Hello everyone. You may have noticed that I haven’t been on social media, or posting to this site, for the past few months.

In February, right around the time of my last posting, a friend of mine took his life. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve grieved for a fellow military service member under these circumstances; suicide is a tragically prevalent occurrence among active duty and veterans. But Bryan’s passing really pulled the carpet from under me. I had visited Florida just a couple weeks before he took his life, and we had excitedly chatted about his next assignment, which was going to require him to be in top shape. “Let’s meet up soon to talk diet stuff”–his last words to me.

I’m still processing this grief: I am equal parts angry, bitter, and saddened. Our final conversation was left unfinished, the perfect metaphor for all the relationships severed by his one, ultimately cruel, act. But the best way for me to work through this frustration has been to retreat from social media, and use that extra time as an opportunity to strengthen my bonds with those around me. I’ve always been a private person (this whole “blog” thing really unexpectedly blew up on me), and so it felt right for me to step away for a while.

At the same time, I was becoming keenly aware that my online presence is missed, and so I decided to jump on to let you know that I’m fine, and I’ll be back soon. I’m in the revision stage of my next cookbook; we had to go back to the drawing board a bit, but overall I’m very happy with how things are turning out. The good news is that I trimmed out quite a few recipes from the book, and so I have plenty of new, excellent recipes to share with you once I get back into the swing of things. It’s going to be a bit longer still, as I also have some work-related travel over the summer.

Thanks for sticking around, and for your patience, and I’ll be in touch soon.

Russ

I’m going to be upfront with you – if you don’t like bitter foods, you probably won’t like this week’s recipe. Much as I’d like to tout that I’ve developed a way to eliminate the bitter momordicin compounds which make this vegetable one of the most astringent foods on the planet, that’s just not going to happen. But, there’s a bit of fun to be found in diving into this historically medicinal gourd; a new taste sensation is especially exciting for those who prefer their coffee black.

In truth, there are a few tricks to make bitter melon more palatable. First, salting and squeezing the melon extracts some of its bitter juices. Pairing the bitter melon with tangy amchur (green mango) powder, sweet coconut palm sugar, and a generous amount of spices also help balance the overall flavor. Finally, giving the melon slices a nice crisping near the end of cooking, and garnishing them with fresh cilantro as they come off the heat, give the dish an ideal texture.

There are two main varieties of bitter melon: the warty, light green Chinese cultivar, and the spiny, dark green Indian version. Both work fine for this recipe, but I prefer the exotic look of the Indian variety.

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My wife and I are still reeling from the sheer amount of recipe testers who volunteered to tackle a recipe (or three) during this last stage of recipe tweaks for my next cookbook. We ended up sending out nearly 2,000 recipes, and we’re still parsing through all of the feedback and applying your suggestions to the manuscript – thanks to everyone who helped out!

I still have over a month of writing to go before I turn in the manuscript, then a few rounds of edits, so chances are I’ll be a little quieter than usual on the blog – case in point, I totally forgot to post a recipe last week. Yikes!

So this week we’re going to pull out an old favorite, which was published in Paleo Takeout but hasn’t made it to the blog until today. Although we love rice well enough, sometimes a plate of Cauliflower Fried Rice is just the ticket: we can clean out the fridge and the cauliflower sits a bit more lightly in the stomach compared to rice. I’ve found that baking the cauliflower “rice” ahead of time browns it nicely without making the end product all mushy. I prefer to use any leftover meat I happen to have in the fridge, but you could use fresh meat or shrimp, too (instructions below the recipe).

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The most visited recipe on this blog, by a long shot, is my old Perfect Eye of Round Roast recipe. It’s been read over 1.7 million times, which is pretty crazy. The recipe is unique because you basically blast the roast with a high heat for a while, then shut the oven off completely for a couple hours while you watch Netflix, build a snowman, fume at Twitter, or whatever else people do with their free time.

Last week, the old post celebrated its sixth birthday, so I figured it’s time for a bit of an update. In place of shutting the oven off completely, we’ll just reduce the heat to 170F, which will give you the freedom to check the roast’s temperature periodically with an instant-read thermometer to make sure you pull it out of the oven right when it’s ready. I also like to pair my roast with a wine sauce reduction, so I’ve included that as well.

This recipe is adapted from the one I used in my first cookbook, The Ancestral Table, which in turn was an updated version of my old blog post (we’re almost getting into Inception levels of cross-reference here). Fun fact: the photos from this post are actually from that original photo session from The Ancestral Table, back in March of 2013. They still hold up pretty well!

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Folks, just a quick note to let you know that my friends at ButcherBox are offering a special deal for the rest of the month: every new customer who signs up for their curated meat service will receive a package of their bacon in every monthly box for all of 2018!

I’ve been talking about ButcherBox for a while here on the blog now, because I’m a big fan of their service. They deliver monthly boxes of grass-fed beef, free range organic chicken, and heritage pork with curated cuts and recipes to back it up (including some from yours truly). The pricing averages out to less than $6.00 a meal, and shipping is free – they also give an option to customize the box by type of meat (all beef, beef and pork, and so on), or you can customize your entire box so you know exactly what you’re going to get.

Many of the recipes I’ve developed on this blog over the past couple years have come from cuts of meat I’ve received from ButcherBox, and I’m always happy to see the box on my doorstep each month. I’m especially fond of their ground beef, which is rich and flavorful – some of the best around. Here are a couple favorites I’ve developed: Argentinian-style Tri-Tip with Chimichurri, and Maple and Bourbon Glazed Pork Loin. I’ve found that their curated service challenges me to find new dishes to make with potentially unfamiliar cuts.

The bacon they’re including in this offer is excellent: uncured, sugar free, Whole30-friendly, and made from pasture-raised heritage breed pigs. This offer runs starting today and ends on Wednesday, January 31st. Click here to pick up this offer, and see you next Tuesday with another recipe!

Pork shoulder is great: often one of the most affordable cuts of meat, and it can be used in a variety of dishes, from Kalua Pig, to Pork Adobo, to hearty stews. But most preparations call for extended cooking times, to break down all of that connective tissue and create a very tender bite. We’re going to do things the Greek way this time around, and give them a quick pan-fry, followed by a simmer in a flavorful sauce.

This preparation visits the other end of the pork shoulder spectrum: cooking the meat just through, so it’s still tender and super juicy. We’ll keep the prep and cook time to under an hour, with lots of hands-off time so you can prep a salad and pickled veggies to go with the meal.

In case you missed my post from last week, I’m officially accepting recipe testers for my next cookbook, which will be entitled The Heritage Cookbook! Recipe testing is open to the public until January 28th (which is also when feedback is due), so don’t delay!

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Big news, everyone! I’m officially opening up public recipe testing for my next book, which will be called The Heritage Cookbook. I expect the cookbook to be released in 2018.

This book will focus on recipes developed to align best with your individual heritage and DNA ancestry results. As such, I’ve developed recipes from all over the world, highlighting the unique ancestral makeup of the US population (and giving similar consideration for readers living in countries with historically high immigration, like Canada and Australia). This book is a massive undertaking (300+ recipes!) and has taken over two years to put together – I’m excited to see how you like it!

Here’s the lowdown:
** Follow this link to choose a recipe and complete the submission form.
** Within 48 hours, my lovely wife Janey will email you the recipe plus a link to our feedback form.
** Please test the recipe and submit feedback by January 28th!

I’d love your help in sharing the word about this new book! Definitely share photos and your thoughts with family and friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and feel free to use the hashtag #heritagecooking. I only ask that you keep the actual recipes to yourself, since the final product may change before the book publishes.

If you are on Facebook, please consider joining The Heritage Cookbook Facebook group. There are over 3,400 members in the group, and we’ll be using this platform to share more info, respond to feedback, and answer any questions you may have.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your support, and enjoy the food!

*** Allergen information: please note that because this book is closely tied to genetic studies and food history, there is a likelihood that some ancient items native to a specific region (wheat in the Middle East, dairy in Europe, or corn in the Americas) will be included in recipes. This is not necessarily a Paleo, Primal, Whole30, AIP, or even gluten-free cookbook – instead, it will be focused on helping you find a personalized approach to diet for your unique heritage. To accommodate today’s evolving dietary challenges, I’ve listed common allergens in the Recipe List that you’ll find in the form (including annotation for recipes where gluten-free substitutions are provided). When developing recipes with wheat, I used ancient einkorn wheat (available on Amazon), which has a low gluten content.

Hi everyone, and welcome to 2018! It’s downright chilly across the US today, so let’s enjoy some stew.

Bigos is a Hunter’s Stew most associated with Poland, but likely of German origin. This dish, in one form or another, has been a part of Eastern European cuisine since at least the Middle Ages. The stew derives most of its flavor from a combination of meats, sausage, sauerkraut, cabbage, and mushrooms. I’ve found that adding dried plums (prunes) to the mixture adds a light sweetness to the dish that perfectly balances the sauerkraut.

It is likely that the original version of this dish was mostly meat, and reserved for the upper nobility; sauerkraut and cabbage were added to stretch out the meal, but eventually were incorporated into all preparations. Today, there remains significant variation of this dish – it is said that there are as many variations of Bigos as there are cooks in Poland.

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2017 has been quite a year, eh? We saw everything from a solar eclipse (estimated to have caused nearly $700 million in lost productivity), to the reveal of Chipotle queso (too grainy for my tastes) and the popularization of “unicorn” food items (yikes).

On a personal note, my family move from Florida to Virginia, and I’ve spent nearly every spare moment working on my new cookbook. I started a new assignment in the Navy, which will have me traveling quite a bit over the next couple of years; an exciting opportunity to eat my way around the globe.

Here on The Domestic Man, I released about 50 new recipes, bringing the site’s total recipe count to nearly 500. Some of the dishes were brand new inventions or favorites from my previous cookbooks, but most came from recipes I’m testing for the next book – a small preview of what’s to come. I’m really proud of this year’s crop of dishes, but I wanted to take a moment and highlight a few of my favorites. So without any further ado, let’s dig in.

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Hi everyone, being that it’s a holiday week, I thought it would be a nice idea to share some of my favorite holiday-friendly roasts and vegetable accompaniments.

Honey and Citrus Glazed Ham
Maple and Bourbon Glazed Pork Loin
Roasted Leg of Lamb
Roast Duck with Winter Vegetables
Roast NY Strip Loin
Simple Roast Turkey

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Oven Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes
Winter Slaw
Skillet Roasted Winter Vegetables
Roasted Asparagus with Bearnaise Sauce
Roasted Cabbage Steaks

Hope you folks have a great holiday weekend – we’ll be keeping it quiet here in Virginia as I keep plugging away at the manuscript for my new cookbook. See you next week!