Game of Thrones Bowl of Brown (Paleo)

 Flea Bottom's finest!

A bowl of brown in honor of Game of Thrones, the greatest show that ever was or will be. 

If you're not familiar with the infamous bowl of brown, it's a years-old stew filled with mystery meat that is served in the poor areas of King's Landing. That's the clean version. It's truly much more gruesome, but this is not the setting for such talk. 

My stew is only a few hours old, and it's not actually a stew. It's a chili.

I went with a Mexican theme and kept this bowl of brown totally Paleo. If you're not Paleo, feel free to enjoy all the fixins. Sour cream, cheese, tortilla strips....


Oh, and I used grass-fed beef, but that part is optional. I'll save another time to tell you why I prefer grass-fed beef.

Anyway, start with the spice mix:

I like things spicy (with a little bit of rice-y) so I used lots of red chili flakes. Use the amount you feel comfortable with. Even if it's none at all.

Chop up all the veggies you want to add. Go with your intuition (or what you have in the fridge).

This is what I used:

 Brown the veggies in a pot, add the beef and spices and cook down:

Once you've cooked out most of the moisture, add the beef broth/stock, bring it to a boil and simmer for at least an hour:

Check the chili for taste and consistency.

To thicken sauce and intensify flavors, keep simmering the chili uncovered. If you just want to thicken the sauce without intensifying the flavors, use a thickener.

To keep it Paleo use arrowroot, or any other root vegetable thickener. Otherwise, cornstarch or flour can be used.

Just mix a spoonful of the thickener with a splash of water and mix with a fork. Add this "slurry" to the chili and bring to boil then simmer for a few minutes. It will thicken more as it cools.

Grab some fresh herbs and green onions to finish the dish.

 "When I was your age, I lived on one bowl of stew a day, and 'stew' is a kind word for it." - Melisandre 

"In Flea Bottom we called them 'bowls of brown'. We'd pretend that the meat in them was chicken - we knew it wasn't chicken." - Gendry



For Bowl Of Brown:

1 lb ground beef (I used grass-fed beef)
4 cups beef broth/stock
3 tomatoes
1 onion
3 garlic cloves
bunch of cilantro
1 green onion for garnish (optional)

For Bowl Of Brown Spice Mix:

1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
pinch of red chili flakes (optional)


Begin by mixing all the ingredients for the spice mix in a small bowl. Set aside.

Then, brown the beef in a large pot. Only add oil if the beef is really lean.

Roughly chop the tomatoes, onion and garlic and add them to the pot on medium/high heat.

Add 2 tablespoons of the spice mix and cook until the tomatoes have lost most of their moisture and the food is starting to stick to the bottom.

Once that happens, add the beef broth/stock and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove all those yummy bits of flavor.

Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to simmer for an hour, with the top off.

After an hour check the consistency of the sauce, if it needs to thicken, continue cooking it uncovered for another 30mins to an hour.

Once you have reached the desired thickness of the broth, taste for seasonings. Add more of the spice mix or S&P, if needed.

Add the chopped cilantro, reserving a little bit for garnish.

Pour the chili into individual bowls o' brown and top with fresh chopped cilantro and green onion.