Nourishing Traditions Book Review: Part XX – Game, Beef & Lamb

This time I’m going to combine two chapters together for a few different reasons.  First off it’s taking FOREVER to get through this book, and while I’m enjoying it I will also be glad to finish!  Also, the chapter on game is relatively short and I assume that most of us cook with beef and lamb without too much of a problem, so I didn’t think there would be a whole lot to comment on this chapter… but we will see how that turns out!  It is usually the case that I find enough to talk about!

What is game?  Game would include undomesticated animals, deer, caribou buffalo, elk, duck, goose, pheasant, quail and others.  I can say the only game I’ve had is deer and it’s been very tasty!  My grandfather was a hunter and we grew up eating venison all the time.  Brian has the desire to do so, but it hasn’t yet happened!  I’m hoping that this winter we could get a deer to help defray the cost of meat and also to have some additional variety!

I know a lot of people don’t like venison because of the gamey flavor.  I’ve never noticed this, but we also don’t eat venison steaks.  We usually eat it in stews or sauces and often marinate it as well.  Fallon also suggests marinating the meat and also letting it hang in a cool climate for a while before butchering it.

Another benefit to having a hunter in the family is easy access to the organ meats as well!  My uncle used to hunt duck and other water fowl.  I wasn’t as keen on these flavors as a child, but I’d be up for trying it again!

This chapter includes recipes for venison with ginger, venison stroganoff (which sounds amazing!), venison stew and chops!  One of our personal favorite recipes is venison vindaloo.  There are also recipes for duck stew, duck curry (yum!), duck with olives and quail masala.  This chapter definitely has some recipes that look amazing!  I just need to get my hands on some duck or find a fowl hunter and mooch!

Beef & Lamb
Current medicine today says to stay away from these meats since they are blamed to be the cause of heart disease and cancer.  However, even though the sale of these meats have declined, the occurrence of cancer and heart disease has continued to climb at an alarming rate.

As many of us know, these meats are healthy and strengthening and healing IF they are well raised!  The current way of raising beef and lamb isn’t healthy to the animal or to our bodies.  They are usually raised in large feedlots on grains that have lots of pesticides, or raised on soy which is even worse. Then they are injected with steroids to  make their meat tender and given antibiotics to try and kill the infections they have contracted because of the poor way in which they are raised.

Beef, lamb and goats are meant to graze, eat grass and enjoy the sunshine and outdoors.  To try and raise them other ways causes problems for the animal and then trickles down to us when we consume it.  Many are becoming wise to the health benefits of grass fed organic meats.  Thankfully these are becoming more and more common these days and easier to obtain.  A lot of large grocery stores are even starting to carry them as well!

One thing new that I learned from this chapter is the fact that Fallon suggests that meats not be heated to internal temperatures above 121 degrees.  If heated too high proteins are denatured and healthy enzymes are killed off.  By heating too much it makes the meat tough and harder to digest and make the body work harder to get the maximum benefit out of the meat.  I also found it very interesting that Fallon recommends only eating grilled meats rarely.

Here is her explanation (page 330):

“Meat and meat fat that come in contact with open flames synthesize certain highly carcinogenic hydrocarbons.  Meat that has been cooked in a pan or in a liquid contains very few hydrocarbons in comparison with meat that has been grilled.  Your body can deal with these hydrocarbons if it is healthy and not overloaded.  We urge you to eat grilled meats only occasionally and, when you do, be sure to eat them with one or more cruciferous vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli or Brussels sprouts.”

On to the recipes:  As is true with most of the recipes in this book they are relatively simple and basic, however, I really like that when I’m trying to cook a cut of meat that is different from what I’m used to.  In this section there are a lot of stews for steak, veal and lamb which actually look pretty good.  I do like soups, but stews often don’t have enough flavor to my liking or I feel they all taste very much alike.  I am planning on trying a few of these (next winter!) and see how they work out!  I also REALLY like ethnic foods and there were recipes for Indian-style lamb stew, Korean beef and Moroccan-style lamb stew which all sound exceptional!

Hopefully some of these will be posted soon!  I’d love to hear what kinds of meat you typically use, how you make them and some of your favorite go to recipes!  Please share!

Read Part XXI


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