Outdoor Cooking 

Now that the summer is properly here in the UK, what could be more primal that cooking dinner outside over a wood fire? OK, I admit I cheated by starting it off inside on the hob, but hey! We aim for aim for 100% but if we achieve 80% primal-ness, that feels like a victory to me. 

Here is the cheating phase, browning the beef and frying off the vegetables..


As this is a goulash it needs plenty of red peppers plus sweet paprika and cayenne pepper too that also needs frying off a bit to take off the rawness of the spice. Then whatever herbs you have in the garden.


Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme were in my garden (but I wasn’t going to Scarborough Fair). They all got wrapped up between two sticks of celery for easy removal later.


And in the pot with red wine and good strong homemade beef stock.

Then to make the fire on my outdoor cooking rig


And when the fire is going well, the goulash goes over it for 2 hours. Checking it hasn’t got too dry every 30 minutes.


And after about 2-3 hours the beef is perfectly tender and the spices have developed a deep flavour.


And here’s my pretty messy plate of goulash served with some salad leaves from the garden and soured cream. Outdoor cooking is simple and simply tastes better. Give it a go! 

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Body weight gym

People often fret that starting a programme of exercise is going to either involve joining a gym with contracts and fees and meatheads grunting and posing or buying lots of expensive equipment. Equipment that, most likely will rarely get used and simply take up room gathering dust. Mind you, dusting the equipment you don’t use is a form of exercise too.

I don’t subscribe to either of those views though as it is quite possible to put together a challenging, periodised, resistance exercise programme using only your own body weight as the resistance. Here’s a little programme I put together for a client new to exercise so that he could work out in between our sessions. Not an olympic bar, kettlebell, or indeed anything but his own weight, needed.
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But of course, as time goes on, people get fitter and start to desire new challenges. There are only so many lunges and squats you can do. Actually you can do quite a lot of squats – I had a colleague once that ran a class called “A Thousand Squats”. It was just that. 1000 body weight squats in 45 mins. Try it if you like, but don’t blame me  if you can’t walk for a week after!

So when you feel you have reached a plateau in your body weight training gains are exhausted,  is the only option an olympic bar and a set of bumper plates (Eleiko of course)? Surely not! You simply make the body weight exercises more challenging. Here is my very effective body weight gym that I use for my clients. two very simple bits of equipment that will vastly extend the range of exercise you can do and developing full body, functional fitness. That ab wheel, properly used, is a killer!!

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Have fun with your own body and get fit while you do it!! You’re welcome 😉

 

Ribs (again)

After a brief pause as I got over the shock of Brexit, which is now being used by the food industry to try stop the sugar tax (they will try any trick to addict people to sugar as they need to replace the ones that die), 

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jul/10/halt-sugar-tax-introduction-urges-food-drink-industry-
I thought it would be worthwhile revisiting my ribs recipe as I did it at the weekend and reminded myself how good it was!

Just before anyone points it out, yes I know that the recipe has sugar in it from the home made preserve that goes in the barbeque sauce, but you don’t eat a lot and you aren’t going to eat ribs all day every day so in the grand scheme of things, it’s not a big deal. Relax 🙂 


Apart from the racks of ribs, that’s your ingredients: any home made chutney (this one was a 2013 apple and thyme) , salt, vinegar and oil (extra virgin rape seed). 

Make the sauce by whizzing up the chutney, oil and vingar in a blender to make a smooth paste that is not too runny. You will need about 100ml of oil and 50ml of vinegar but it’s a bit trial and error as it depends on your chutney. I salt the ribs well on both sides and then cover in the sauce. Cover with foil and cook quite slowly for at least 2 hours, maybe 3. When the meat is soft and starting to come away from the bone uncover and turn the heat up to a normal roasting temperature for a final hour. This will dry out the sauce a bit and brown the ribs. Check it frequently so you don’t over do it!! 

This is what they will look like before browning…


This is what they look like after…


Serve with salad from the garden and home made coleslaw, and a big stack of napkins – it’s going to be messy! 


Enjoy!!