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Spent Meat


paulraphael
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I have bags of beef and veal shank meat in my freezer, verterans of my last batch of brown stock. I figured this would be good for pasta sauce, dumpling filling, that kind of thing.

So last night I made some tomato sauce with the meat ... something really simple: canned crushed tomatoes, onion, white wine, olive oil, a bunch of the meat, thyme, salt, and pepper. I was curious to see to what degree the meat had had its flavor extracted.

What I noticed immediately was that 100% of its fat had been extracted. I had to compensate for this by adding siginificant amounts of olive oil (never ever an issue with the kinds of meat i've normally used in a sauce like this).

I also noticed that the meat had some pretty good flavors (especially some of the more browned pieces) but that it was missing some other flavors. The overall sense was that some flavors had been completely erradicated but not others. I don't know how to articulate what was there and what was missing ... just a sense that some of what makes the meat taste meaty and beefy was there, and some wasn't. In the end, I thought the sauce was half good. It was flavorful, but it had holes in the flavor that I didn't know how to adjust for.

In the future, I think I'll use the spent meat along with some cheaper, fattier, fresh meat (ground chuck or pork, perhaps). Something with less interesting but better balanced flavors.

Any other thoughts on how to get the most out of this stuff?

Notes from the underbelly

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Your idea to use it as a dumpling filling has worked for me. I've used shredded "spent meat", combined with napa cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, onion, ginger, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil as a filling for potstickers. The vegetables added necessary moisture, and the ginger, soy and sesame lent plenty of flavor.

Was it as good as using fresh meat? Well, no. :raz: But decent.

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I just happened to have a pot of "second stock" and "spent meat in my fridge"

I havent tasted any of it yet but the stock has gelled up like a brick...pigs feet = strong stock I guess

It is destined for tomato sauce, I think

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Next time, you can try pulling the bones out of the stock before the stock is complete and picking the meat off once they've cooled enough to handle. Then return the bones to the pot to finish cooking. That way you can still rescue meat with some flavor to it for these sorts of applications. I do this with chicken sometimes and save the reserved meat for chicken salad, adding back to the stock for a chicken soup, etc.

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