Did your mom ever tell you, “waste not, want not?” Well, I’m finding that mom was right. And if you really want to do Paleo right, you will not only focus on finding grass-fed and free-range meats and local produce, but you will use what you’ve got to get what you need.
Case in point: using leftovers and food scraps.
But, first, you need some leftovers. For tonight’s meal, I made a four-pound beef brisket in the slow cooker. Four pounds! I mean, Tim can eat a lot, but that’s a ton of meat! So I spent some time today thinking about what to do with all of those leftovers. You can really only eat hunks of beef brisket so many nights in a row. But first, the brisket.
Slow Cooker Beef Brisket with Sweet Potatoes and Carrots
For this recipe, you will need:
- 4-lb beef brisket
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cubed
- 1 medium onion, cut into large chunks
- 3 carrots, cut into inch-long sticks
- 2 cups white wine
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
Put the cut sweet potatoes, carrots, and onions in the bottom of your slow cooker. Then, put the meat on top. In a bowl, mix wine and garlic together and pour over meat. Cover and turn the slow cooker on low for 10 hours.
So, once you do that, you need to prep for the leftovers. Actually, you probably should have been doing this all along, as you need a bunch of veggie scraps to make vegetable broth. And by a bunch, I mean an entire gallon-sized freezer bag stuffed full. Whenever you are cutting up your veggies for your Paleo meals, just wash, roughly chop, and place your scraps into a bag and toss it in the freezer. As you prepare your veggies throughout the month, be sure to save the scraps and freeze them. Before you know it, you’ll have enough to make broth.
Making vegetable broth is deliciously easy and imprecise. You’ll need to experiment with what works best for you, but use what you have. Part of the fun of it is that it comes out different every time.
You will need:
- A gallon sized freezer bag full of veggie scraps – try to include some starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, as that will give the broth a good consistency
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- garlic salt, salt, whole black peppercorns, ground black pepper, soy sauce, other herbs to taste
First, add the olive oil to the bottom of the pan. Add the veggies, then cover them with water. Just add enough water to cover the vegetables.
Then, add your salt or other herbs to taste. My favorite is a generous helping of garlic salt, 10-12 whole black peppercorns, and a little bit of dried parsley, but you can choose whatever you want or whatever you have on hand. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Then, simmer it for about an hour or longer. The longer it goes, the more flavor you’ll get!
After simmering for a while, uncover it and let it reduce for a bit. The veggies should look pretty over-cooked and ready to be put out of their wilted misery.
Strain it into a bowl and, voila! Fresh veggie broth, ready for your leftover soup.
Pro tip: Store whatever you don’t use for the soup in ice cube trays and freeze them. One ice cube is about two tablespoons, and eight ice cubes equals about a cup. Defrost as necessary.
Leftover Beef and Vegetable Soup
As you are waiting for your broth to cook, chop up some veggies and beef. Mine is in a freezer bag because I’m getting this ready to dump into the slow cooker tomorrow so I can run out the door for day two of the AP conference. The only thing that’s not in here is the veggie broth.
The thing about this recipe is that it is all about the leftovers. Do not run out to the store to get ingredients unless you really have a hankering for something. Here’s what I had on hand:
- About 1/3 of the 4-pound beef brisket, already cooked
- 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
- 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 large sweet potato, cubed
- 3-4 cups veggie broth
- Various herbs, salt, and pepper to taste
Dump it all in the crock pot, give it a stir, and set it on low until you get home from work.
I don’t have a finished picture of this one yet, because I haven’t made it yet, but I’ll post it tomorrow!
If you’ve made this one, let me know how it went in the comments!