Eating Raw Meat

Many people believe raw meat and fish is more nutritious than cooking.  While some nutrients ~ especially the water soluble B Vitamins ~  may diminish during cooking, the fat soluble vitamins are more heat tolerant.  In Primal Nutrition: Paleolithic Diets For Optimal Health,  Ron Schmid, ND shares the research of Weston A. Price, noting common patterns among the primitive populations that remained strong, healthy, and immune from disease:

  • Land and sea animal foods were central to their diets 
  • The fattiest parts (brain/marrow) and organs were the most highly revered foods.  Some Native populations, such as tribes in the Sudan considered liver to be especially sacred
  •  Native populations tended to eat a mix of raw meat, fish, and raw organs, or raw milk and cheese, along with some raw wild plant foods.  Foods were also lightly cooked, fermented,  smoked, dried or preserved.  Bone broths or soups of other various parts of the animal were also consumed in some native populations.
  • Those who were no longer consuming their native diets, and instead began to consume refined and processed foods that were becoming increasingly available around the world became sick ~ they contracted tuberculosis, and other diseases, their teeth and the teeth of their offspring degenerated and became more crowded, and they eventually became overweight and developed diabetes.
  • Women who consumed their native ancestral diets ~ including raw meat, fish, and organs ~  had healthy pregnancies, and very easy deliveries.  Those who were consuming the refined and processed grain products had very difficult deliveries.

Eating raw flesh or organ meats was natural to these populations, just as eating raw fish or sushi has become popular in many modern cities.  Even raw meat has a history of being seen as a delicacy in many fancy restaurants.  Think Steak Tartare, or Carpacchio.

While some eat exclusively raw animal foods or raw plant foods, we take a middle ground approach, having some foods raw, some cooked, just as the Native populations have been doing around the world for many generations.

All About Raw Meat is a good article on Paleo Leap looking at the nutritional comparison of raw versus cooked meat.

Even those who recoil at the thought of eating raw flesh foods will enjoy these simple preparations

For those interested in incorporating more raw meat and fish, or raw dairy and eggs into their diets, it is easier than you may think.  Having even small amounts of raw animal foods can increase absorption of various nutrients that can help recovery from diseased or degenerative conditions much quicker.  

The research conducted by Weston A. Price, and others, indicating that consumption of raw meat, fish, dairy, and some fruits and wild greens was a central feature to the diets of the healthiest populations, it seems worth considering, especially if you have chronic conditions you are wanting to improve.

Raw Grass-Fed Ground Beef:

Don makes this variation of a Steak Tartare with locally produced, very fresh pasture-raised (grass-fed and finished) raw meat that was frozen before eating.  Freezing will help kill off any pathogens.  You can use already ground beef, or grind your own.

  • 1+ pound GF ground beef (or grind your preferred cut of meat)
  • 2 Tbsp. +/- oil - xvoo (single origin best), pecan oil, hazelnut oil or a blend, or sub one egg yolk
  • Several scallions thinly sliced
  • 1+ tsp. ground cumin
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
  • Sour cream 

Blend all the ingredients except the sour cream.  Serve with sour cream on top.  Delicious flavor blend!

Sliced raw meat is quite tender, and contrary to main stream myths, it is very easy to chew, and very easy to digest and assimilate.

Our naturally brined and fermented (without vinegar) thin sliced beets and red cabbage with red onions is the perfect accompaniment!

Season meat as desired, or just enjoy it as it.

Here are a couple more ways to ease into eating meat raw

We often buy roasts, such as a Chuck Roast, and slice it into steaks.  They can be marinated for an hour or overnight with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and oil (xvoo, pecan oil, macadamia nut oil, or hazelnut oil are good).  Season as desired with sea salt, cracked pepper, and anything else you like, such as garlic powder or cumin.  

When ready to prepare,  grill steaks just long enough to sear both sides.  The inside will be rare.  Try not to cook past medium-rare.  The more cooked, the more the nutrients are destroyed, and the less tender the meat will be.

You can also dry-age the roast.   Leave sit open in the refrigerator uncovered over night, or up to 2-3 days.  

The Bottom Round Roast, pictured below, was made by searing it in the oven on a high temperature.  Season the meat with sea salt, pepper, and optional bit of balsamic vinegar and crushed garlic or garlic powder, and/or cumin.  Little is needed.

Place in a roasting pan or baking dish at a pre-heated oven set to 500┬║ (or just under) and roast for about five minutes per pound of meat.  It should look nicely browned all around.  Turn it around half way through if needed.  The meat will be tender, and rare-medium-rare inside.

Great with the Horseradish Sauce!

Yet another way to enjoy raw meat ~ or raw heart which is an excellent source of the amino acid L-Taruine, found abundantly in the heart and brain.  Heart has a less gamey taste than liver.  

Slice meat or organs in thin slices, and place in a bowl.  Pour reheated Beef Bone Broth on top.  You can also add some of the fermented cabbage or beets to the broth ~ or any other vegetable such as fresh or dried herbs like parsley or thyme, scallions, a little fresh tomato, etc. ~ as desired.  

The broth will cool off a bit, but it is a good way of eating the meat with little actual cooking, preserving the nutrients in a very enjoyable, nutrient-rich soup. 

Eating raw meat not appealing yet?  Try searing your steak or meat in the oven on high as outlined above, on a grill or in a pan.  

Just try it and see what you think!  Raw meat is quite tender and juicy!

You may also want to try our raw liver or raw fish recipes.

Or, try a roast, such as the Bottom Round Roast, bottom L picture, with a horseradish sauce.  We made this by making the mayonnaise first, then adding horseradish.

Bottom Round Roast seared on a high heat is perfectly cooked inside. Horseradish Sauce is a perfect accompaniment for roast beef!
Slice raw meat thin, and enjoy with fermented cabbage or beets. The vegetables add a little salty flavor. If you make your own, and find them too salty, just give a quick rinse first.
If you like sour cream, add a dollop with raw ground beef or sliced meats. Getting your meat from a local producer raising animals on pasture is preferred.

To make the mayonnaise for the homemade Horseradish Sauce:

  • 1 egg
  • Juice of half lemon
  • 1/4 tsp.  white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dry yellow mustard
  • Pinch salt
  • About 1/2 cup oil ~ try a lighter single varietal xvoo, or a blend of oils using part xvoo and part pecan oil, hazelnut oil, walnut oil, or avocado oil, and/or a high oleic sunflower oil (ONLY use sunflower oil if high oleic, unrefined ~ it has a better monounsaturated fatty acid profile than olive oil, however commercial plant oils are NOT the same quality, and NOT recommended!)

Place all ingredients except the oil in a blender.  Blend for 2 seconds.  

Remove the cap in the lid, and slowly pour in the oil while the blender is running, adding enough to get a slightly thick consistency.

This recipe and many more are in The TYTN Low-Carb Lifestyle!

You may enjoy any of these other nut oils, with many purported health benefits, whether taken internally, or applied to the skin.  Pecan oil is a nice, mild oil that also has a high heat point.   They add a nice flavor when marinating meats, or as part of a dressing if having your raw meat with some fresh raw spring greens.

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>Raw Liver ~ Easy way to prepare raw liver to make it more palatable, plus I share how the early Taoist practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine  viewed our own liver!

>Raw Fish ~ Simple recipes for both raw and cooked fish, plus I share some recent studies and discussion about the many health benefits of regular consumption of the important Omega 3 fatty acids, especially EPA and DHA found in fish.