Archive: Meat

Bring on the Brisket

When it came time to research Passover dishes this year, I called up Jeff, my cooking buddy in New York. Jeff and I met last year in New Orleans as volunteer chefs with CulinaryCorps, and we've been trading recipes and cooking stories ever since. Uncle Jeff's brisket just out of the oven. (Kim O'Donnel) Last fall, around Yom Kippur, Jeff passed on his late Aunt Rita's recipe for marble cake, and I kept hearing from our mutual friends about his to-die-for brisket. His recipe, below, calls for relatively few ingredients and about four hours of cooking time. I love how the onions caramelize and become part of the gravy, a heady elixir with a tang, thanks to the Worcestershire sauce. Jeff strongly recommends that you dare not slice the meat while warm and insists that the brisket is better the next day (please weigh in on this matter in the...

 

By Kim ODonnel | April 11, 2008; 07:40 AM ET | Comments (35)

Navigating the Meat Label Maze

Label Confusion: Kim, I love the little links you have been providing lately to shopping guides -- sustainable fish and dirty fruits/vegetables etc. I am trying to find a definitive guide to meat labeling and guidance on when to go organic or when natural will do. I've noticed that finding red meat labeled as organic is increasingly hard even though the chicken is everywhere. I am also concerned about making sure the animals have been treated as well as possible during their upbringing and during slaughter. Any ideas? I agree, it's tricky business trying to navigate your way through the sea of labels. Here's the situation in a nutshell: When you see a certified organic label on meat or poultry, that means that the farm is following the standards of the USDA's National Organic Program, which include the following rules: The livestock is raised without antibiotics or synthetic hormones (although...

 

By Kim ODonnel | April 9, 2008; 07:53 AM ET | Comments (20)

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Pasta

As evidenced by yesterday's poll results, there's much bacon love in the air. And because more than half of you are foaming at the mouth with baco-thusiasm, I'll reciprocate with spaghetti alla carbonara, one of my all-time favorite bacon-lickin' dishes. Carbonara fixings, minus the cheese. (Kim O'Donnel) Rome is the ancestral home of carbonara, derived from the Italian word carbone, which means coal. It is unclear whether the dish is referring to the bacon's resemblance to bits of charcoal or to carbonari, the actual coal miners, who may have cooked over a fire upon resurfacing from their lengthy underground stints. When exactly Americans fell in love with bacon, eggs and pasta is a bit fuzzy, but it seems that returning World War II soldiers who were stationed in Italy developed a hankering for the dish and may have been responsible for bringing it to this side of the Atlantic. Traditionally,...

 

By Kim ODonnel | January 11, 2008; 08:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Debating Bacon

I have a confession to make. In the nine years since I launched What's Cooking and the two-plus years of writing A Mighty Appetite, I've been having a secret gastronomic love affair. All these years, I've kept my paramour on the down low, sharing my love only when I knew like-minded fiends were at the table. I've been leading a double life -- on the one hand, I'm advocating healthy cooking and hosting monthly meatless Web chats, and then when no one's looking, I'm swooning over the smoky perfume of... BACON. Say it ain't so, I can hear the vegetarians cry. But the truth is, I'm a card-carrying member of Bacon Lovers of America, even though I know it spikes my cholesterol and packs on the pounds. Other than a bag of chips, it's the one food that turns me into a compulsive eater. In fact, I've come to learn...

 

By Kim ODonnel | January 10, 2008; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (0)

I Killed My Pork, Again

The headline above is how one reader got my attention in yesterday's What's Cooking. Below, the details on the pork-y misadventures: For the life of me I can't manage to cook pork chops correctly. The only time I was successful was when I first coated the chops in eggs and then crumbled up Doritos and then sauted in a pan on both sides. Last night I seared one-inch-thick chops on both sides for about 3 min/side and then put in an oven proof pan with some stock and wine at the bottom, covered with aluminum foil and cooked for an hour at 300. They were definitely cooked through but dry (even though there was plenty of liquid left). What am I doing wrong? What can I do with the leftover two pork chops? What should I do the next time? Sounds like a case of the overcooked blues, dear. Nothing...

 

By Kim ODonnel | October 24, 2007; 08:58 AM ET | Comments (15)

Glam Lamb

I was an adult before I had my first bite of lamb. I had no idea what I had been missing. When exactly lamb entered my life is a blur, but I remember it was a lamb chop -- tender, petite and rich on the tongue. For years, I played it safe, nibbling only on chops over and again, while ignoring the tasting possibilities from the leg, the shank and the shoulder. Leg of lamb, stuffed with tapenade. (Kim O'Donnel) For years, the idea of cooking lamb was way off my radar, and then cooking school hit me over the head and sent me down some kind of yellow brick road full of adventure, just like Dorothy. I did have a bit of Scarecrow in me, but on my way to see the Wizard, I learned how to braise lamb shanks and grill chops and serve them with a redolent...

 

By Kim ODonnel | March 28, 2007; 11:19 AM ET | Comments (0)

Burger Nation

We are a burger nation. It doesn't matter if you shun beef; the concept of a hot patty bookended by a bun is ingrained in our collective consciousness. The burger is who we are. It is part of the daily fabric of being an American. Bison burger. (Kim O'Donnel) We commune over charcoal fires for burgers. We scream our orders through drive-thru windows and eat them in our cars. We know how we like them, down to the nitty-gritty specifics, such as doneness, cheese, condiments and fries. "Burgers 'R' Us." Beef aside, the choices are all over the map in burger world. Pescatarians, you too can have a burger from the sea, be it salmon, tuna or shrimp. Come to think of it, I think I've had a grouper burger. Vegheads, your patty offerings aren't just crumbly and legume-based anymore; a miracle called texturized soy protein has allowed vegetarians to...

 

By Kim ODonnel | January 11, 2007; 10:49 AM ET | Comments (0)

 

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