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It's on special......


Anna N
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I have just finished reading a rather old cookbook, The Dione Lucas Book of French Cooking. 1947/1973 One interesting and, to me, unusual feature of this book is a short table at the start of the meat chapter which lists cuts of meat, cooking methods and then examples of classical dishes using that cut and that cooking method.

We have in various forums lists of essential pantry ingredients but I thought it might be very interesting and useful to have something along the lines of this chart.

When the flyers arrive and bottom round is on special it's not always so easy to come up with a variety of dishes that make the best use of this cut. But with all the talent on this board, I am betting we could put together quite a number of suggestions for various meats and fish and perhaps even recipes!

Has this ever been done here before? Does anyone else think the idea has merit?

If we kept a standard title, such as "Bottom round on special - what can I make?" it would be pretty easy to search for whatever cut of meat or fish we might be interested in.

Anyone willing to start the ball rolling?

Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Forget the recipes.

I buy what's cheap and just cook it (bake, broil, fry, stew, braise...). If the pieces are too big, I cut it up and use them that way. If there's too much, I freeze individual portions on a half sheet pan lined with parchment and covered with plastic wrap, and heave them in a freezer bag in my deep freeze when solid.

If you need to get a handle on techniques and general purpose recipes, I suggest start with an all-purpose cookbook like The Joy of Cooking (not the most recent edition, but an earlier one) or Fannie Farmer. These will have basic techniques followed by lots of variations.

Avoid glossy books with one recipe facing a full-page color photo. The kind of book you need is heavy on the text.

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Anna N

great idea, I remember something similar to this a little while back.

Someone bought a cut they were unfamilar with and and ended up with a couple pages of replies, I have seen it on a smaller scale as well. More recently there was a thread on how to prepare razor clams....

So if you have a question about a specific cut, just go ahead and ask it, we are all here waiting to help out (if we can! :biggrin: )

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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OK so I guess I am completely failing to communicate. This was not a plea for help but a suggestion for a series of threads which I hoped would do two things:

1. Get us sharing our incredible knowledge about food and how to prepare it.

2. Generate loads of recipes for the database.

Obviously the idea bombed and I am happy to let it rest in peace.

Thanks for the encouragement Torakris - you got so much going on the Japanese forum and I was trying to do my part to get lots of activity in the cooking forum. I'll head back to the drawing board.

Anna N :biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna N

May be way off base here, but I wonder if you might have failed to elicit responses simply because of the item you mentioned--round steak. I'm sure there are all sorts of things you can do with round steak, but off the top of my head, none of them sound too exciting.

I do like the idea of a discussion around whatever is cheap/bountiful and agree that there is a ton of expertise just waiting to be tapped. What seems to appeal to people is novelty--I noticed that an inquiry from someone who had come across a pound of monfish liver generated a fairly lively discussion.

Is there some way to reframe the question to get people intrigued--maybe a thread called something like An Embarrassment of Riches, What do to with weird windfalls, etc--?

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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Anna N

May be way off base here, but I wonder if you might have failed to elicit responses simply because of the item you mentioned--round steak. I'm sure there are all sorts of things you can do with round steak, but off the top of my head, none of them sound too exciting.

I do like the idea of a discussion around whatever is cheap/bountiful and agree that there is a ton of expertise just waiting to be tapped. What seems to appeal to people is novelty--I noticed that an inquiry from someone who had come across a pound of monfish liver generated a fairly lively discussion.

Is there some way to reframe the question to get people intrigued--maybe a thread called something like An Embarrassment of Riches, What do to with weird windfalls, etc--?

Fresco,

I just remembered the chicken thigh thread started by Monica:

chicken thighs

which I thought was really interesting and hardly exotic. While I am fascinated by the exotic, it's the day to day cooking that so often requires a touch of genius to make it interesting. In time I am sure other threads like Monica's will emerge. I am prepared to wait. :sad:

Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I'm new here, but I think it's a good idea. I tend to have selective blindness at the meat counter-I buy what I'm familiar with, and don't even see the other selections. For example, I learned about tri-tip on another board a few years back. When I first read about it, I was certain that we either didn't have it in California, or that it was called something else here. I was wrong; it was there all along, I just never noticed it. And what a wonderful cut of meat it is! Except for some unfortunate experiences in my youth, I can't say I've ever eaten round steak, but I'd certainly be interested in reading suggestions as to how to make it taste better than my Mother's Swiss Steak. :rolleyes:

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Anna,

If I remember correctly (Shh! I'm at work and can't check the book), Cooking at Home with Jacques and Julia has a great recipe for pot roast using bottom round. Very flavorful and tender.

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I'd like to get the ball rolling but my problem is I don't know what cut of meat bottom round is.  I'm sure if I saw it in person I could get a sense of what to do with it.

Soba

Soba, I used a simple example - it's not even on special right now and I'm sorry I cannot translate for you but I'm sure it is a familiar cut with a different name depending on where you live!

Pick a cut of meat or a species of fish or anything that goes on special in your city/town/country that you would like to use in a number of different ways - it's not about one particular food item but about a way of broadening our horizons while taking advantage of sales!

Man, I am going to revise my resume to remove the bit about "good communicator"! :laugh:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna N

May be way off base here, but I wonder if you might have failed to elicit responses simply because of the item you mentioned--round steak. I'm sure there are all sorts of things you can do with round steak, but off the top of my head, none of them sound too exciting.

I do like the idea of a discussion around whatever is cheap/bountiful and agree that there is a ton of expertise just waiting to be tapped. What seems to appeal to people is novelty--I noticed that an inquiry from someone who had come across a pound of monfish liver generated a fairly lively discussion.

Is there some way to reframe the question to get people intrigued--maybe a thread called something like An Embarrassment of Riches, What do to with weird windfalls, etc--?

Fresco,

I just remembered the chicken thigh thread started by Monica:

chicken thighs

which I thought was really interesting and hardly exotic. While I am fascinated by the exotic, it's the day to day cooking that so often requires a touch of genius to make it interesting. In time I am sure other threads like Monica's will emerge. I am prepared to wait. :sad:

Anna N

I had a chicken breast thread! :angry:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I had a chicken breast thread! :angry:

And here it is Kristin, with thanks and apologies!

Chicken Breast Thread started by Kristin

Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Pick a cut of meat or a species of fish or anything that goes on special in your city/town/country that you would like to use in a number of different ways - it's not about one particular food item but about a way of broadening our horizons while taking advantage of sales!

Man, I am going to revise my resume to remove the bit about "good communicator"! :laugh:

well, I think it's a good idea... :smile:

Many is the time I find myself standing in front of a given food item thinking, that's a deal, now what am I going to do with it.

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Many is the time I find myself standing in front of a given food item thinking, that's a deal, now what am I going to do with it.

THANK YOU, Andrew M! You've said what I was trying to say. Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna...I also think your idea is inspired. We don't all eat fois gras every night. Since I moved to California I am in shock about how much meat costs. At least double the price of Texas. So suddenly cheaper cuts are much more interesting. Picnic shoulder was on sale for 88 cents a pound last weekend (a very rare event). I'd never bought or cooked one in my life. I bought two. Froze one and smoked the other over the weekend. Delicious. Sunday and Monday night were sliced pork. Tonight was tacos. :smile:

Lobster.

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...  We don't all eat fois gras every night....

Precisely! And I have never seen it go on sale!

But pork shoulder (which I have NEVER bought), less tender beef cuts, catfish, snapper, etc. often come on sale in my area. Of course, I have some standard ways of dealing with some of these things but other ideas would be more than welcome.

Glad you could see the point I was trying to make. :biggrin:

Anna N

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Mmm, pork shoulder. Every 3 months or so I'll buy a big pork shoulder roast, tie it up, smear & stuff it with a garlic, rosemary, sage & salt paste, and cook at a low heat for six hours. Very fragrant, very tender. Sometimes ugly, but tasty. The recipe was in Gourmet, you can get it from epicurious.com here: Six Hour Pork Roast

My often-goes-on-special-tough-to-cook-piece-of-meat always seems to be veal breast. Very, very fatty. I've tried rolling and stuffing it, poaching it, etc. but it always comes out way to fatty to be really appetizing. I end up having to trim the fat off, very time consuming. Anyone have any suggestions (or should I start a thread on it)?

Ian

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I had a chicken breast thread! :angry:

And here it is Kristin, with thanks and apologies!

Chicken Breast Thread started by Kristin

Anna N

Me, Jan 7 2003, 03:06 PM and countless other times:

QUOTE 

As for chicken breast. Feh. Carnivore's cotton tofu. Less than worthless because a chicken still died instead of just skimming scum from soybeans.

etc etc etc

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sure. Open it out, bone it. Marinate in rosemary, minced garlic, much seasoning, ginger. When roasting, place atop the bone and some chopped onions in a shallow pan. Start very high for ten or fiften minutes, end low. Must be rare and seared. Let it rest.

Remove bone, deglaze pan with wine, skim fat, pour into food processor, buzz onions and all.

In the meantime one has made crispy shattered potatoes in EVOO (par-cook, whack to crack, pan roast).

Serve slices of lamb with the shattered potatoes and onion gravy. Salad of tomatoes, mint, and Sicilian pecorino. Perhaps a thin chilled pea soup to start or finish (I would prefer to finish) with a drizzle of mint oil.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Jinmyo--sounds wonderful. Love rosemary with lamb and there is now a ton in the garden.

JasonCampbell: Yeah, to some extent. But a leg of lamb is a leg of lamb, especially boned and butterflied. If it's on special, it is in all likelihood from NZ no matter what side of pond you are on.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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But a leg of lamb is a leg of lamb, especially boned and butterflied. If it's on special, it is in all likelihood from NZ no matter what side of pond you are on.

Buy Ontario lamb, fresco. :angry:

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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what JasonCampbell mentioned, re: names of cuts of meats, is a minor stumbling block i face in quebec.

i've had to (and am still) learning which cuts correspond to what in french--> english: i.e., bavette, roti de pallette a l'europeene.

there's the fairly obvious, like "jarret" is the osso buco cut, but then there's all the others...

"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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We usually buy a whole lamb from a guy we know who raises them north of Toronto, but have run out. It is hands down the best lamb I've ever tasted anywhere. But buying Ontario lamb is not always a guarantee of good results. A couple of legs from the local Greek butcher (whose stuff is usually great) have been stringy and tasteless. It all depends on who is raising them.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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