Favorite Bloggers: The Domestic Man
Russ Crandall writes that his life was “pretty boring” until 2005. Then, he had stroke at age 24, caused by something his doctors never figured out.
Recovering from that, just a few years later, he was facing a rare autoimmune condition that narrows the pulmonary arteries. With rotating hospital visits, major surgeries and after being put on some scary drugs, he was looking for other forms of help.
Then, in 2010, after adopting a Paleo diet, his condition markedly improved and he was able to say goodbye to steroid therapy. That year, he also began The Domestic Man with the idea that, as Russ puts it, “we as humans have become domesticated, and we have lost touch with our lineage. So I wanted to reconnect with nature by chronicling my gardening and cooking adventures.”
Russ’s younger years spent working as a chef in small restaurants, logging a fair amount of time with world travel and his service in the U.S. Navy since 2000 all combine to help make the blog’s rich recipe base and detailed adventures of his garden pursuits a destination for over 1.8 million visits since it began.
The Domestic Man was nominated as a finalist in Saveur’s “2013 Best Food Blog Awards” for the Best Special Diets Blog category.
Throw out any intimidation about working with this lean cut of beef (taken from the hindquarters of the cow) and drying it out beyond recognition. With this recipe, Russ instructs to roast the meat at a high temp, then to turn off the oven and leave it for 2 ½ hours . The resulting finished product tastes a whole lot like prime rib, with a crusty outer layer and juicy, tender pink meat inside. For this cheaper cut of meat, the taste delivered is incredible. Russ writes that “I may never cook an eye of round roast any other way for the rest of my life . . .” And neither may you.
Why We Love it and You Will Too
For newbies or Paleo vets alike, the sheer variety of recipes (new ones are posted each Tuesday), beautiful photography, non-intimidating recipe instruction and Russ’s easy, approachable writing style will make any domestic man–or woman–want to favorite this blog. His cooking background and world travel experience also help enrich the entries with background you cannot get from your average Paleo recipe blog. For a glimpse into what you can learn besides how to cook or garden, here’s an example from his recipe for Rouladen:
Rouladen is the German version of the French roulade, which is a roll made with thinly-sliced meat. The German version is interesting in that it probably came from Germans using items they had on hand most of the time – mustard, pickles, onion, and pork – to make something that’s unique in its own right. What’s even better is that these characteristics also make it easy to throw together this delicious meal with items you probably already have in your kitchen.
There’s no denying the French influence on this dish, with its use of a wine and broth braise (although Germans sometimes use beer instead) and mirepoix vegetables to add flavor. It’s commonly thought that Rouladen was originally made with strips of pork, although beef has become the most popular meat for this dish over the past century.
The gorgeous photography that Russ uses brings his colorful, delicious recipes to life on the page. The ability of great images to make the mouth water really rings true—and no doubt make his recipes want to be tried. He brings his gardening adventures to the screen with his photography as well, where detailed shots of new stalks, ripe harvests and do-it-yourself building projects might make even the most black-thumbed among us want to dig in the dirt.
If you haven’t checked out this blog that helps us re-connect to our former un-domestic selves, The Domestic Man is undeniably worth clicking, and coming back to, again and again.
Images: Copyright © Russ from The Domestic Man