Category Archives: Bacon

Chicken Cacciatore

As I sit here trying to think of some clever and entertaining way to start this recipe, I remember that I have not done anything interesting for months other than rescue a turtle from the road.  Even on that day I spent half of my hike resting with the dogs instead of being productive.  Pregnant people suck, we are boring, the only thing we talk about is babies, pregnancy and food.  Fortunately you came here for the food right?

6 months down, 3.5 to go!

6 months down, 3.5 to go!

Ok, so this recipe is so amazing we even shocked ourselves.  Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a rustic stew prepared “hunter-style” with tomatoes, onions, and herbs…enjoy


  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs with the skin removed
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • about 1/4 cup bone broth (or more as needed)
  • am container of baby portabella mushrooms
  • 3 carrots
  • an onion
  • several springs of fresh rosemary
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • a pinch (or more) crushed red pepper
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • handful of fresh herbs, I used parsley and basil, but thyme and oregano would be good too
  • small scoop of cooking fat (butter or coconut oil)
  • and of course, what is a meal without 8 pieces of bacon


Fire up that grill and start chopping up all of your veggies and rosemary, put those in a bowl and set aside for later, then chop up that bacon.  Put the bacon and a bit of starter cooking fat into a grill friendly pan.  I used the Weber Gourmet BBQ system here, if you don’t have that a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven would work too. Season the thighs on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and go check those coals, they should be ready by now.


Here is my setup, I seared the chicken thighs for a couple of minutes on each side until they got some grill marks and then set aside.  Do not cook these all the way through because they will finish up in your sauce. I put the bacon on there too, so it can start releasing some of its yummy bacony goodness.  Lets see a close up of that beautiful pork porn…


Oh yeah baby!

Once your bacon has given you a nice amount of fat in the bottom of your pan add in your chopped veggies, garlic and rosemary and sauté, stirring frequently so they don’t burn.  Once they start to caramelize season them with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper then add in your tomatoes and let everything simmer for a few minutes. I kept a bit of bone broth on hand in case things started to look dried out and added a little bit at a time.  If you are using a dutch oven with a  lid you probably wont have this problem.


Once those veggies start to get tender nestle those chicken thighs into the stew and let them finish cooking.  Once they hit 165, carefully pull the pan off the grill and serve with fresh herbs.  I even topped mine with a little shaved pecorino romano, but that is because it would take divine intervention to get me to give up cheese permanently.


Don’t click on this picture unless you have a towel handy to wipe up the drool

The only word that comes to mind when I try to describe this dish is a-friggin-mazing! Derek, who had previously never even heard of chicken cacciatore, devoured it, gushing about how wonderful it was with each bite, and then asked if I would make it again.  An absolute must-have when you are sick of the same old burgers on the grill. Weber should seriously pay me to cook with their products!

Also, have you entered to win your free copy of Beyond Bacon yet?  Get on it!

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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Bacon, Chicken, Soups


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Beyond Bacon Review and Giveaway!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few months, you must have heard the buzz about the new book from the Paleo Parents, Matt McCarry and Stacy Toth. I hesitate to call Beyond Bacon a cookbook because it is so much more than that, this is actually the paleo pork bible, it tells you everything you need to know about purchasing and cooking a whole hog.


Now, I consider myself to be quite the pork connoisseur, and they still managed to surprise me with the range and variety of recipes included, there is even a BBQ section for those of you with a smoker addiction(although I might have to challenge them to a cook-off for best smoked pork shoulder). The only disappointment is that I didn’t have this in my kitchen sooner, I really could have used this after our last hog aporkalypse when I was stuck with what seemed like an endless supply of pork chops.


This book on it’s own is truly a piece of art, with rustic photography on each page more beautiful than the last but once you start to indulge in these recipes you will have a new appreciation for all parts of the hog. A couple of my favorites so far are the smoked pork belly, Italian tomato pork chops, and the salted mocha biscotti and I even tried my hand at making my own lard, caramel fudge and pancetta.


Pancetta in progress

Ok, so I know you are sick of listening to me rave about Beyond Bacon, so I will stop myself before I ramble on all day.  I love this book, and you clearly need it, luckily Matt and Stacy sent along an extra copy, so here is your chance to win one…

Beyond Bacon Cookbook Giveaway

Good luck!


Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Bacon, Pork, Random


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Bacon Egg Nog

This week is porkapcolypse! We got our beautiful berkshire hog and are eating so much pork that I feel obliged to share several new pork recipes with you.  To kick of porkapalooza, I thought I would start with everyone’s 3 favorite things, bacon, booze, and dessert.

D has never looked sexier than he does holding a gigantic slab of pork belly.

D has never looked sexier than he does holding a gigantic slab of pork belly.

This is what happiness looks like

This is what happiness looks like

For the fabulous bacon egg nog protein shake you will need:

  • 6 slices of bacon
  • One can of coconut milk
  • 5 pastured egg yolks
  • A tablespoon of maple syrup (optional)
  • A scoop of vanilla protein powder (also optional, but it gives the drink very good texture)
  • A sprinkle of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  That’s right, a sprinkle, no need to dirty up any spoons


Start by cooking up your bacon and set it aside to cool, while you separate your eggs.  Add your ingredients to a blender and let them mix for a minute before slowly pouring in some of your hot bacon grease.  Let the mixture emulsify while you clean up and you are done.  I served this in small whiskey glasses(add actual whiskey for happy-pork-fun-time) garnished with a sprig of bacon.  It was about 4 small servings, and yes I cooked extra bacon on purpose for snacking.


Before battering your senses with an onslaught of epic life changing new pork recipes, lets take a look back at Primal Smoke’s porky past:
Home Smoked Bacon
Pork Tenderloin
Smoked Pork Butt
Spare Ribs
Baby Back Ribs
Jeez you think we would be sick of ribs by now


Posted by on December 17, 2012 in Bacon, Dessert




Someone please tell the crazy lady to stop putting clothes on me

Team primal smoke loves to cook outdoors, but with the crappy weather and the early sunset it has been quite a problem.  This meatloaf can be cooked on a grill if you choose, or you can just throw it in the oven.  This meal is also pretty low-carb if anyone else out there is dieting.  Now, I don’t need to diet, but we are headed to the Bahamas in about a week and a girl wants to look her best in a swimsuit, ergo said girl is dropping her carbs and adding in a day or two of IF to prepare.  Lets face it, I will probably be eating a ton of food and indulging in a few too many umbrella drinks, so when it is over i will be right back where I started anyways.  Still, gotta love a diet where you can eat a sh*t-ton of bacon and get ripped.

I am getting hungry just thinking about it!

Now… we took advantage of Tropical Traditions grass-fed beef sale and ordered a bunch, when it came in the mail I could barely contain my excitement.  Other girls get jewelry, my husband buys me meat instead.  I wandered around Trader Joes today wondering what to make for dinner  with my big new meat package and decided a bacon wrapped meatloaf would be a great way to kick of the beef-stravaganza.

For this masterpiece you will need

  • 2lbs ground beef
  • a package of bacon
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • fat of choice- I used duck fat and grass-fed butter
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • one clove of garlic
  • kale- I used 2 well packed and heaping cups
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme
  • crushed red pepper
  • an egg
  • and whatever you like to season your meatloaf with

I write this under the assumption that everyone knows how to make meatloaf, but if you want to know how to season your meat salt, pepper, marjoram, thyme, garlic, and onion seems to work well.  I used Organic No-Salt Seasoning from Costco with salt and pepper.

Ok, get yourself out a piece of tin-foil and start weaving your bacon.  This is easy, line them up vertically and take slices horizontally and weave them over and under.  It is like a big friggin bacon basket!

Next beat your egg in a bowl and add your meat and preferred seasoning.  Mix these all together until they are just well combined, but be sure not to over mix because this tends to toughen up ground meat.  Form it into a big beefy log on top of the bacon and use the tinfoil to help you roll it up.  I then wrap it all up in the tinfoil and throw it in the freezer to help the meat firm up, this will help your meatloaf keep its shape while cooking.  Heat up your grill to medium with a dual zone fire; alternatively you could turn on your oven to 375F and let that heat up while your meat is in the freezer.  Why the hell not, dinner has to be easy sometimes right?

You don’t have to use all the bacon, just until your basket looks done! Leftovers are fair game.

Cook your meatloaf to your desired done-ness right on the tin foil.  I left mine in for about 40 minutes, but I really like mine with quite a bit of pink in the middle.  If you want it more well done you can cook it for about an hour.  If you cook it for the full hour, pull it out halfway through and snugly wrap the ends with the foil so that they don’t burn.   Don’t forget about the 10-15 minutes of resting time at the end either.

Ok, while that is finishing up sauté your kale with the thyme, fat of choice, salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper to taste.  I like to add a few tablespoons of water or broth to the pan when I cook kale too.  Next sauté your mushrooms and onion in your fat, and remember not to salt them until the very end.  It helps them cook quicker.

I poured my mushrooms and onions over top of everything else, but I really dig mushrooms.  People that hate mushrooms seem to really despise them, if that is you just make the meatloaf…but I love me some mushrooms.  Also this whole meal has about 12 grams net carbs, which is totally kick ass, plus it is super-duper filling.

My plate looks like crap with the mushrooms on it…whatever it is not supposed to be pretty is supposed to taste good

If you aren’t counting  carbies, I have a meatloaf secret to share with you.  If you want it to be so tender and moist that it will knock your socks off, add about half of a pureed onion to the mixture.  The liquid in the onion helps keep moisture inside and you end up with a loaf full of awesomeness.

I will probably give you another post or two of my kick-ass food before I go on hiatus, so you can see more of my “diet food.”    As always, the secret ingredient is love!

Grok on!

(from DC Museum of Natural History)


Posted by on October 19, 2012 in Bacon, Beef




No clever title today, no quips, no sensationalization, “bacon” is all I need to say to set this post up for success!  Now, it is really hard for most people to picture foods like bacon, beef, and butter as health food, but if  you are already a convert then I am preaching to the choir.

This past weekend was a perfect time to make a big ass slab of bacon because the chilly weather drove us indoors and left me seeking some rich, warm comfort food.  Which last night meant a delicious pork and potato soup with leeks, bacon, and carrots that did not photograph too well.

For the bacon you will need

  • A big slab of raw pork belly (ours was 2.84lbs)
  • Lots of salt
  • Maple syrup or honey
  • Water
  • Disposable foil pans
  • Maple and hickory wood chips

This recipe also takes several days to brine, so it  is best to plan ahead.  First prepare your brine in a disposable foil pan, combine a 2:1 ratio of sweet to salt.  I would say for every pound to use 1/8th cup salt and  ¼ cup syrup or honey.  Vigorously mix your brine with cold water until everything looks fairly dissolved.  It doesn’t have to be perfect you are going to throw this part out anyways.  If your pork has a thick layer of skin on one side you will need to remove that now (home-made pork rinds anyone?)  Throw your pork belly into the brine and fill with more water until it covers the slab of pork completely.  I find that putting a plate on top does a pretty decent job at keeping the pork belly submerged in the brine.

Briney goodness

Here is the not so awesome part.  You have to cover that big porky slab of happiness and leave it in the fridge for 48 hours.  If you plan on smoking your bacon on a Saturday it is best to start the brining process on a Wednesday night.  This is a super easy thing to whip up while you are making dinner.  After your 48 hours is up discard the brine, pat you bacon dry, line the foil pan with some paper towels and put it back in the fridge uncovered for 12 hours to cure.  This will be on Friday night if you are using my time frame.  I know it’s the start of the weekend and you want to party, but try to remember to discard your brine some time in between tequila shots.  Saturday morning your bacon will be ready to throw on the smoker.  You want to use a really low temperature here and lots of smoke. We selected a combo of hickory and maple because while the maple compliments the maple flavor in the brine, hickory just has a more intense flavor.  Try to keep the smoker around 200F, but always keep it under 225F.

We use a grillable thermometer probe to monitor temperature.

After about 2-3 hours it is typically done, if you are monitoring the temperature, I suggest taking it off at around 150F.

The finished product

Now, with all of that said, unless you have a deli style meat slicer in your home (if you do I envy you), you will not be able to get those perfect thin slices that you get pre-packaged in your grocery store, but if you buy your bacon that way the terrorists win.  Plus, even if I had a professional meat slicer, I would probably end up missing a finger or two.  Seriously, I cut myself nearly every time I cook, my husband even keeps a tourniquet in the kitchen (mostly as a sarcastic joke though).  I should have titled this paragraph “how to make sure no one ever eats at your house.”  Thick cut bacon is best cooked on a wire rack over a cookie sheet in the oven, or chopped up and added in to recipes.  So far we have been eating it with…

Chicken-Bacon alfredo

Adapted from the genius mind behind PaleOMG

Also in a beefy breakfast scramble



Posted by on October 9, 2012 in Bacon, Favorites, Pork


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Hello world!

Welcome to Primal Smoke! This will be a place to discuss our two loves: paleo and barbeque.  We are going to show you how to take your cooking outside and become a master of all things cooked over charcoal.

You will learn how to make bacon!

And canadian bacon!

Did I mention home smoked bacon?

Ok, enough with the food porn, I promise there is a recipe coming once we are ready to do Double Bacons 2: Bacons of Doom!  Ok, it won’t be that dramatic, but I can bet that it will be the best damn piece of pork fat you have ever eaten!

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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Bacon, Random