possession of some cross-cut veal shanks, so I made Jim osso buco. He was immediately enamored, and it is one of his top requested meals. Of course, veal isn’t necessarily so easy to get where I live, but lamb is. Recently I picked up some pastured cross-cut lamb shanks, and I decided to adapt my osso buco recipe for the slow cooker, and for lamb. With an orange gremolata stirred in at the end, it’s really delicious.

Lamb Osso Buco

  • 4 pastured (grass fed) cross-cut lamb shanks
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 large organic carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 1 stalk of organic celery, sliced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) organic diced tomatoes, drained
  • Juice of 1/2 an orange
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley, washed, dried, and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Zest of one orange, finely grated
  1. In the crock of a slow cooker, combine lamb, onion, carrots, garlic, celery, tomatoes, orange juice, thyme, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours, or on high for 4 to 5 hours.
  2. After the osso buco is cooked, remove the lid and turn the slow cooker up to high. Allow to simmer, uncovered, for an additional 30 to 60 minutes to thicken the sauce.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the parsley, cloves, and orange zest with a pinch of sea salt. Stir into the osso buck just before serving.

photo credit: Micaiena via photopin cc

Caramelized Onions – In the Slow Cooker

caramelized onionsby Karen Frazier

Caramelized onions add a sweet umami flavor to any dish. Just a few of these delicious onions make the dishes to which you add them display deeper complexity and richness. Plus, they are just plain delicious, and they’re a great way to add flavor to ancestral recipes.

I use them to top burger patties and steaks. I puree them with faux mashed potatoes made from cauliflower or celeriac. I stir them into soups and stews. I puree them with other cooked veggies and stir them back into braising liquid to make a flavorful thick sauce or gravy. I fold them into omelets, cook them with chicken, mix them with pureed avocado for a creamy dip, and find dozens of other delicious uses for them.

So it stands to reason with that, with so many uses for caramelized onions, it makes cooking easier if I make them in bulk and freeze them. When I make a single serving of caramelized onions on the stovetop, it takes about 45 minutes, which isn’t realistic for busy weeknights. However, if I make them in bulk in the slow cooker and freeze them, they are really easy to incorporate in all kinds of delicious dishes.

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions

  • 5 to 7 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced (or however many fit in your slow cooker)
  • 3 tablespoons melted duck fat, lard, or your preferred fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  1. Toss all ingredients together in a slow cooker to coat the onions.
  2. Cover the slow cooker and turn it on to low. Cook for about nine to ten hours, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and golden brown. Remove the lid and continue cooking the onions on low, stirring occasionally, for an additional one to two hours to allow excess liquid to evaporate.
  3. These will keep in the freezer for up to six months.

A note about the onions: The Environmental Working Group lists onions as one of its Clean 15, items that test only negligible amounts of pesticide residue. If I pick up onions at the farmers market, I buy them organic. Otherwise, I typically by conventionally grown onions at the grocery store.

One of my favorite cooking publications, Cooks Illustrated, recommends Spanish onions as the perfect caramelizing onion. I agree – if you can find them, try these. Otherwise, yellow onions are perfect. Sweet onions will make a very sweet caramelized onion, which may be a bit too much sweetness for some people. I prefer my caramelized onions on the more savory side with just a hint of sweetness, which is why I tend to use yellow onions or Spanish onions.

My favorite onions are cipollini, so I was excited to give those a try to caramelize. To my surprise they were almost aggressively savory – so just a few onions went a very long way.

photo credit: I Believe I Can Fry via photopin cc