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Cold Meat Dishes

What is your best cold recipe featuring meat? A vegetarian friend would like to try meat for the first time and I'm racking my mind for the best portable recipe featuring this typically warm ingredient. I'll have a kitchen the night before so I can also cook the night before. With that in mind, please give me your best antipasta salads, wurstsalat, stuffed breads and room temperature recipes for meat! Extra points for Midwestern classics or outside the box creativity.

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  1. The best cold meat dish I know of is Vitello Tonnato.....


    I like to make mine with veal loins or pounded veal scallops, but you could easily substitute pork, chicken or turkey.

    2 Replies
    1. re: fourunder

      This is not my style of cooking, but I could see this being a winner at the cookout. Do you have tips on how to cook and properly slice the turkey?

      1. re: JungMann

        I'm a proponent of low and slow roasting, @ 225-250*. for the home, I would roast whole turkey or parts, the later in the form of a Hotel Breast only, or a whole turkey with legs & thighs removed and the breastbone split. Using the split breast and L & T removed, it speeds up the roasting time in half. I also like to completely debone the turkey, roll it up and tie it off. That makes for very even slicing and it allows you to have both white & dark meat with skin.

        Whenever I wold do a commercial application, I would roast breasts only on a wire rack. This could be completely boned, or with rib cage attached. I normally used boned turkey, but some feel rib cage attached holds shape better. I would also leave the tenderloin attached for a fuller breast and more uniform shape if you do not plan on rolling and tying.



        Roasting turkey low and slow virtually guarantees you cannot over cook the meat and have a dry result. Moist meat also hold up better and is easily sliced without the meat falling apart. Depending on your oven and the size of the meat, you can expect anywhere from 2.5-4.0 roasting time.

        As for slicing technique, just lay the breast meat side down and slice on the bias, following the shape of the breast. I prefer 1/4- 3/8th inch slices myself. For a platter, you can do skin on or off, but I recommend skin off unless you roast, slice and serve on the same day.

        If you need more specifics or clarification, please do not hesitate to ask.

    2. I'd go with less assertive meats that have a great aroma when eaten cold. One of the reasons I dislike leftover turkey, and sometimes chicken, is the awful smell of those meats when served cold.

      Veal, as suggested below, always smells wonderful, especially if prepared in a light sauce. Same with most cuts of roast beef -- make sure it is lean and sliced very thin. Although I can eat cold pork, many people find congealed fats off-putting, so if you do choose pork, I'd go with a pork chop.

      Here is my best suggestion: Veal scallopine prepared with a light tomato, wine, zucchini sauce. Go light on the garlic and heavier on the herbs, like basil. If you want to go with chicken, serve a cold chicken Milanese cutlet, as this is the best cold option, in my opinion. Don't overcook it or it will be dry. For beef, frankly I recommend a thinly sliced roast prepared medium to medium rare. Don't know how the bloody beef thing will be received by a vegetarian. You can wrap it around steamed asparagus, and serve with a blue cheese dressing for dipping. Be sure to season the outside and coat with olive oil and crushed garlic for flavor.

      1. In the French charcuterie experience, there is jambon persillé, galatine, various pâtés and so forth. Thai beef salad and other southeast Asian dishes also come to mind.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Wait. Wait. I was gonna say that!!!! :) Seems perfect to me. I'd say the list of cold dishes that a vegetarian would really like is short. You start getting into texture, fat, collagen, etc.

          2. Chilled Chinese Braised Beef Shank?

            5 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              That's another of my favorite cold appetizers, but I don't know if the collagen is a good fit for an first time try

              1. re: ipsedixit

                That's the one I'd go for...There was a great pictorial discussion about it on egullet...


                1. re: ipsedixit

                  An Asian beef salad was one of my first thoughts, but beef seems to be a difficult meat for many women to digest; I worry that those problems might only be compounded for a vegetarian.

                  1. re: JungMann

                    I really love Ipse's suggestion as well. It would be delicious, especially if you made it (you make everything sound so good), but if you're set on not serving beef what about duck (there's reference to duck at the bottom of the page of the link soypower posted), an Asian preparation on the sweeter side? Would veal be an option cooked the same way as the beef above?

                    1. re: lilgi

                      Or make a sandwich out of it.

                      Slice it thin, use some nice soft Italian rolls, layer them on the bread, and spread some spicy aioli or go totally Chinese and use Hoisin, and garnish with some pickled veggies, and you'd never know you were eating cold braised beef.

                2. mmm leftover cold fried chicken!

                  1. It would helpful to know what kind of flavors your friend enjoys currently because then you would just be able to pick a style of dish they would normally enjoy and add a little meat to it. For salads, a chicken salad might be nice or a waldorf salad with chicken or turkey added. Beef tenderloin with a little horseradish sauce would be a nice meal or even a cold roast chicken with a salad on the side, I would definitely avoid lamb or a strong sausage.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: NE_Elaine

                      She is from the Midwest so she was born loving hearty flavors. In that vein, I immediately thought a bacon potato salad or Swiss sausage salad would be perfect. Mayo + meat = comfort. But she and her friends also enjoy creative cuisine as well (though nothing too spicy), so my morcilla antipasto salad or a buttermilk crepe cake with bacon frosting would be closer to the direction I'd like to go in: something familiar, yet out of the ordinary.

                    2. JungMann, maybe a Mufulatta sandwich with that delicious broken-olive relish would work? Or maybe a Mexican Torta, made with shredded chicken?
                      I've got an old, Midwestern-style recipe for a chicken loaf that's pretty delicious, and I'd be happy to post it if you think it'd be appropriate to this. The nice thing about that one is that you can totally play with the seasonings to give it any flavor profile you want while staying true to the nature of the dish, which is poached chicken cubed and bound lightly with it's own gelatin - the binding factor is minimum, so it in no way resembles eating chicken jello, and it makes a great app. or sandwiches. Also, I'd surely suggest room-temperature chicken; one of our very favorite preparations is to make a paste of plain yogurt, minced garlic, curry powder or garam, a tot of extra cumin; rub onto the chicken and marinate up to 24 hours; bake until teak-colored and crunchy, and serve at room temp. This is absolutely delicious. I'll keep an eye on this thread, which BTW I love, and as I think of things, I'll add them!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: mamachef

                        Mamachef, I would LOVE your Midwestern-style chicken loaf recipe!

                          1. re: GretchenS

                            Well, I'd love for you to have it! This is the classic recipe. It is delicious. I'd even call it refreshing. Sliced, with potato salad and sliced tomatoes? Great Summer meal. Please read this through. You'll need to begin early for stock-skimming purposes; even a day ahed. And you'll need a stockpot and a loaf pan or terrine.

                            2- 2 1/2 lb. chickens, cut and rinsed

                            1 yellow onion, quartered, peel left on

                            4 stalks celery, rough chopped

                            2 Bay leaves

                            1/2 t. salt

                            6 peppercorns
                            4 c. boiling water

                            Place all in large pot. Add four cups boiling water, and bring to the boil again. Turn to v. low simmer, and leave go, covered, until chicken is tender and thoroughly cooked. (1 1/2-2 hrs. total) Strain all; reserving all liquid but discarding vegetables, remove chicken from bones and chop or dice. Place in loaf pan; set in fridge, covered. Cool and de-fat remaining broth. Bring to the boil again, and reduce to 2 c. total. Taste for salt and pepper; and remember, this will be served cold which requires extra seasoning. Pour cooled reduced stock over chicken in loaf pan; cover lightly, and chill 'til congealed.

                            As I said, you can play with this. If you want to, you can add diced or sliced celery, onions, water chestnuts, diced peppers, or other veg. you like for part of the chicken. (just sub. equal parts.) You can also add a dash of lemon to brighten the stock flavor and hence the gelatine it reduces to; a dash of soy will help the flavor and appearence also. This is good stuff.

                        1. not meat, but fish? anyway, if that might be considered, i'd propose:

                          bonito del norte tuna in olive oil -- on a plate with a wedge of lemon, sliced baguette and some olives and dressed butter lettuce and thinly sliced pimento.

                          rich, wild salmon -- poached in court bullion http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/co... -- served lightly chilled with sorrel sauce http://fat-of-the-land.blogspot.com/2... or gribiche. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
                          for a meat dish, i'd suggest cuban roast pork -- succulent, savory…. http://www.bakespace.com/recipes/deta...

                          chicken tikka grilled on a skewer is also quite delicious!. be sure and let it marinate overnight…. http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                            1. nameless dish here but a personal favorite. dead simple, relatively sosphisticated and absolutely delicious. resembles carpaccio but less intimidating to potential convert than a plate of raw meat. all u do is lay down a bed of arugula, top with thinly sliced roast beef from the deli, sun dried tomatos, candied pine nuts (quickly toast the pine nuts in a dry pan with a healthy sprinkling of sugar), FRESH shaved parm, drizzle of QUALITY olive oil and a drizzle of QUALITY balsamic. circle the plate with caperberries and serve. couldn't be easier

                              1 Reply
                              1. I personally LOVE lean roast meat cold the next day -- I'm thinking pork or beef tenderloin, seasoned really creatively, roasted or grilled, and then chilled? So flavorful! Lean, though, is a must in this application, I would think. There aren't a lot of things less appealing texture-wise than congealed fat or chewy, cold connective tissue. *shudders* My first thought was pork rubbed with a fruit mustard and then grilled and cooled, or garlicky, peppery beef tenderloin roasted to medium-rare and sliced thin once cold, for sandwiches... or lettuce wraps with some asian-ish sauce to dip? My mouth is watering thinking about it.

                                Of course, this is the girl who just yesterday stood in front of the fridge and ate the leftover chicken tikka straight from the tupperware. So take that for what you will.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: LauraGrace

                                  Agreed. I think a nice tenderloin, cooked rare and refrigerated, not sliced until right before the event would be nice. No icky bits on tenderloin. Serve on a large platter as suggested by trees above, or surround it with roast poatoes. (see pic)

                                  Or...google up one of the many recipes for soba noodles in a dressing that contains soy sauce, brown sugar, peanut butter, sesame oil, garlic. Toss in bits of chicken along w/ green onions, etc. top w/ peanuts and cilantro.

                                2. As suggested above, why not simply feature those meats that are intended to be served at room temp? By that, I mean those that are cured. Salumi, hams, etc. Prosciutto wrapped melon, perhaps? Even better, say, country ham wrapped asparagus? Assorted cured meats and cheeses?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: MGZ

                                    This is what I was thinking.

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      Salume is a very good idea, but one I think others will have as well. Plus since she knows I cook, I think it would be more personal if I were to make something.

                                    2. Do you have access to a smoker? I've never seen anything go faster at a cookout than a whole smoked turkey (smoked overnight in a LL Bean smoker). Not a scrap of meat left on that carcass!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Berheenia

                                        smoked turkey is the only kind of turkey i love! add some avocado and mayo on whole grain or sourdough and you've got one mighty fine sandwich!

                                      2. frankly, i can't imagine that a rare tenderloin -- no matter how delicious -- is the best "breaking in" for a former vegetarian. i know life-long meat eaters who don't want that (although i personally think they're crazy).

                                        1. How about char siu with mustard and toasted sesame seeds. Doesn't look that much like meat, it's kind of sweet, and the garnishes could take off the edge of the introduction to eating flesh.

                                          1. The weekend has come and gone, as has our meaty cookout. I made a pasta salad dressed with a green garlic pesto, mint, lemon thyme and sumac and tossed with a variety of cured pork. I come away from this experience with two lessons: 1) vegetarians do not like sausages. 2) summer salads are best served with a tart dressing.

                                            The weather cooperated so we were able to grill. The vegetarians were surprisingly keen on hamburgers with gorgonzola and grated apple, not to mention chocolate chip and bacon cookies (though I think I liked these a lot more than them). Almost universally they seemed to push the sausages I added to the pasta salad to the corner of their plates, though I thought the spicy sausages balanced out the cool herbs in my pesto. My salad was outshined, though, by a brightly dressed broccoli salad with crushed bacon. The vinegar really refreshes the palate and makes a heavy salad feel lighter, particularly when there so much meat and fat threatens to exhaust the palate. I may have to retire pesto for the summer. Vitello tonnato remains on my to-do list before Labor Day.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. Too late, but one of the best lunches I ever had was thinly-sliced moist roast loin of pork with slices of perfect avocado and a small mustardy-dressed green salad, with a baguette, and lots of cold white wine, on the deck at the Bay Wolf. Everything goes supremely well together.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                Good grief, that sounds fantastic. What about subbing pork tenderloin or would that not be moist enough? I'm so tasting that. Thanks.

                                                1. re: c oliver

                                                  You could, but the loin was really nice (had about a 1/8 inch of fat around it). That lunch was in the late '70s so you know it had to be good.

                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                    date of pork loin! is very important. real pork flavor!

                                                    hey buttertart, have you had the niman ranch pork loin? you'll cry with joy. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/648829