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Everything posted by Mister_Cutlets

  1. I don't know. Waverly Root asserts, in Eating in America (1976), that it is a distant forth among American meats, and that the average american only eats four pounds of it a year. It has something to do, I think, with the historically timid palates of Americans. Lamb has a distinct taste, and that in itself is enough to put off a lot of people, who prefer skinless chicken breasts and filet of sole to meats that know their own mind. Lamb is pretty popular overall; what strikes me is why people don't eat more mutton. Lamb is a pallid version of mutton, and resembles its rank majesty only as much as a game hen does a full-bodied roaster. I think, too, that lamb has been under-utilized by cooks. When people think of lamb they think of lamb chops and leg of lamb. Lamb chops are relatively expensive, and of course the contemporary obsession with fat causes them to "frenched" by butchers, which makes them hardly worth eating. Leg of lamb, meanwhile, is an old-time classic, but only when made carefully in a slow oven. Just popping a leg of lamb into an oven won't get you far, and it will be chewy if you overcook it. Finally, I think that the relative obscurity of lamb can be accounted for not by any of its own deficiencies, but rather by the comparative excellence of beef and pork. Cattle are really the perfect meat animal, and it was our country in which beef production on a truly vast scale, of the kind never imagined in the old world, enabled every man, woman, and child to enjoy the bounty of fresh beef every day. And the humble pig, of course, which eats garbage or even forages for itself, and then gives to the world a hundred tasty kinds of meat, will always be the staple meat of family farms. Just like movies, cars, gunnery, and so many other european inventions, beef and pork were taken by the American genius to unforeseen heights, and lamb was left behind. People still like it, esp. Greek-americans, but it never found its way into the starry dynamo of American development, and remains a backwater in the land of meat. yrs, Mr. Cutlets
  2. Jogoode, Tripe is all over the place. I love in with red sauce, a l'ancienne, and in all its chinese versions too. But I haven't had a good tripe sandwich in a long time, now that you mention it! I do, though, regularly enjoy something very close. The next innard to hit the foodar of New York's feinshmeckers may well be spleen. At First Avenue's Foccacceria, I often pop in for a vesteddi sandwich -- boiled slices of spleen reheated in shortening, and then popped onto a roll with some fresh ricotta and a handful of caciocavallo cheese. Stay lean with spleen! Hope this helps. Mr. Cutlets
  3. Blubber is most definitely meat, or at least meat fat. Whether eskimos have 27 words for it I couldn't say. Look how many words we have for pork! I have never eaten blubber, though, and never plan to. You could spend your whole life just exploring pork. Novelty is the least important quality of any meat. yours, Mr. Cutlets
  4. "I love my wife -- but oh you kid!" Mr. Cutlets
  5. Jat, There's two things you need to do if you want really exemplary prime rib. First of all, you need to start with great meat. Ideally, it should be dry-aged, but that costs a fortune and doesn't really guarantee greatness anyway. What is important is that the meat be genuinely prime. Of course, much of what is called "prime meat" today would have been labelled Choice ten years ago; so look for the very primest of the prime: ruby meat liberally marbled with creamy white fat, and bought if possible from either Citarella, Lobels, Ottomanelli's, Pino's, or one of the other established premium butchers here in New York. As for cooking it, I never enjoyed the standing rib roasts or other oven-roasted treats the way they are traditionally served. Prime rib is too fatty to served with its broad plane completely unbrowned; the sight of a vast slab of it, swimming in its own juice, with slabs of white unmelted fat on the edges, puts me in a mind to think twice about eating meat three times a day. I prefer the method you see in French restaurants, where a double cut is broiled and then sliced up at the table. You get plenty of deliciously caramelized surface, crispy fat, and all the succulent, beefy flavor you could want. Be careful about trying it at home if you don't have a very hot broiler, though. Like Chef in Apocalypse Now, the sight of beautifully marbled prime rib turning gray might make you "lose it." Hope this helps. yours, Mr. Cutlets
  6. This is one of my favorite topics, albeit one of the most gruesome ones. I have often, in the twilight of my years, looked forward to a genetically engineered future in which immense "kobe-style" hogs are bread for majestically marbled pork chops and freakish cows are created with spinalis dorsii muscles (the exquisite "lip" at the top of the rib-eye steak) as big as shell loins. I long for a chicken that is all skin, and a boneless duck that I can eat with one hand. But all this is perhaps too ambitious. If the current trends continue, beef and pork will continue to get leaner and less tasty, people will insist that they like it better that way, and eventually the beef, pork and veal that we know and love will become a luxury item like single-malt scotch. People will still eat more meat than they should, and die in exactly the same rates; but their lives will be bleaker, and their meals hardly worth eating. This is the prophecy of Mr. Cutlets.
  7. You're right, hillbill, jerky is expensive. Spending that much on leathery, fromaldehyde-soaked strips of plastic makes me feel, well, jerky. I think that it has to be expensive, because people don't buy a lot of it. One bag of jerky is enough for most people for a month or more...even the most iron-jawed jerky lovers don't go through bags of it like they would, say, pork rinds or funyons. Now, on the subject of superior jerky, two places come to mind. Down in Chinatown, there is a large grocery store on (I believe) Mott Street just above Canal. They have several kinds of jerky, including a really delicious pork version. Far and away the best I've ever had, however, comes from Jiggs Smokehouse in Clinton, Oklahoma. I'm sure there are other great jerkys in america, but Jiggs is the best I've ever had. Look for great barbecue and great bacon and you'll find great jerky. That's the best advice I can give you. Yr pal, Mr. Cutlets
  8. Dave, The answer to that question may well lower your opinion of me, but that is a Canadian Goose that my friend found walking around stunned alongside the Garden State Parkway. On its winged migration from the north, it must have gotten clipped by somebody, and my friend finished the poor thing off. My expression in that picture is one of an almost unseemly glee at the unexpected treat. I did not give it a name, but I did scald it, pluck it, and slow roast it over charcoal with constant careful basting. Alas, it was a tough, spindly thing under all those feathers, and wasn't worth the effort. I should have just gone to KFC. But I've always believed that serendipity makes the best sauce, even for roadkill. Yrs, Mr. Cutlets
  9. I have a cassoulet question for New Yorkers -- where, in your opinion, can the most perfect expression of Cassoulet, whether touloussain or normadois, be found in the city? I'm doing an article on great cold weather dishes, and I'd like to be able to recommend a really first class cassoulet. Any suggestions for other classic french cold weather dishes, such as coq au vin, boeuf bourgouigon, etc. etc. would be welcome as well. Mr. Cutlets www.mr-cutlets.com
  10. Mister_Cutlets


    The simmering / grilling thing always struck me as an overcooked bratwurst waiting to happen. To paraphrase barry fitzgerald, when I boil wursts, I boil wursts, and when I grill them, I grill them. Not that there's anything wrong with the combo method... For me, the best possible method of cooking brats is to smoke them. I used to give them three hours at 225 degrees and strong hickory smoker in my full-size smoker, but now that I live in New York, I have to settle for indirect heat in a weber grill and charcoals instead of hardwood. It's still great, though. The brats remain intensely juicy, and the smoke takes to that mild porky taste like peaches to cream. Smoking is equally great for weisswurst, bockwurst, and other mild / bland natural-casing sausages. Mr. Cutlets www.mr-cutlets.com
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