Posts Tagged ‘Good Meat’
I’m going to start with a warning: this recipe takes more time and effort than it looks. That shouldn’t scare you off. Its not hard. But its also not the easy weekday dinner I thought it would be when I open the pages of my cook book one evening on a Tuesday night. The recipe involves pounding cardamom pods to get at the seeds and has a minimum four hour date with a marinade. (The recipe warns the marination time is critical and I’m inclined to believe it.) It was good reminder to read through a new recipe in detail before making plans!
I pulled this recipe from Good Meat. Loren’s posts put this cookbook put it on my Christmas list and Santa seemed to think I was nice enough last year to grant my wish. Paging through the cookbook is to anyone who loves meat as pornography is to a 15 year old boy. The book is packed full of awesome information about meats and the processes for cooking them. And the photos are amazing. I was excited to finally break into a cook of my first recipe from this tome.
Unfortunately, the results were less than stellar. I would classify the chicken as edible. Much of the error may be on my end. Instead of bone-in skin-on thighs I accidentally grabed the boneless skinless variety. The cardamon flavor was just overwhelming. The fat of skin-on thighs would help cut this down. Cardamon is also not flavor I’m very accustomed too. Though, when I ate the leftovers the second day, the cardamon flavors had mellowed to an enjoyable level.
On the next go I may try reducing the amount of marinated or marinating for only four hours rather than overnight. There is something good here and I’ll definitely be giving this recipe another go.
- 1/4 cup whole green cardamon pods or 1 to 2 tablespoons whole black cardamom seeds out of the pod.
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
- 1/4 cup fresh or dry oregano
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 to 6 large skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
- Freshly ground pepper
Select a shallow pan that will hold the thighs closely in one layer, such as a quarter sheet pan, cast-iron lasagna pan or frying pan, or gratin dish.
Using a mortar and pestle, or a heavy resealable plastic bag on the back of a cast-iron frying pan, pound the cardamom pod until they split. Discard the husks, and bruise the tiny black seed by pounding them a little to release their oils. Add the garlic, salt, and oregano and bash away to release their oils. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, then stir in the olive oil to a thin the paste.
Arrange the thighs, flesh side up, in the pan and massage half the paste onto the flesh; turn them over and do the same on the skin side with the remaining paste. Allow the meat to marinate, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours or overnight before bring back to room temperature. Grind black pepper over the thighs.
Heat the oven to 450 degree, and set a rack along the top of the oven, just under the heating element (although you are not broiling, this exposes the skin to more heat for crispness). When the oven is good and hot, roast the chicken for 45 minutes, turning the meat over half way through cooking.
When done, the skin should be beautifully crisp and the flesh completely cooked through. Serve warm or at room temperature with rice.
I’ve already spent half a post singing the praises of this incredible cookbook so I won’t rehash those details. Lucky for me, my brother got me this for my birthday over the summer, and I’ve been slowly easing into it. Being a meat-themed cookbook, some of the recipes are not quite so easy to try as they might require you to have access to a meat grinder, if you want to make your own sausage, or to shell out for a lamb roast, but there are definitely approachable recipes in there if that’s what you’re looking for. When I saw this recipe I was immediately intrigued because I love chile spice rubs on grilled steaks, and I also enjoy looking for ways to incorporate the flavor of coffee into cooking.
4 steaks (8-12 oz)
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp EVOO
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ancho chili powder
3 tbsp light brown sugar
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp bourbon (this is definitely optional, as it’s not in the original recipe)
¼ cup strong black coffee
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp butter, cut into several pieces
For the steaks: Mix the spices and the salt in the first section, rub into the meat, then drizzle the olive oil onto both sides and rub the meat again to evenly distribute. I have seen conflicting opinions regarding whether one should apply a spice rub to a steak dry, or to include olive oil. I’ve tried both methods a fair amount (Grilled steak is probably my favorite food), and I am definitely a pro-oil person. It seems to make a big difference in terms of getting the best possible crust on the meat, which really enhances both the flavor and the texture of a steak. Of course, the other key to a great crust on your steak is to use charcoal, especially hardwood charcoal. Propane is certainly convenient, but unless you want to spend the same amount on your grill as a used car, you will never be able to get that kind of intense heat. And even if you splurge for the cadillac propane grill, you’re still not going to get that smoky flavor. Either way, get your steaks prepped and grill them medium rare, then let them rest for a few minutes.
For the sauce: Mix everything but the butter in a sauce pan, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. As soon as the liquid boils, immediately lower the heat and simmer on your stove’s lowest setting until the liquid has reduced by about half. Cover and keep warm. There is a little bit of flexibility here in regards to timing, in that you can cover the pan and keep the sauce warm for a bit while you wait for the steaks to get off the grill, or for your side dish to cook. HOWEVER, do not allow this to fully cool and congeal. It might not completely ruin it, but it definitely won’t get restored to its ideal version.
When the steaks are ready, bring the liquid back to a simmer and whisk in the butter until thoroughly incorporated. Drizzle the sauce over the steaks, and whatever else you want to taste amazing. Seriously, the combination of the sweet, sour, smoky and spicy notes of the sauce make for a very interesting steak accompaniment, and was so addictive that I was trying to think of other things this sauce would go with. I’m thinking it would be good with vanilla ice cream, or on top of some kind of pastry like coffee cake or a german chocolate cake. What I think would be a truly intriguing application for it would be in a tiramisu. More to come on this later.
Friends, if you have ever listened to anything I said, listen closely to these words: go buy Good Meat. Do it right now, and buy me an appropriately priced gift of thanks at a later date. I bought this book for my brother and his wife for Christmas, and was pretty excited about giving it to them. Then I saw his facebook status later that week and it was something to the effect of “Spent my entire day drinking tea and reading my new cookbook”. Now, I’m a fan of cookbooks, but I have never been so grossly enthralled in one so as to give up a whole day in my weekend in order to read through it. But that is partly because this is not just a bunch of recipes sent to a bindery. It’s a holy tome of carnivorous cuisine! Each section (beef, pork, poultry, lamb, rabbit, etc.) contains a sub-section about the meat itself. You’ll find information such as discussions of the difference between grass and corn fed beef, sustainable models of protein farming, breaking down a side of beef into primal, sub-primal and butcher cuts, and suggested vendors you can order from. It’s truly, truly amazing stuff.
The following recipe is the best one I’ve had from the book so far, but that isn’t saying much since we only tried 3 recipes while down in Kansas (where my brother Allen, recipient of the book, lives) and I haven’t yet bought my own copy of Good Meat. I will say up-front, I am not a mustard guy. Especially the bolder, spicier mustards; I hate them in the same way I hate horseradish. This recipe opened my eyes. You will need
- 2 1/2 lb new potatoes, cut into 2 inch chunks (any small potatoes will work)
- 1 chicken, 5 lb
- 1 head garlic, seperated into cloves and skinned
- 1 bunch/package rosemary
- 1 cup coarse/stone ground mustard
- 1/4 cup EVOO
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 tbsp heavy cream (pretty sure we left this part out, and it was still friggin awesome)
Heat the oven to 450. Choose a roasting pan that will hold the potatoes tightly together. The idea is to keep them from burning here. Remove excess fat from the chicken and place chunks among potatoes.
Strip the rosemary leaves from the stems, and rough chop them. Take 1/4 cup of the rosemary and set it aside. Now take half of the remaining rosemary and sprinkle it inside the bird cavity, along with some salt and pepper. The rest of the rosemary should be scattered among the tatoes in the pan.
In a bowl or blender, mix together the 1/4 cup of rosemary you reserved, the mustard, olive oil and soy sauce until its a homogenous paste. Spread that over the bird. It’s supposed to be a nice, thick crust so don’t be shy with the mustard paste. GET IT ON THERE! Place the bird on top of the potatoes, and put the roasting pan in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350. You need that initial high temperature period to really set the crust and get some browning action on the outside. Let it go at 350 degrees for another 60-75 minutes until a thermometer reads 165 in the thickest part of the thigh. When its done, let it rest 15 minutes before carving the bird.
Last step: drain the juices from the roasting pan and add to a saute pan along with the wine, place over medium heat. Allow that to reduce to about 1/2 volume. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream (again, we left that part out) then you can either serve in a gravy boat or just pour it over the potatoes as a dressing.