After a long night, I woke up to start my daily duties at six am, feeling tired and listless. As usual, my solution was based on food. It occurred to me that the original purpose of breakfast was to provide the nutrition needed to start the day.
But what would give me the energy I needed? I focused on it, and four different foods came into my mind. All these foods are forbidden by conventional food beliefs, as they are all high in animal fat. Yet this was exactly what I wanted, and I trust my body more than profit-based nutrition standards.
The Forbidden Foods
Red meat, maybe the most demonized of all foods. Yet grassfed beef has always given me strength, and our ancestors used meat for this purpose. I had some rare leftover roast beef.
Whole Pastured Eggs
We are not supposed to eat egg yolks, but I always do. The yolks contain many nutrients, some of which are hard to get elsewhere, in a very delicious and digestible form. I got hungry just thinking of how good they would go with the meat.
Another forbidden food, real pastured butter is a nutritional powerhouse. The real sacred food of Europe, and I love it. I decided to heat the beef and eggs in butter, and put additional butter on the meat when served.
We are told to eat low-fat cheese, but our ancestors never did, and neither do I. Cheese is fermented, which adds additional nutrients, and the Gouda cheese I decided to eat is very rich in Vitamin K.
In no more than five minutes, I quickly fried the meat and eggs in butter, cooking the eggs just until the yolks set. I added more butter at the table, sliced some Gouda cheese, and happily ate this delicious, satisfying meal. I had so much energy that I got right to work, and was very productive. And I wrote this blog.
This forbidden breakfast was just what I needed.
This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.
If you read enough of the conclusions of studies reported in the news, you might decide that every single food you can eat is unhealthy in some way. It does not matter if the food is meat, poultry, seafood, fish, nuts, vegetables, or fruits, somewhere there is a study claiming it is unhealthy.
Obviously, if all the foods humanity has eaten, or can eat are unhealthy, we would not have survived as a species.
But how do we know what is good to eat? I found my answer through the research of Dr. Weston A. Price, who found that traditional peoples who ate their traditional diets were free from modern diseases, birth defects, and mental illness, even though many of the foods they ate were condemned by modern beliefs about food.
I base my diet on traditional food combinations, and the results have been fantastic.
It is better to look at all the foods eaten together, rather than just one food in isolation.
As a lawyer who specialized in legal research and analysis, I know a thing or two about researching an issue. What has always bothered me about most current food research is that they almost always seem to focus on a single food ingredient, or class of ingredients, and ignore the rest. An example would be studies that claim that red meat is unhealthy, yet ignore the other foods eaten, and many other factors.
But we do not eat foods in isolation. Usually, we eat many different kinds of food in a single day, and the substances in these foods interact with each other and our bodies. People do not normally eat just one food, or one class of food. To really know how food affects our health, I believe it is necessary to consider everything that is eaten, as it is the combination that effects our bodies.
Some studies have shown that the substances in one food will counteract the negative effects of the substances in another food, if the foods are eaten together. For example, studies have shown that the harmful glycemic effects of potatoes are greatly reduced or avoided if fat is eaten at the same time.
There is little current research on this, but Dr. Price looked at everything eaten by the peoples he studied, and the effect it had.
So I use as my guide the food traditions of many healthy peoples, making sure to use many of the same ingredients together that they did. For example:
- Nearly all cultures that ate potatoes never ate them without plenty of animal fat.
- The Chinese combined ginger, green onions, and garlic together in a huge number of dishes.
- Our ancestors never ate red meat without fat, usually animal fat, and usually plenty of it.
There are countless other examples, preserved in the traditional cooking and food traditions of nearly every nation, and I believe I have received great benefit by combining food according to these traditions.
Disclaimer: Information found on the Tender Grassfed Meat site, including this article, is meant for educational and informational purposes only. Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or anything else have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. None of the content on the Tender Grassfed Meat site should be relied upon for any purpose, and nothing here is a substitute for a medical diagnosis or medical treatment.
Our culture looks at the nutritional value of each type of food separately. For example, we are told the amount of calories, and the nutrients contained in a potato. Or we are told to eat a certain group of foods daily, with little attention paid to what they are actually eaten with, or how they are prepared, as long as certain “bad” foods are avoided.
Yet our ancestors paid enormous attention to combining different foods, herbs, and spices, and to how they were prepared. Thousands of combinations and preparation methods were developed, and food was always eaten and prepared in harmony with these traditions.
Why did they go to so much trouble and effort, and follow these very distinct rules and traditions?
When they wrote about it, or passed down the tradition verbally, our ancestors were clear that these traditions were developed to enhance nutrition and health, with taste being a secondary though important consideration.
In my opinion, this is precious knowledge, often reflecting thousands of years of human experience and testing, and well worth preserving, and using.
How Food Combinations Work
When you eat several kinds of foods at one meal, your body does not process each food item separately, but processes the combination of what is eaten. We know that combining different substances often changes their effect, and can create a combined effect.
For example, let us look at the potato. Potatoes are classed as carbohydrates, and believed to cause hyperglycemic effects. But few people eat potatoes in isolation. In traditional Europe, potatoes were usually eaten with a large amount of animal fat. Some studies have indicated that eating potatoes with fat can counter the glycemic effect. No doubt eating potatoes with other foods also changes the effects of the potatoes, in ways that have not been scientifically studied.
Different cultures would eat many different things with potatoes as well as fat. For example, it became a widespread tradition in Europe and the U.S. to often combine meat and potatoes. In fact, the combination became so widespread and common that the phrase “meat and potatoes” meant the foods that were essential for a complete meal.
Later research has established that meat is essentially an acidic food, and that potatoes are essentially an alkaline food. We know that it is important for our health to maintain the right acid/alkaline balance in our bodies. I suspect the tradition of eating meat and potatoes (or meat with alkaline foods), stems from old knowledge of how to combine foods. Knowledge learned without the benefits of chemistry or studies, learned instead through long experience.
One of the oldest and most common Chinese food combinations is to use, ginger, garlic, and green onions together, in a multitude of dishes. We know that each of these foods has beneficial effects individually, but no one appears to have studied them in combination. Yet the Chinese tradition of combining them reflects a belief that they are far more effective in combination than alone, which may very well be true.
How to Learn and Use Traditional Food Combinations
Fortunately, many of these combinations have been preserved as recipes and traditions. We can get the benefits just by using these recipes, with real food ingredients. We do not even need to know what they do, to get the benefits.
There are so many of them that I will not even attempt to list them, but I do use them in cooking. Not only does this usually result in a delicious meal, but I believe the nutritional and beneficial effects of the food is enhanced by using these traditional combinations. I am working on a new cookbook that is based on using some of these traditional combinations in easy recipes, using only real food ingredients. Testing the recipes for this book has been absolutely delicious!
As I continue to write and research my upcoming book on traditional cooking, I kept running into the same fact. The use of homemade broth was universal across traditional Europe. This kind of broth, made from the bones, sinews, and meat scraps of pastured animals, and simmered slowly for a long time, at least twelve hours, is a nutritional powerhouse of minerals and other nutrients.
Yet I found something else. While this broth was often heated and sipped by itself, it was common to add other ingredients to make it into a soup. The variety of these soups was almost endless, yet certain ingredients were used over and over. These ingredients were used from Spain to Russia, and everywhere in between. These ingredients were always shredded or cut very small, in the traditional soups.
Since I believe that our ancestors combined ingredients for nutritional reasons, I decided to make a soup out of homemade broth and these widely used ingredients. I did so last night, to fend off the cold of an approaching winter, and to strengthen a body that was fighting something off. I was lucky, and feel that I found something so beneficial that it goes beyond broth in its benefits. The type of soup that European peasants made for themselves, to extract every bit of nutrition from the food they were able to get.
I have many traditional cookbooks. I have collected these books for over thirty years, and I have so many I am embarrassed to give the actual number. I began searching these books for soup recipes using these ingredients. I came across so many recipes that I could not decide, and they were all blending together in my head and thought. So I decided to go with the flow, and follow the thought I was having. A recipe began to form in my mind.
Cabbage. Finely shredded cabbage was used in these kind of soups almost everywhere in Europe. I had learned that cabbage, both as sauerkraut and fresh cabbage, was heavily used in winter, and in much of the rest of the year. Fresh cabbage will keep a long time in a traditional root cellar, in cool or cold weather.
Carrots. Finely chopped carrots were another common ingredient. Carrots were also a universal ingredient of these types of soups.
Onion. The onion, valued since the days of ancient Egypt, was another universal ingredient. Except that the finely chopped onions were usually sautéed in some kind of animal fat as the first step in making the soup.
Fat. These soups almost always had some kind of fat that was used to sauté the onion, either bacon, or chicken fat, or butter, or salt pork, or ham fat, or olive oil, or others, depending on what was available.
Potato. The use of the potato in these soups was also almost universal. Potatoes were not introduced to Europe until the seventeenth century, at which point they replaced the previously ubiquitous turnip.
Salt and Pepper. Used by almost everyone to season the soup. Everyone had salt, and pepper was also common, though often not available for the poorer families.
I noticed that everyone cut these vegetables very small, shredding them or even cutting them into pieces the size of threads. I decided to settle for finely chopped vegetables.
I sautéed the onion in a medium sized saucepan with three tablespoons of butter. I then added a quart of homemade beef broth, cabbage, carrot, and a small potato, all finely chopped. I brought the mixture to a simmer, covered the pot, and simmered it for twenty minutes. The aroma of this soup, when I opened the lid, was fantastic.
The soup was placed in large bowls. It was very hot, temperature wise, and we sipped it slowly. We added salt and pepper to taste. It was wonderful, nourishing, filling, warming. It was very filling. In fact, I felt that I was filling my body with easily absorbed nutrients, and I began to feel very good. By the time I had finished a bowl of soup, I felt very satisfied, totally warm, and healthy. The last traces of whatever illness I was fighting off disappeared. I woke this morning feeling completely fine, and immediately got to work on this post.
Our ancestors knew how to combine foods, how to get the nutrients into their bodies in beneficial combinations. Traditional cooking is not only delicious, but nourishing.
I used to hate hamburger, and ground beef in all its forms. Factory beef makes terrible hamburgers, in my opinion. But that all changed when I switched to grassfed ground beef, and found that I loved it.
As one of my favorite grassfed ranchers once said, “These are hamburger times, not steak times.” Many people think hamburger is boring and uninteresting. Yet many cultures celebrate traditional ground meat dishes, and often prefer them to more expensive cuts.
The beauty of ground grassfed meat is that you can do so much with it. You can add all kinds of ingredients, and the variety is limited only by your imagination and research ability. I have found that traditional ground meat flavor combinations can make the plain hamburger into a delicious, nutritious, delight.
Traditional Ground Meat Delights
I first learned of the value that other cultures give ground meat mixtures when I went to an ethnic restaurant with a friend who wanted to introduce me to his native cuisine. There were many grilled items, and I asked him what he liked best. I thought it might be the lamb kebabs, or the marinated chicken kebabs. Instead, he enthusiastically recommended the ground meat kebabs, which he said were the best thing on the menu. I took his recommendation, and was astonished by how flavorful and good they were.
Many cultures have their own unique traditional ways of preparing ground grassfed meat. The meat is almost always mixed with other ingredients. In Germany, the meat could be mixed with eggs, breadcrumbs, cream, and a little nutmeg. In Poland, a ground onion might be mixed into the meat, with some bread that was soaked in milk, squeezed dry, and incorporated into the burger.
Armenians could mix finely chopped parsley and onions into the meat, along with various spices. In India, curry spices and other ingredients could be mixed into the meat. The combinations are endless.
Turning Grassfed Hamburger into a Delicious Masterpiece
The key to having a flavorful variety in burgers is to mix other ingredients into the meat.
I have tried traditional flavor combinations with grassfed ground beef, grassfed ground bison, grassfed ground lamb, and pastured ground pork. I have used olive oil, all kinds of minced vegetables, eggs, egg yolks, toasted sesame oil, milk, cream, fish sauce, and a huge variety of spices from all over the world. By using traditional flavor combinations as a guide, I have come up with a variety of wonderful burgers that are very distinct in their taste and flavors. The ground meat recipes I have published in Tender Grassfed Barbecue include:
- Great Plains Cherry Bison Burger
- Balkan Burger
- Transylvanian Garlic Burger
- Cinnamon Burger
- Curry Burger, and
- Cajun Burger, to name a few. They are all different, yet delicious.
My upcoming cookbook will include many new recipes for grassfed ground meat, including this one that I have already shared on the Internet:
Ground grassfed meat need never be boring, and can be delicious in so many ways!
This post is part of Fat Tuesday blog carnival.
In researching my upcoming book on traditional cooking, I was fascinated to see how many cultures ate particular food combinations. Certain foods and spices would always be eaten together. I saw this in the traditional cuisines of Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, Latin America, almost everywhere. Why were these foods always combined in a particular cuisine?
I did a bit of research and was delighted to find that science has verified the health benefits of some of these traditional food combinations.
Our ancestors were remarkably well informed about the foods they ate, even without science and research. They had their traditions, which represented the collected knowledge of their ancestors, passed down from father to son, from mother to daughter, over the centuries. Not all of these traditions have been verified, but some of them have been.
Some Verified Benefits of Traditional Food Combinations
Throughout traditional Europe, bread was always eaten with butter. In areas were butter was hard to get, bread was always eaten with some other fat. In many areas it was pork lard or pork fat, often spread on the bread while still raw. Bread was also fried in bacon grease. Olive oil was sometimes used, especially in Southern Italy. But some kind of fat, usually a lot of fat, was always spread on the bread.
Potatoes were also always eaten with fat, including butter, cheese, cream, lard, bacon, chicken fat, duck fat, beef tallow, lamb tallow, and other animal fats.
Bread and potatoes are very high in carbohydrates, and can cause glycemic effects that can harm the body.
Science has verified that fat slows the absorption of the sugar from carbohydrates. This can slow down and often prevent the harmful “sugar rush” effect of eating carbs and sugars. Thus the traditions of always eating these carb-heavy foods with fat had a definite health benefit.
Another example is the Chinese seasoning combination of garlic, ginger, and green onions, which is used in a huge number of traditional Chinese dishes. All of these vegetables have proven antibacterial and blood purifying effects, and ginger is known to help digestion. There was an old Chinese belief that ginger drove “the devils” out of the food. The numerous health benefits of garlic have been proven by science, as have the antibacterial effects of green onions. The combination of all three has not been tested, but I suspect that they are even more effective in combination.
Turmeric has proven antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities, and recent research has shown that it may help the natural processes of the body avoid Alzheimer’s disease. Even more recent research has shown that the helpful effect of turmeric is substantially increased when it is consumed with black pepper, which has a substance that works to increase the beneficial effects of curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric).
Turmeric is a very common spice in India, being a component of almost every curry spice combination. Turmeric is nearly always combined with black pepper in these dishes.
India may have the lowest rate of Alzheimer’s disease in the developed world.
These are just a few of the traditional food combinations whose beneficial qualities have been verified by science. There are many others. There are other food combinations that have not been tested, but I suspect that they are very beneficial as well.
Hippocrates, the greatest of ancient physicians, said it best, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Words of wisdom.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
It is often hard to choose which recipe to put into a book. I had developed two recipes for Hungarian-style potatoes, but there was room for only one. Another version of this recipe will be in my new book, which will be finished soon. But this version is so good I decided to post it so my readers can enjoy it.
This recipe is based on the traditional Hungarian flavor combination of onions, paprika, and bacon fat. This simple combination results in a rich, sweet, savory flavor that is a joy to taste. This dish is cooked at low heat on top of the stove, which makes it a good choice for a side dish on a hot day. Actually, it tastes so good that it can be enjoyed in any weather.
The basic Hungarian flavor base is made by sautéing onions in bacon fat until lightly colored, lowering the heat, and adding paprika. Very simple, but care must be taken in the selection of ingredients.
I recommend using organic potatoes and organic onions for this dish, as they have a better flavor.
The paprika should be from Hungary, if possible, and should be sweet. However, you could, if necessary, make it with sweet paprika (dulce) from Spain, or organic paprika.
I also recommend using bacon that does not contain nitrates, or other artificial preservatives, preferably from pastured pigs. The bacon absolutely must be very fat, as plenty of bacon fat is necessary for the success of this recipe.
Like many traditional recipes, this dish is simple, but the flavor is over the top, being much more than the sum of its parts.
Filtered water for boiling
1 teaspoon coarse unrefined sea salt
6 medium organic potatoes, peeled, and quartered lengthwise
4 thick slices fat bacon, without nitrates
2 medium organic yellow onions, sliced
1 tablespoon organic or imported sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian
1. Heat a medium-sized pan of filtered water to boiling. Add the salt and the potatoes, and bring it back to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, and let the potatoes cook at a slow boil for 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes.
2. Place the bacon in a cold heavy-bottomed frying pan. Turn the heat to medium. When the fat starts to melt, lower the heat to medium low. Turn the bacon from time to time so the fat can render from both sides without burning.
3. When most of the fat has rendered from the bacon, add the onions and sauté over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions should soften and take on a golden color.
4. Turn the heat down to low. Add the paprika and mix well into the onions. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring, being careful not to burn the paprika.
5. Add the potatoes and stir well, making sure that all the potatoes are coated by the fat and paprika. Use a heavy spoon to break each potato quarter into two or three pieces as you stir.
6. Turn the heat back up to medium and stir. Cook for another 5 minutes, turning the mixture occasionally.
7. Cover the pan, and turn the heat to low. Cook for another 10 minutes, lifting the lid and stirring occasionally.
You should wind up with a meltingly soft, caramelized mélange of onions and potatoes, subtly flavored by the paprika that goes well with any barbecued meat.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
The taste of the most basic and primal of foods, grassfed meat, cooked with one of the oldest and most traditional fuels, 100 percent hardwood charcoal, is the best. Not only to me, but to countless millions of people.
The Primal Taste of Primal Meat
There is something about the taste of this food—one of the oldest taste combinations known to humanity—that calls to us, awakens old primal memories, and is satisfying like no other food. When we smell this meat cooking, we instinctively salivate, as our bodies recognize that the smell means good food is on the way. The salivation signals our bodies to get ready to eat, and the digestive system prepares for action. We get hungry and our sense of taste and smell is somehow enhanced. We become hungry, and hungrier, as the smell changes as the meat finishes cooking. When we finally bite into the tender meat, and taste the primal flavor of the charcoal-imbued meat, the satisfaction is unequaled, we want more, and the meal becomes a joy to be savored.
Somehow, this meat is incredibly easy to digest, and we do not feel stuffed or bloated. We eat with eager hunger until we have had enough, and the hunger ends. The feeling of satisfaction and well-being we get from such a meal is unique, not matched by any other food.
Why Primal Meat Cooked with Primal Fuel Tastes So Good
Meat and fat have been prized by most of humanity for countless thousands of years. This may be our oldest cooked food. I have studied the traditional cooking of almost every European, North American, Asian, and Latin American nation in the world. I have also studied some of the cooking of the Middle East, Micronesia, and Africa. Just about every traditional cuisine treasured meat cooked with charcoal or wood coals, though people were often unable to get it. Even today, barbecue excites people like no other food.
I believe that barbecued meat is so popular because humanity has been eating it for so long. The love of it may be in our very genes, and our bodies have adapted to recognize and digest it easily.
We now have a fear of barbecue, created by studies claiming that barbecued meat contain substances that could cause cancer. However, none of those studies involved primal meat that was cooked with primal fuel. The traditional peoples studied by Dr. Weston A. Price cooked meat this way, and cancer was unknown to them.
Much of what is now called barbecue is a sad imitation of the real thing, scorched, tasteless, or sooty.
We can recreate the primal taste of primal meat cooked with primal fuel. All we need is primal meat, primal fuel, and the right method.
This can only be 100 percent grassfed and grass finished meat, or wild game, or omnivorous animals such as pigs eating their natural diet.
Most of the meat eaten in the United States is processed through a feedlot, where the animals are fed a diet of foods they would never eat in their natural habitat, and altered by chemicals and antibiotics, among other things. This causes the meat of feedlot animals to taste different, and to behave differently in cooking. Humanity never experienced this kind of meat until the 20th century.
Primal meat is the kind of meat humanity has been eating for uncounted thousands of years. Meat from animals eating their natural diet, unaltered by chemicals, drugs, and species-inappropriate foods.
Fortunately, we can get such meat today, thanks to a small but noble band of intrepid farmers and ranchers.
The kind of primal fuel we can easily get today is 100 percent hardwood lump charcoal, or the same charcoal in the form of briquets. We can also burn unsprayed, chemical-free wood down to coals.
No other fuel will do to recreate the wonderful combination of primal meat and primal fuel.
The Right Method
This involves cooking the meat in front of a fire of coals, without scorching, charring, or clouds of smoke. Traditional peoples never let the flames hit the meat, and some old time cooks warned about how too much smoke and flame would impart a nasty taste to the meat.
Interestingly enough, the substances found hazardous by the studies are created by direct high heat, especially when the flames hit the meat.
I am finishing a book on barbecuing grassfed meat that shows a method that works beautifully to create the magnificent taste of primal meat cooked with primal fuel. The book adopts traditional methods of cooking this food to our time, and the results have been absolutely delicious. I have barbecued almost every day this last spring and summer, and I have been blessed by the wonderful flavor and satisfaction of eating primal meat cooked with primal fuel.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday blog carnival.
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Meat and potatoes were once so popular that the very term came to mean the very essence, the indispensible part of anything, the “meat and potatoes.” In terms of a good main meal, meat and potatoes were always there, and anything else was optional.
The attempts to ram grain and vegetables down people’s throats, as exemplified by the ridiculous food pyramid, changed this. Meat has been demonized as unhealthy in a myriad of ways. Potatoes, with their high glycemic index and starch content, have also come under attack, and are avoided by the low-carb movement.
Yet the combination of meat and potatoes is a very old tradition in Europe, one that goes back centuries, back to the introduction of the potato. It was the foundation of the diet (when people could get meat), and they thrived on it. However, the European tradition had a third component, perhaps the most important of all—fat. Fat that was almost always from animal sources, like butter, bacon, lard, beef tallow, lamb tallow, etc. Of course, animal fat is the most demonized food of all.
Demonization aside, the combination of meat, potatoes, and fat is one of the most nutritious and delicious combinations you can have in a meal. Most of our main meals feature this combination, and we thrive on it.
But it is crucial to use the right meat, the right potatoes, and the right fat. Together they create a wonderful balance, both in nutrition and pH balance, and are one of the tastiest food combinations.
The Right Meat Is Raised in a Pasture, Not a Feedlot
When most Americans think of meat, they think of the relatively tasteless, watery, mushy, greasy, nutrition-light factory meat that comes out of feedlots, having been fattened on GMO corn, GMO soy, and a variety of other unnatural feeds that can easily include rendered chicken manure. While this kind of meat is considered safe to eat, safe is not enough. This meat just will not work as part of the traditional trilogy of meat, potatoes, and fat.
Grassfed and grass finished meat, the same kind of meat that was eaten when the meat-potatoes-fat tradition began, is a very different substance. Grassfed meat has incredible flavor, has a nice meaty texture, is not greasy, and is nutrient-dense, having the right ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, and a number of valuable nutrients that are often missing in factory meat.
Grassfed meat is the right meat.
The Right Potatoes Are Not Saturated with Pesticides
The potatoes eaten when the meat-potatoes-fat combination began were not sprayed with pesticides. Most potatoes in the United States are heavily sprayed with a multitude of pesticides, and are one of the most pesticide-heavy foods you can get. The only way to avoid this is to get organic potatoes.
Dr. Weston A. Price studied some of the traditional peoples of Peru, and found them to be free of chronic diseases and tooth decay. Organic potatoes were an important part of their diet, though they ate many animal foods and seafood as well.
The right potatoes are organic potatoes.
The Right Fat Comes from Animals, Not Factory Crops
The fat eaten when the meat-potatoes-fat tradition began in Europe was the fat of grassfed animals, or the fat from their milk. The one exception was olive oil, though olive oil was often combined with animal fats in cooking.
The fat that comes from modern vegetable oils just will not work for this combination, as it did not even exist when the meat-potatoes-fat combination began. These oils have a very high ratio of omega-6 fatty acids to omega-3 fatty acids, which is very undesirable. The fats that should not be used include: soybean oil, canola oil, corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil. An excellent article on this subject is Know Your Fats Introduction.
It is crucial that the fat comes from grassfed and/or pastured animals, eating their natural food, so the fat will be similar to the fat available when the meat-potatoes-fat combination began. This includes butter, full-fat cheese, full-fat milk, full-fat cream, full-fat yogurt, full-fat sour cream, full-fat cultured cream, natural unhydrogenated pork lard, grassfed beef tallow, lamb tallow, bison tallow, and the fat from pastured chickens, geese, and ducks. These fats are extremely nutritious and lend an incredible flavor to food.
The right fat is the fat of grassfed animals, the fat from their milk, and the fat of pastured animals.
Meat, Potatoes, and Fat Balance Each Other
I have come to understand that traditional food combinations stand the test of time because they are beneficial. Time and time again, science has confirmed the wisdom of these traditions.
For example, it is known that it is important to maintain a body pH balance that is not too acidic or alkaline, with slightly alkaline being ideal. Meat is acidic, and potatoes are one of the most alkaline foods you can eat. They are a perfect balance for each other. This may explain why the meat and potato combination was so popular, as traditional peoples always seemed to know what foods should be eaten together.
The adverse effects of the high glycemic index of potatoes are avoided when the potatoes are eaten with plenty of good fat. The fat changes the way that high glycemic foods are digested and absorbed. Again, traditional peoples seemed to know this. In Europe, potatoes were always eaten with plenty of good, natural, traditional fat. Potatoes were baked with cream and milk, fried in lard, fried in butter, fried with bacon, made into casseroles with butter and cheese, covered with sour cream or butter, and combined with cheese and baked into pies. These are just a few of the thousands of ways fat and potatoes were combined. Even the poor would dip their boiled potatoes into butter, or eat them with full-fat milk or cheese.
All of the potato recipes in Tender Grassfed Meat contain plenty of good fat, and they are intended to be eaten with meat, following the tradition.
The food trilogy of grassfed meat, organic potatoes, and natural fat provides the body with an incredible combination of nutrients—leading to satisfaction and contentment.
The taste benefits of meat, potatoes, and fat are just as incredible. I know because I eat this combination almost every day, in many delicious variations.
Here’s to meat and potatoes—and fat!
By Stanley A. Fishman, author of Tender Grassfed Meat
Scarlet fever almost killed my mother. She was only ten years old. She could not eat while the fever was raging. Her wealthy parents hired a famous doctor to treat her. When the fever finally broke, she was emaciated, and so weak she could not stand. Her immune system was exhausted, and she was in great danger of dying from other illnesses. The renowned doctor prescribed—steak and eggs.
Three times a day she was given tenderloin steak and eggs, all sautéed in butter, as ordered. At first she could not eat that much, but her appetite improved until she could eat the prescribed amount. Within a month, she regained her weight and health, and made a complete recovery.
The very steak and eggs that restored her are now demonized as unhealthy. Actually, this traditional food combination is renowned for its ability to enhance and rebuild the natural functions of the body.
The Benefits of Steak and Eggs
Grassfed steak is a nutritional powerhouse, full of valuable nutrients, including high quality proteins, amino acids, and many crucial vitamins and minerals. Eggs, especially pastured eggs, are just as full of vital nutrients, including some nutrients that are very hard to find anywhere else. See Sally Fallon Morell’s Oral Testimony to the USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee. Eggs also contain high quality fats that aid in the absorption of nutrients. Together, steak and eggs are a wonderful nutrient combination, providing a full range of vitamins, minerals, fats, cofactors, and other nutrients that complement each other perfectly, aiding in the absorption of each other’s nutrients.
Traditional peoples may not have known the science, but they did know it was good to combine steak with eggs. Steak and eggs were a valued combination in Russia, Poland, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, England, Germany, Portugal, and just about every other European country. This was true even though steak was very expensive in those countries. Steak and eggs were also very popular in the United States, Canada, Uruguay, and Argentina, nations where most people could afford beef.
By steak, I mean the 100% grassfed and grass finished beef that has nourished humanity for thousands of years. This means that the cattle graze on living plants out on the pasture when the weather permits, and when grazing is not possible are fed dried grass or hay. Nothing else, and certainly not any added hormones or antibiotics. I do not recommend the grain and byproduct-fed factory version of beef.
By eggs, I mean the whole egg. Yes, that includes the yolk, which contains almost all the nutritional value of the egg. A new practice has arisen in our fat-phobic modern society that would have astonished and outraged our ancestors—the practice of eating only the egg whites, while discarding the best part—the yolk. This reminds me of watching The Three Stooges when I was a child. I remember an episode where the Stooges broke eggs, threw out the contents of the eggs, hammered the shells into a frying pan, and tried to eat the fried shells. Throwing out the yolks is just as absurd.
The Demonization of Steak and Eggs
The makers of factory foods have always had a huge problem. The stuff they produce cannot possibly taste as good as real food. Also, the stuff they make cannot possibly compete with the nutritional value of real food. So they came upon a strategy that worked very well in the past and is still in use today—demonize good food. If people think good food is unhealthy for them, they will buy the artificial stuff out of fear.
Massive marketing campaigns convinced people that foods that made their ancestors robust and strong were unhealthy. Cholesterol, which is a vital component of every cell in the body, was blamed for heart disease and a host of other illnesses. Ignorance, fear, and marketing have largely succeeded. Most people actually believe that eating steak and/or eggs will “clog their arteries,” and cause a heart attack. This is simply not true, as shown in the following articles— Cholesterol: Friend or Foe? and Cholesterol and Heart Disease: a Phony Issue.
The food industry has made a fortune by convincing people to replace eggs with dried cereals, full of chemicals, in a form that never existed before the 20th century. The food industry has made another fortune by convincing people to replace meat with products made from soy proteins, full of chemicals, again in forms that never existed before the 20th century. No wonder they continue to demonize meat and eggs.
How to Enjoy Steak and Eggs
Many modern people have never had steak and eggs. The basic idea is to sauté a grassfed steak in butter, and to sauté a pastured egg or two, so the eggs will be ready at the same time as the steak. It is very important not to cook the eggs too long, as the yolks must remain liquid. When the steak and eggs are ready, place the eggs on top of the steak. The egg yolks provide a perfect sauce for the steak, and the combination is absolutely delicious. Tender Grassfed Meat has a recipe for this classic combination on page 68. Tender Grassfed Meat also has a number of other recipes for steaks cooked in butter, every one of which can be enjoyed with eggs. Eggs are also a terrific side dish for steak that can be used by people who are avoiding carbohydrates.
There is a reason why the combination of steak and eggs has been treasured in so many countries. They are wonderful together, both in taste and nutrition.
This post is part of Real Food Wednesday Blog Carnival at Kelly the Kitchen Kop.
This post is part of Fight Back Friday Blog Carnival at Food Renegade.