Meat, lovely red meat

As you probably know – fresh meat is among the key pillars of this lifestyle. I’m not sure the meat we get at our local butcher is grass-fed or grain fed. I know hay forms a large part of livestock feed here, so i’m hoping the meat tends towards the equivalent of grass-fed pastured meat. Red meat can be found in most places save in states where being a non-vegetarian is frowned upon. Oh, incidentally, mutton here is rarely that, it’s typically goat meat.

For those of you who are used to buying meat from the retail outlets, a trip to one of these market stalls can border on the terrifying, however, there is absolutely no comparing meat sourced fresh from a slaughter  and the more convenient, less hideous packaged meats. Goat meat is quite expensive here, averaging Rs. 400 – Rs. 490 a kilo. I typically buy four to five kilos of meat every weekend, separated into five or so packs. The guidelines for buying goat are given below.

The cuts i prefer are the ribs and chest pieces. Loaded with tender fat, these are delicious in my opinion. However, they tend to make gravies and curries oily, so for a liquid curry, I would prefer the more meaty ‘nalli’ or leg pieces. Ribs are ideal for biriyani or if you have the time, a nice grill. The red meat though – consisting of shoulder, shanks, rib, and neck muscles – is packed with flavour and a great deal of fat. While the fat doesn’t worry me, most of our dishes call for a degree of pressure cooking. The problem is, this renders the fat, and typically coats the meat with a form of greasy oil that solidifies if cooled to even room temperature. This coats the roof of the mouth, and can be quite a pain to clear from dishes. I would recommend using this meat trimmed of all external fat in dishes that do not have much oil in them, but a lot of lime and vinegar (think goan cuisine).

Important to any paleo diet, is consumption of organ meat. Before you imagine a failed musician eating his musical instrument, think liver, heart and tongue. It’s highly unlikely you will find these in a retail outlet, but you can easily pick these up at the butchers. Liver cooks quicker than the meat, while the tongue and heart take longer. And finally, shank bones (mutton/goat shops sell it for Rs. 200 a kilo) and/or trotters (paya). Absolutely essential to have these boiled into a rich gelatinous soup with bits of marrow floating around. Have a potful of this over the week, probably as a late evening beverage (a little salt and pepper for flavour of course).

In case why you’re wondering why i haven’t mentioned pork, it’s only because i believe that this meat deserves it’s own post for both positive and negative reasons

4 thoughts on “Meat, lovely red meat

  1. Hi.. Helped understand paleo… congrates on the blog.. Most paleo diet recipes are western and I hope that for their climate and weather, having red or white meat everyday wouldn’t be a problem. But in tropical counties digesting red meat or having meat for every meal is a problem.. It feels too heavy even if consumed in minor portions everyday.. I’m facing it for the past one week since I have switched to paleo diet.

  2. your blog is great. please please keep posting. any tips on what to do when you go to a place and everyone is eating dosas? Or when your family proposes idli-wada for dinner?

    • Here’s a tip for idli-wada for dinner. Do a hiit workout earlier and you can comfortably indulge in the carb heavy idlis (no wadas though). The key thing to remember is, we’re not mimicking the food habits or even the foods of our ancestors, we’re basically trying to recreate the metabolic responses out bodies had towards food before grain based foods became the norm. In that context, in the trade occasions you’re dragged to an idli-wada meal, indulge in the mct rich coconut chutneys, as 1)they’re yum 2)the fat will moderate the insulin some plain idlis produce. As for idlis, rice is a safe grain, and the pulses used are soaked and later fermented, essentially neutralising the anti-nutrients. Hope this has been helpful. I’ve been lazy, but plan to remedy that soon enough. I wish you all the best on your journey :)

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