Real Food Recipes

A collection of recipes both ancient and contemporary, to help incorporate real and whole foods into a modern life.

Tasty, Digestible, Aoudad (Canning and Preserving)

The first Aoudad we were given was so tough we could not even eat it after we ground the roasted haunch and made it into a spread for sandwiches. We COULD, however, can the meat and eat it, and we could grind it and it was not too different from hamburger (needs more salt - a lot more salt - and it needs some Soy Sauce to get that rich deep meaty flavor).

The second one is even tougher. Too much silverskin, and when we canned it, it shattered like wood splinters.

Aoudad is notoriously dry, tasteless, and tough. I mean not just chewy, but something you work on until your jaws tire if it is not a young and tender one, and even then, tougher than venison.

So what to do? It is the meat we were given, and we NEEDED the meat.

This is what we did, and what we discovered!

NOTE: If you have a tough old beef, or moose, or elk, or even some chewy deer or antelope, this method works for those as well.

My meat grinder would not grind Aoudad like it does venison. Not strong enough. I knew we'd not be able to shove that tough and stringy stuff through the cutting dies without it getting wrapped around the auger and bound up.

So first of, we cut it up into 1" chunks. (If you have an even WIMPIER grinder than I did, like the one we used BEFORE this one, then you'll need to cut it in even smaller pieces. If you have a Back To Basics, like my first real meat grinder, then you can do barely larger pieces than 1". If you have a tough workhorse, then you can probably do 2" pieces.)

Second, I used a 1/4" die on my meat grinder.

It worked marvelously! We ended up with a medium texture ground meat that went through the grinder pretty easily. I packed that into the freezer, and proceeded to think about how I could use it.

The first thing I tried was Chili Soup. I was afraid to make chili with too much meat in it, if the meat was Aoudad, so I made the soup, so there was less meat to wrangle over, just in case.

Your favorite Chili recipe, thinned out a bit, with about 2 cups dried beans, and 2 lbs meat, to make about 5-6 qts soup.

I always make the Chili or Soup for dinner, then can the leftovers.

We ended up with 10 pints of chili soup, and you just can't tell that it is Aoudad in there, it tastes like beef.

Next I tried cooking the Aoudad for spaghetti. I put 4 lbs of Aoudad burger into the Instant Pot, put 1 cup of water in the bottom, and then poured a can of tomato over the top. I then PRESSURE cooked it on the longest and hottest cycle my pot allows - maximum pressure, for about 50 minutes.

When it was done, I broke it up, and mixed half of it with spaghetti sauce, and the other half I made into a well cooked vegetable beef style stew, about 5 qts. We had the soup for dinner and canned up the leftovers.

Again, I cannot tell that it is Aoudad in there, and it canned up just great.

The spaghetti was the same. It was just good spaghetti.

I tried some Aoudad that was pressure cooked with tomatoes, to make Hamburger Helper. I won't do that again. It was not beefy, more gamey and chewy.

Then we got a call. Did we want an elk? Did they really have to ask? Only the freezer is FULL!

Have to empty it out.

So I cooked up 5 lbs of Aoudad, with tomato over it, and used 8 jars of spaghetti sauce, plus about 5 cans of the most nasty peely stewed tomatoes I've ever seen - the flavor was good, but the tomatoes had skins on (this was a national brand, bought on sale during a case goods sale, so of course I have plenty of the terrible things). I blendered the stewed tomatoes, which took out the sweetness from the spaghetti sauce just perfectly.

Filled the jars halfway with cooked Aoudad, and then filled the rest of the way with sauce. Canned that. Ended up with 12 jars of canned meaty spaghetti sauce. The meat is tender and almost indistinguishable from beef.

I had too much broth and some tomato juice that I'd drained off the stewed tomatoes so they would not be too soupy, so I cooked up another batch of Aoudad, another 5 lbs with tomato over the top.

When that was done, I broke it up, and put it into 4 quart jars, and then added the tomato broth from both batches. I ended up with the equivalent of ground beef with broth, for soup starter.

NOTE: The ground aoudad that I canned in tomato and aoudad broth was good, but it tastes like ROAST BEEF, and not like hamburger. Be aware, it will have a rich beefy and tomato flavored broth, and it kinda ruins goulash, but it does work well for soup or stew, or for anything else you'd use Roast Beef in.

I'll do two more things, and maybe they will work, maybe not.

I'm going to make Goulash Starter, with cooked ground meat, onions, blendered stewed tomatoes, and corn.

I'll also open the jars of plain canned Aoudad that I canned up this year, add some tomato sauce, and then re-can them. I short cycle can raw meats, to keep them from being overcooked so badly I cannot eat them, so I should be able to get away with this.

I won't use Aoudad, or other tough meat in a Sloppy Joe or a Taco or Burrito meat, because there's just too much concentrated meat there, and the gaminess just doesn't blend out like it does in foods with a lower concentration of meat.

The big secrets I learned about Aoudad are:

1. Pressure cook it.

2. Cook it or can it with TOMATOES on it, and use it in recipes with tomatoes.

3. Salt it good, it is a very low salt and tasteless meat otherwise.

4. If you need some more savory flavor, use Soy Sauce to deepen the flavor.

5. A little Redmond Real Salt Seasoning Salt rounds out the flavor amazingly.

If you've never eaten Aoudad, you'll have no idea what I'm going on about. If you have, you just WON'T believe how good it is when you get it done right.

Lasagna Madness

You can't help but love Lasagna, and we sure do. We make several kinds, and we hope you love them as much as we do .

First, we have good old fashioned basic Lasagna and it has several variants. But it starts with the same recipe, with some alternate ingredients to change up the flavor it you like.


Pre-Layer 1 in a large and DEEP 9X13 cake pan.

1 can of tomato sauce, poured in and spread around.

Layer 1

Three lasagna noodles (any kind, either pre-cooked, or oven ready), laid out in a layer.

Layer 2

1 lb cottage cheese with 1 egg stirred in, and 1/4 cup parmesan, and 1 tsp dried parsley stirred in. Spread that on the noodles. NOTE!! There are two layers like this, so you need TWO cartons of cottage cheese, three if you like LOTS of the white cheese layer.

Layer 3

1 lb hamburger, cooked with 1 small chopped onion. You can use Italian sausage, or you can add fennel and garlic.

1/2 jar spaghetti sauce - mix this in with the hamburger.

Blop this over the cottage cheese layer.

NOTE!!! There are two layers like this, so you need to DOUBLE this for the entire recipe, and use HALF for this layer.

Layer 4

1 lb mozzarella cheese, shredded - load that onto the meat and sauce layer.

NOTE!!! There are two layers like this, so you need a total of TWO lbs of mozzarella for the entire recipe.

Layer 5

Three more lasagna noodles, laid out on top of the cheese.

Layer 6

A second layer of cottage cheese filling - yes, you need another entire lb of cottage cheese.

Layer 7

A second layer of hamburger and sauce.

Layer 8

That other lb of mozzarella, and top that with some Parmesan cheese.

Bake for about 1 hour in a 375 degree oven.


So that is Lasagna. There are all kinds, but there are basically either THREE or FOUR layers.



1. Chicken Lasagna - sub chicken for the beef.

2. Alfredo Lasagna - sub chicken, pork, or shrimp for the beef, and Alfredo Sauce for the Spaghetti Sauce.

3. Pork Lasagna - Sub ground or cubed pork for the beef, add 1 tbsp vinegar and 1 tbsp sugar to the sauce.

4. Mexican Lasagna - Sub taco seasoning and tomato sauce for the spaghetti sauce. Use flour or corn tortillas instead of the noodles.

5. Pesto Lasagna - Sub Basil Pesto for the spaghetti sauce - it takes LESS Pesto than spaghetti sauce. You can also put the Pesto in a layer of its own on top of the cottage cheese layer, and then use Alfredo or tomato sauce with the meat layer.

6. Veggie Lasagna - We only like this with meat. Just add spinach to the cottage cheese, or other veggies in between. Soft pan fried fennel bulb is awesome on top of the cheese layer.

7. Ham Lasagna - sub ham for the meat, white sauce for the spaghetti sauce, and potatoes or rice for the noodles, or just keep the noodles if you like.

8. Meatball Lasagna - Use meatballs instead of the hamburger, and you can sub curly noodles or penne for the lasagna noodles.

9. Ravioli Lasagna - Layer Ravioli into the pan instead of lasagna noodles.

10. Breakfast Lasagna (no egg) - Layers are Grands Layered Biscuits, pulled into three layers, and laid onto the bottom of the pan, then breakfast meat (most any kind - bacon, smoked sausage, breakfast sausage, ham, smoked turkey, spicy chicken, chorizo, taco meat, thin shaved steak, etc), white Country Gravy, then shredded cheese, then another layer of thin biscuits, meat, gravy, and top with more cheese. You can use a Drop Biscuit batter instead of Grands.

12. Corn Lasagna - Add corn to your meat layer, works with many kinds of Lasagna.

13. Eggy Breakfast Lasagna - Layers are tortillas, tomato sauce mixed with breakfast meat (NOT breakfast sausage, but smoked sausage, plain pork, chicken, beef, or taco meat), scrambled egg (with or without Country Gravy), Shredded cheese, and REPEAT.

14. Classic Breakfast Lasagna - Sub mild salsa for the spaghetti sauce, and add scrambled egg to the meat layer. Double the eggs in the cottage cheese layer. You can sub tortillas or layers of Grands biscuits for the noodles.

15. Poured Breakfast Lasagna - 1 cup white sauce for the pre-layer. Bottom layer is a poured biscuit batter (thin drop biscuit batter), layer of cheese, layer of breakfast meat (any kind or combination), poured layer of 6 beaten eggs with 1/2 cup milk, sauteed onion with red or yellow and green peppers, thickish layer of spinach, 2 cups white sauce, layer of cheese, layer of meat, poured layer of 6 eggs with milk, second layer of both kinds of veggies, and then a second layer of biscuit batter poured over the top, and a heavy layer of cheese. Bake at 375 for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

16. Yorkshire Pudding Lasagna - 1 cup milk, 1 cup flour, and 2 eggs, beaten lightly together. Melt 2 tbsp butter or bacon fat in a square cake pan, and then pour in the batter. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, and then top with cooked breakfast meat with cooked diced onion, white gravy, and a heavy layer of cheese. Return to oven for 10 minutes.

17. White Chicken Lasagna - Sub chicken for the beef, and white gravy for the spaghetti sauce. Add sauteed onions with the chicken. If you add a good seasoning salt to the chicken, or to the gravy, this tastes much better.

18. Potato Lasagna - Sub COOKED sliced potatoes for the noodles. Sub white gravy for the spaghetti sauce.

19. Cheesy Potato Bacon Lasagna - Sub cooked sliced potatoes for the noodles. Sub CHEESE sauce for the spaghetti sauce. Add Bacon bits to the beef layer.

19. Sweet Potato Dessert Lasagna - Sub sliced cooked sweet potatoes for the noodles. Sub vanilla wafers for the cottage cheese layer. Sub vanilla, banana, pistachio, or butterscotch pudding for the meat layer. Repeat layers, and top with crushed vanilla wafers. Dribble freshly made lemon pudding over the top.

20. Pizza Lasagna - Layer Pepperoni on top of the cottage cheese layer. Add olives, mushrooms, red and green peppers, or other favorite toppings over the meat and spaghetti sauce layer. Top with a heavy layer of mozzarella, and layer the top with more Pepperoni.

All The Tacos

Taco Meat is like Chili. It can be used in so many things. Here's a list of ideas to get you started.

If you make extra taco meat, you can get another meal out of it. Or two. It freezes easily in ziplock bags.


Taco Meat

  • 1 lb hamburger, ground pork or ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup diced onion (or 2 tbsp dried diced onion)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic granules
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained (save the juice for soup)

Toss everything but the tomatoes into a non-stick skillet, stir to blend the spices into the meat, cook on med-high heat until the hamburger is cooked through. IMPORTANT. Chili powder and cumin MUST be cooked in the food you are seasoning, or the flavors will not develop fully.


Taco Meat With Beans and Cheese
(Ok, so this is really just my Burrito Filling, but it works here too)

  • 1 lb cooked Taco Meat
  • 1 can refried beans, or drained whole beans
  • 1/2 lb shredded cheese

Heat through and blend together, OR layer into a baking pan, and put in the oven for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Biscuit Casserole - Use Taco Meat with Beans and Cheese, already heated through. Put in a square baking dish, and top with either refridgerator biscuits, or use 1 cup Bisquik blended with milk to make a batter (the consistency of cake batter), poured over the top. Bake until the biscuits are completely done.

Cornbread Casserole - Use Taco Meat with Beans and Cheese, already heated through. Put into a square baking dish, and top with 1 batch corn bread batter, bake until corn bread is fully cooked.

Taco Pie - Use 1 batch Taco Meat, or you can use Taco Meat with Beans and Cheese, either way, already heated through. You need 1, 9" pie pan with bottom crust, uncooked. Fill with HOT Taco Meat, and top with cheese. Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes, or until crust is done. You can also do this with a top crust.

Red Pepper Taco Boats - You need 1 batch Taco Meat, Shredded Cheese, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Salsa, Olives, etc. Heat the Taco Meat with the cheese on top of it. Cut your peppers in half, and fill with Taco Meat and Cheese. Top with other ingredients according to personal taste. Serving size is TWO half peppers.

Taco Pizza - 1 Pizza Crust, with Tomato Sauce and a layer of Cheese, OR 1 Cheese Pizza. Top with 1/2 lb Taco Meat, Olives, Diced Tomatoes, Diced Onion (cooked or raw), Drained cooked Beans, or other Toppings. Layer another layer of cheese on, and cook at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes (depending on thickness of Pizza). Lettuce is optional.

Taco Salad - All the good stuff piled on a bed of lettuce or spinach. Use Taco Meat, Cheese, Olives, Diced Tomato, Diced Avocado, Diced Onion, Tortilla or Frito Chips, Sour Cream, Salsa, Ranch Dressing, Chipoltle Dressing, etc. Be generous with the toppings on this and it is a heart, nutrient dense meal.

Taco Nacho - Same as Taco Salad, but on a bed of chips, or in a bowl with chips all around it on the plate.

Taco Dog - Use Taco Meat with Beans and Cheese. Spoon over a hotdog in a bun, and top with cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc.

Taco Pockets - Several ways to do this. You can use Pie Pastry, Bread Dough, or Biscuit Dough. Roll out the dough into a circle, fill with hot Taco Meat and top with cheese and any other ingredients you want, fold over and seal closed. Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until dough is fully done. You can use a large clamshell turnover press to make these.

Taco Ravioli - Make a simple Pasta Dough, and roll it out thin. You can use a small clamshell turnover press to make ravioli. Fill the Ravioli with either Taco Meat plus cheese, or with Taco Meat with Beans and Cheese.

Taco Tater Pie - Use Taco Meat with Beans and Cheese. Place in baking dish, and top with mashed potatoes, or with tater tots, or a layer of hash browns. Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, or until potatoes are browned, or until hash browns are brown and tender.

TacoMale Pie - Mix Masa Flour with Water, to make a batter - it absorbs a lot of water, so you usually add water more than once to adjust, before you pour it into the pan. Put it into a square baking dish, and top with hot taco filling, and top again with cheese. Taco Filling may be either Taco Meat, or Taco Meat with Beans and Cheese.

Taco Guaco - Heat Taco Meat and top with cheese. Fill avocado halves with meat and cheese mixture, and top with sour cream and salsa.

Taco Soup -Use your leftover tomato juice from your diced tomatoes in this. You can make this from leftover Taco Meat, but you can also just throw in cooked hamburger. You need Meat, Onions, Garlic, Butter, Tomatoes, Chili Powder, Cumin, Salt, Salsa and Beans for the soup (add water to BARELY cover). Serve the soup with olives, cheese, sour cream, salsa, guacamole, tortilla or fritos chips.

Taco Sausage - Grind half pork, half beef and blend. Add diced onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, dash of curry powder, Redmond Real Salt Seasoning Salt, and mix well. Fry a small amount and taste test. Adjust seasonings, and put in sausage casings, or pipe out without casings. Freeze. Serve in a bun, or cut up and fried with cabbage. Use in Mac and Cheese, or serve cooked beside eggs for breakfast.

Taco Tamale - Mix Masa Flour with water, to make a SOFT pasty dough (add water more than once, it absorbs a LOT). Smear the dough onto corn husks, or parchment paper squares. Lay a line of Taco Meat down the middle. Roll up. Steam for half an hour, OR can according to Tamale Canning instructions (careful, this one has to be done JUST RIGHT, or you'll have disaster).

Taco Breakfast Burritos - Sub taco meat for breakfast sausage in breakfast burritos. Good stuff!

Fried Taco Rolls - Stuff eggroll wraps with Taco Meat and Cheese, and fry until crispy brown.

Taco Pinwheels - Use refrigerator  Crescent Roll dough, or Pizza dough, and roll it out into a rectangle. Cover with Taco Meat, and then with cheese, add tomato or onion. Roll up, and slice into 1" wide slices, lay them on a cookie sheet, and bake at 375 for about 25 minutes.

Taco Stromboli - Just like Taco Pinwheels, but we don't cut it. You can use a bread dough for this, rolled out into a rectangle. After you roll it up, you lay it seam side down on a cookie sheet, and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until it is done through.

Taco Tater Tot Casserole - This is best if you use 1 batch of Taco Meat mixed with 1 bath of Taco Meat with Beans and Cheese. Layer some more cheese over that, and top with Tater Tots (they are best if deep fried first... but we all know that). Bake until hot and browned on top.

Taco Mac - Mix Taco Meat with Macaroni and Cheese. Add tomatoes, or cooked onions if wanted. You just HAVE to enjoy THAT.

Taquitos - Roll taco meat and cheese in corn tortillas. Deep fry. You can use flour tortillas if you wish, and it is even better.

Taco Lasagna - Use flour tortillas in place of noodles if you want, but noodles work also. Layer Taco Meat, cottage cheese, Cheddar Cheese, Salsa, and Olives and Cooked Onions. Top with lots of cheese and bake until hot and until the cheese is browned.

Taco Burger - Use Taco Meat with Beans and Cheese instead of Sloppy Joe filling, and top with cheese and lettuce, and anything else that sounds intriguing and delicious on your taco.

Taco Sandwich - Just stuff all that taco goodness into Pita bread.


Taco Rice Bowl - Mix 1/3 taco meat with 2/3 cooked rice. Top with cheese and taco toppings.


Taco Taters - Taco stuffed baked potatoes.


Taco Mexo - Cornmeal mush spread in a baking dish, topped with taco meat, and cheese.


Taco Mexi Rice - Add 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 lb taco meat, and 1 chopped sauteed red pepper to 3 cups of Spanish Rice. Top with Cheese, and Sour Cream.


Make extra of that Taco Filling and you won't have to worry about what's for dinner.

Peasy Leeky Soup

I just kind of MADE this. Because I did not have all the ingredients I wanted for Split Pea Soup. It made a very thin savory and brothy soup that thickened as it cooled to a stew-like consistency. It is not pasty like most Split Pea Soup.

Get out that Instant Pot.

(Ok, so you can do this in a crock pot if you wish but it will take about 24 hours on high, with lots of stirring.)

  • 1 lb dried split peas
  • 4 qts water

Into the pot they go.

Run this on a long and hot bean cycle. My Midea has settings by the kind of food, so I don't have times and pressures, I just know this goes for the longest bean setting, and the highest pressure.

You should end up with split peas that are COMPLETELY DISSOLVED. They should be cooked until there is NO SHAPE left.

Throw in:

  • 3/4 cups dried leeks, OR 1 small chopped leek (sub chopped green onion if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup dried celery OR 1/3 of a bunch of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried carrots or 2 large shredded carrots
  • 1/2 tsp dried curled parsley
  • about 8 good shakes of Redmond Real Salt Seasoning Salt
  • a good sprinkling of sea salt (you can salt to taste later, but peas absorb salt)
  • 1 lb or more finely chopped ham with the broth (can sub breakfast sausage, smoked sausage or other meat)
  • 2 TBSP or more real bacon bits or 1/4 lb bacon (add the fat if you wish, I didn't have it)
  • 1 stick butter

Run it again on the same cycle. No, it really won't burn, it is too thin. IMPORTANT! The vegetables need to be cooked really well, so go ahead and let it go long.

You'll end up with a really thin soup, which will thicken a lot as it cools. It thickens so much that by tomorrow it will be a medium thick Pea Soup that rounds up on the spoon.

You can pressure can this recipe, it is a thin enough soup to work well.


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I do what I do because I understand the science behind it, and I've researched worldwide sources to verify the safety of my practices to my own satisfaction. Please do your own research, and proceed AT YOUR OWN RISK.




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