Ancho-Grilled Sirloin with Avocado and Papaya Pesto

Grass-fed sirloin is dry-rubbed with freshly-ground ancho chiles, roasted paprika, cumin, smoked pepper and sea salt and then pan-grilled and served with a raw avocado oil-based pesto containing cilantro, garlic, bits of dried papaya, macadamia nuts and chipotle powder..

Ancho-Grilled Sirloin


For the Dry Rub

2 ancho (dried poblano) chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 tablespoon roasted paprika
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon rapadura
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked black pepper

Place all ingredients into a coffee or spice grinder and pulse into a fine powder. Place in an airtight container and store away from heat and light for up to 3 months.

For the Pesto

1/3 cup raw avocado oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic
juice of 1/2 fresh lime
1 tablespoon unsweetened dried papaya
1 1/2 tablespoons macadamia, pistachio or hazlenuts
1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
salt and pepper

Place all ingredients except oil into the cup of a food processor and pulse a couple of times until coarsely chopped.  Stir in oil then adjust flavor with salt and pepper.

To prepare

Rinse and pat dry 1 or more 1 inch-thick sirloin steaks.  Coat all sides with spice rub, then wrap loosely in butcher paper and refrigerate 3 or more hours.

Allow steaks to sit on the counter 30 minutes, then grill 3 minutes per side in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Transfer skillet to a 400 degree oven and cook until medium-rare, about 10 minutes.

Transfer steaks to a cutting board and allow to stand 5 minutes before carving into 1/2 inch-thick slices. Garnish with crumbled goat cheese and dress with pesto.

Pollo de Campo

Pastured chicken brined overnight in smoked chile powder and annatto, then roasted with peppers, onions and a cilantro, lime & pumpkin seed pesto.

Made in a Dutch oven, this Pollo de Campo (camp chicken) is easy to prepare at home or on the trail..


Pollo de Campo

For the brine

1/2 gallon filtered water
3 oz kosher salt
5 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon sweet cinnamon shards
8 allspice berries
2 teaspoons smoked chili powder
1 tablespoon organic annatto powder
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced

Bring the water to a bowl.  Stir in salt and annatto powder and stir to dissolve.  Allow to cool then add the rest of the ingredients.

For the Pesto (can be made a day ahead)

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup fresh parsley
juice of 1 small lime
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
pinch of salt
olive oil

For the Chicken

1 3-4 pound whole pastured chicken, rinsed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
2 red Fresno or jalapeño peppers
1 teaspoon paprika
sea salt and cracked pepper

For the Rice

1/2 cup Bomba rice (a short-grain Spanish rice that holds 3x its weight in stock)
2 1/2 cups water + roasted chicken stock in situ
Roasted onions and peppers in situ


Submerge the chicken in the brine and refrigerate overnight. Remove the chicken, pat it dry and place it on a bed of chopped onions and peppers in a Dutch oven.  Roast fro 40 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Remove chicken from the pan and scrape the vegetable and juices into a clean pan with the rice and water.  Cook the rice 20 minutes, season to taste and hold under cover.

Meanwhile, place the chicken back into the Dutch oven and use a spoon or spatula to coat it with the cilantro pesto.  Return to oven and continue to roast until the juices run clear, about 20 minutes.

Allow the chicken to rest 10 minutes before carving and serving with the rice.

Thai-Spiced Roast Chicken, Ginger Jasmine Rice

Local, pastured chicken roasted with raw coconut oil, lemongrass, onion, garlic, coriander and fermented soy..

Thai-Spiced Roast Chicken, Ginger Jasmine Rice

Thai-Spiced Roast Chicken, Ginger Jasmine Rice

Rinse and pat dry a 3-pound pastured chicken.  Place in a large glass bowl.

Melt raw coconut oil over low heat.  Transfer to the bowl of a food processor with cumin, coriander, garlic, onion, lemongrass, fermented soy, turmeric, paprika and fresh lime juice.

Pour mixture over chicken, taking care to coat all sides.  Allow to sit 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Place chicken in a heavy skillet and roast in a 400 degree oven until the skin is crisp and brown and the juices run clear, about 50-60 minutes.

Pour the fat, oil and juices from the pan into a glass measuring cup and use that and some filtered water as the cooking liquid for the rice.

Add fresh ginger, minced lime leaves, cilantro and thinly sliced peppers to the rice during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

Chili Lime Delicata Fries, Avocado Mayonnaise

Wedges of oven-roasted delicata squash, seasoned with smoked chili powder and fresh lime, served with homemade avocado mayonnaise.

Makes a great side for Smoked Beef Brisket..

Chili Lime Delicata Fries, Avocado Mayonnaise

Chili Lime Delicata Fries, Avocado Mayonnaise

Split delicata squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Split halves into wedges, arrange skin-side down in a heavy skillet.  Season with fresh lime juice and smoked chili powder and roast in a 350 degree oven until tender/crisp and golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.

For the mayonnaise

1 pastured egg yolk at room temperature
1 teaspoon homemade mustard
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 to 1 cup raw organic avocado oil
1/2 ripe avocado, mashed
generous pinch of sea salt

In your food processor, place egg yolk, mustard, lemon juice and salt and process until well blended, about 30 seconds.  With the motor running, add oil in a very slow, thin stream.  The mayonnaise will thicken as it stands.

Grilled Watermelon

On a plate, mix together guajillo honey, adobo seasoning, fresh lime juice and a pinch of sea salt.  Coat thick slices of watermelon on both sides, then grill over hot coals for a minute or two.  Happy almost 4th of July, everyone!


“Guajillo honey looms large in the history, culture and economy of southwestern Texas, particularly in the development of Uvalde County, located about 165 miles southwest of the state capital, Austin. During the 1870’s when settlers were establishing farms and ranches in Uvalde County, they discovered caves and hollow trees full of bees and honey – a “bee paradise.” The land was nicknamed “brush country” because of the cat claw, kinnikinnick, white brush and Guajillo bushes. Guajillo was the main honey plant and the bees that fed on the Guajillo blooms produced a mild, light colored delicious honey”   -Slow Food USA

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