Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Learn How to Cook Great Meat

Posted By on Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 7:32 AM

Lesley's recent post about asking where your meat comes from got me reaching for a book that has been on my "to be reviewed" shelf for a while and which I thought might offer some illumination on the topic. Fair Winds Press recently released a book titled Great Meat: Classic Techniques and Award-Winning Recipes for Selecting, Cutting, and Cooking Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry and Game. The authors are Dave Kelley and John Hogan, a butcher and a chef who really care about meat and its origins.

Kelly is the chief butcher at Ruby & White, one of Great Britain's premier meat shops. He specializes in traditional butchery methods of locally sourced and breed-specific meats, so his insights into the selection of protein are based in experiences outside of the typical boxed meats that most consumers encounter in our local groceries. Hogan is the chef at Keefer's in Chicago, well-known as one of America's best steakhouses.

Together, the authors present some really valuable advice on how to identify and select specific cuts of meat and then how best to cook them in your home kitchen. The beef section that leads off the book divides primal and sub-primal cuts by the best cooking methods from flash cooking of ground beef and thinner cuts like hangar and skirt steaks to traditional grilling and broiling steaks like the rib-eye and T-bone. Braising and stew cuts like roasts are also described with recipes to get the best flavor out of these tougher muscles.

The pork chapter runs the gamut from snout to tail, with instructions for how to make your own sausage or braise a belly in cider. I especially appreciated the advice on how to cook lamb, a meat I love to eat in restaurants, but which I rarely attempt at home. They take the fear out of lamb preparation, and I see a batch of kebabs coming in my future as soon grilling season rolls around.

The section on wild game is pretty short, but advice on preparing venison and rabbit is always appreciated for the rare occasions when I acquire some from my hunting friends. Duck and goose are also addressed in their own chapter, which is nice since I've rarely had much luck cooking my goose. The authors' advice on cooking chicken and turkey are covered in length in other cookbooks, but they do fill out the comprehensive nature of this book fairly well.

Great Meat is well-illustrated with technical and recipe photos, and once you learn how to spatchcock a chicken, you may never try to roast a whole bird again. The knowledge offered in this book combined with a good relationship with your local butcher could really help to improve your carnivorous experiences at home.

If this sounds like something you need, the book is available for less than $20 at Amazon.

Tags: , , , , ,


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

All contents © 1995-2014 City Press LLC, 210 12th Ave. S., Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of City Press LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Powered by Foundation