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January 2012 COTM: Essential Pepin: Meat, Charcuterie and Offal

Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapters about meat and charcuterie and offal.

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  1. Grilled or Pan-Seared Marinated Flank Steak (page 318)

    A one-and-a-quarter pound (mine was one-and-a-half pounds) flank steak is marinated for at least one hour, up to 24, in honey (I used pine honey I brought back from Turkey a couple of years ago), dark soy sauce, chopped garlic, ground coriander, and cayenne pepper and then grilled or pan-seared for one-and-a-half minutes on each side. I marinated the steak for about seven hours. Since grilling is not an option for me, I pan-seared it in a cast-iron skillet that had been preheated for a full five minutes. Whether grilled or pan-seared, the steak is then put in a 160F degree oven for 10 minutes to rest.

    At least, that’s what I thought I did. When I went to take the steak out of the oven, I discovered that my oven, not being able to hold 160 degrees, had turned itself off. So I turned it back on, set it for something like 250 degrees, and put the steak back in for about 5 minutes.

    As you can see, the steak was very rare. I’m fine with rare meat, but even I would have preferred this a bit better done as it probably would have been had my oven not turned itself off. The marinade, however, was great. You’re instructed to bring the leftover marinade to a boil and serve it with the sliced meat. I wish there had been more marinade. Because of the honey, it was very thick so not really pourable. Maybe next time I’d thin it slightly with water so it would be more like pan drippings. I just served this with a salad, but with a thinned out sauce I’d want mashed potatoes to sop up that delicious marinade.

     
    1 Reply
    1. re: JoanN

      Grilled or Pan-Seared Marinated Flank Steak - p. 318.

      Marinated 3 hours. Definitely not enough marinade to pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil as indicated in the recipe.

      This marinated meat taste-wise and sliced is a perfect candidate for fijitas.

      Served with a salad, braised turnips and brown rice.

    2. Lamb Shanks with White Beans, p. 358

      This very easy stew was quite nice - not company-worthy, perhaps, but very homey and we enjoyed it.

      Lamb shanks brown without any extra oil in a pot, then add an onion in 1" pieces, a carrot in 1/2" pieces and six or so garlic cloves, chopped, 8 oz of white beans that had soaked in 5 cups of water for about half an hour, 3 bay leaves, thyme (I used fresh) and some salt. Boil gently, covered for about 2 hours and serve, passing tabasco sauce along with.

      As I said, this made a very nice supper.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mirage

        Lamb Shanks with White Beans, Pg. 358

        Made this for Sunday evening meal and we Loved it. A 2.11 pound lamb shank was more than enough for two people. I halved the recipe so used 3/4 cup beans - cannellini - that I soaked in water while I prepped the rest of the ingredients. The meat browns in a large DO with no extra fat for about 30 minutes. This took 20 minutes for us. Then as Mirage states chopped carrots/onions/garlic are added, then bay leaves and S & P. The beans and water are added at this point and the whole is left to bubble away for 2 hours. A delicious, slightly thick brothy sauce was created and the meat was falling off the bone tender and silky. The beans were perfectly cooked; everything well seasoned What a delight. Will def. make again...

      2. Braised Pork Loin (Page 364)

        Calls for 2 lb pork loin and mine was a little over that. I inserted the garlic in the the narrow slits I made in the meat, salted and peppered prior to browning in olive oil. I drained the oil and sauted the onions, carrots (8oz of each) and chopped ginger until limp (deviation from recipe!). I put the meat back in the pan and added the soaked sun dried tomatoes (used smoked sun dried another deviation from recipe) and some chipolte since I was out of the jalapeno the recipe called for. It was supposed to cook over low heat for and hour and a half but we turned it off in a little over an hour. The flavor was great but the meat was kind of tough and dry. Since it was so quick and easy to put together I would make it again but maybe using a butt or something like that.

         
         
        1. Puerto Rican Pork and Beans - p 368

          The process for the recipe is insanely easy: brown off some country-style ribs; throw in some other stuff; cook for hours; EAT! And trust me, you most definitely will want to eat! The smalls coming out of the saute pan were amazing: onion, pork, garlic, oregano. What's not to like?

          The only edits I made to the recipe were to omit the cilantro (my significant other hates it) and to remove the pork from the bones and present it in more of a "pulled" fashion. I think it was a good move...and not terribly laborious since the meat was very tender. I also found the extra time it took to deal with the pork useful, as my beans/sauce still had a little too much liquid...but after 15 min of reduction I think the consistency was perfect.

          Anyway, I like the final presentation, shown below, and will make this again!

           
          14 Replies
          1. re: AOski

            Thanks for your review AOski! Looks like a winner. I think this is the recipe for those of us who don't have the book.

            http://blogs.kqed.org/essentialpepin/...

            One question-- in the online recipe, he describes the dried kidney beans as picked over and washed, but he doesn't describe any soak. DId you soak the kidney beans?

            Hmmm, sounds like this would be a perfect candidate to be made in the slow cooker....

            1. re: AOski

              Puerto Rican Pork and Beans, slow cooker variation

              So, given our nomination thread discussions, I have convinced myself that my life would be better if only I could find some good slow cooker recipes. What better place to start than COTM? This recipe seemed to lend itself naturally to slow cooker adaptation, so I gave it a whirl.

              I followed the recipe (link above) pretty closely to start. Browned my pork in a dutch oven. While the pork was browning, I had time to do all my remaining prep. As I chooped up my veg, I just threw everything into my slow cooker stoneware.

              By the time I put all the veg and herbs in the slow cooker, my pork was nice and browned. I put that on top of all the veg in the slowcooker and deglazed my dutch oven with 2 c of cold water. when that came to a boil, I added the kidney beans in to the boiling water and then dumped the water and beans into the slow cooker with everything else. I wanted to cut the water back a bit to avoid a watery mess (recipe calls for 4 c water). I ended up having to add a little more water though to make sure all the beans were covered (prob about 3 c total). Set SC to high, programed for 6 hours and went to bed.

              the result.... a hearty, savory dish awaited me in the morning. No gloppy, watery mess! Beans cooked beautifully for me. Like AOski, I took the meat off the bone and it fell apart into large chunks easily. I packaged everything up in the fridge and just had a great lunch of pork and beans with some brown rice. Not earth shattering, but very good. I will add this to the slow cooker repertoire.

              pic is of the dish pre slow cooking. It will not win any beauty pageants post.

               
              1. re: greeneggsnham

                I'm having trouble finding, " country-style ribs". Do these have an alternate name? Where did you guys find yours? Sorry if this is a dumb question - I'm new to the kitchen!!

                1. re: robbgibbs

                  Where do you live? This is a common cut in USA groceries. It is essentially pork should cut into long narrow pieces, about an inch thick, 2-3 wide, 6 long. If they have bone, it is part of the shoulder blade.

                  1. re: paulj

                    I'm in Oakland, CA. We've got Whole Foods and the local Safeway, but I didn't see anything in either that resembled the country-style spare rib.

                    What should I ask the grocery butcher for?

                    If I need to, I'll go to a real butcher but was hoping to be able to find this @ the grocery. Just not sure if it has alternate names or if I'm missing something.

                    1. re: robbgibbs

                      Again...please forgive me if this is a painfully dumb question. As stated... very new and green to the kitchen!

                      1. re: robbgibbs

                        No apologies necessary. We were all green once.

                      2. re: robbgibbs

                        Really good info here: http://ask-a-butcher.newsvine.com/_ne...

                        I've also seen them labelled "boneless pork ribs."

                        1. re: JoanN

                          Ahh! Thank you! This link looks great. Much appreciated!!! Will post pics in the Essential Pepin forum once I get my hands on some - Thanks again.

                        2. re: robbgibbs

                          Whole Foods - quite likely they are too plebeian for that shop. Safeway should have them. And these are not a variation of 'spare ribs'. No long narrow rib bones. They are 'ribs' only in the sense that they are relatively long and narrow pieces of meat.

                          1. re: paulj

                            From the link JoanN posted, I think it sounds like they'll actually come from the shoulder butt, and COULD have some assorted shoulder bones...I think? Thanks again to everyone for the help.

                            1. re: robbgibbs

                              In my first reply I wrote 'should'. It should have been 'shoulder'.
                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8259...

                              1. re: paulj

                                Thanks everyone. I know what to look for! Might bust it out tonight if I can escape work early enough to get me some of these! Thanks again.

                                1. re: robbgibbs

                                  Hey everyone!
                                  I wound up getting these bad boys, which were a cut out of a bone-in shoulder butt. I cooked them a bit more than 2 hours like Jacques recipe calls for, and the meat came out soft and tender.
                                  When I first told the butcher that I wanted country-style pork loin spare-ribs, he immediately reached for the spare ribs and I had to tell him my debate about whether they were shoulder meat or not. Finally, he agreed that the recipe was calling for shoulder and this is what he sawed up for me.
                                  They wound up being huge, and in hindsight I would have figured out a way to cut them smaller and more rib shaped. Still, they came out great and very tender. They were falling apart in the pan.
                                  One problem I ran into was that, because they were so huge, I didn't have a sauce pan large enough for all 4 ribs and had two use to pans which confused me on whether or not I should split the remaining ingredients amongst both pots, or put all of the ingredients in both pots. I wound up sort of doing a bit of both which was probably a terrible idea. Then, because my two sauce pans were so stuffed, i could barely put the lids on and also needed to improvise aluminum foil for one as a lid since not all of my crappy target pots came with lids.
                                  All said and done, the meat came out great. After 2 hours, the beans were not as tender as I would have liked, but it was getting late and we had to get up early the next day so I cut the cord and served them up. Since the meat was so perfect, it made up for the sauce being too thin still and the beans not quite ready. Next time I'll try a pressure cooker maybe (?) or i think or use the new All-Clad 4 quart sauce pan that I ordered this morning after this botched attempt.
                                  Yay! Lots of lessons learned. Thanks to everyone for the help figuring out the meat equation. COOK ON.

                                   
                2. Pork Tenderloin Medallions in Port (page 360)

                  This recipe called for a large pork tenderloin (1 1/4 lb) cut into 8 medallions. They were seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked in butter and oil in a large skillet. They are then put on a dish and put in the oven to keep warm. Pepin says to cook for 2 1/2 minutes on each side, with the thickness of my pork it took a bit longer to get them cooked.

                  After you cook the pork you added 1/3 cup of port to the skillet and bring to a boil, you cook that for a minute, then add 1/2 cup chicken broth and 1 1/2 tablespoons of ketchup, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. I don't think I let the sauce cook long enough as I would of liked it to be a little thicker. At the very end add chopped sage then serve the sauce around the pork.

                  I thought this was fairly easy to put together for a weeknight, and offers a different method to cook pork tenderloin which is usually on my weekly menu.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: JulesLP

                    Pork Tenderloin Medallions in Port, page 360

                    We LOVED this dish! The pork was tender and succulent, and the sauce was absolutely delicious.

                    I made a few minor changes. Since it was for the two of us, I cut the recipe in half. Then I also cut my half tenderloin into 6 pieces instead of just 4, because I thought 3 on a plate would look nicer, and they were still plenty thick. I used a tablespoon of butter instead of half a tablespoon of butter and half a tablespoon of oil, because it was easier to measure. My chicken broth was a particularly flavorful container of chicken mushroom juices, leftover from some dish in the past and stashed in the freezer for just such an occasion. And I simmered cooked the sauce for at least 5 minutes to intensity it more. It was still thin, but more concentrated.

                    This will definitely become a regular recipe for me, which is saying a lot, because I'm far, far more likely to try a new recipe than return to an old one. Let me repeat: we LOVED this dish.

                    1. re: JulesLP

                      Pork Tenderloin Medallions in Port, Pg. 360

                      After what JulesLP and Karen_Schaffer wrote I don't have to say a word. But of course I shall. This recipe produces probably the best rendition of pork tenderloin I have ever had. We loved it completely.
                      From a 1 3/4 lb. tenderloin G sliced 10 steaks, as Pepin calls them. These little beauties, when finished and sauced, were absolutely delicious. It's amazing what such a short sear creates. With the sauce they are things of beauty with a heavenly aroma just waiting to be savored. Our broth was perfect and the Vinho do Porto sweet and luscious so created a thick unctuous deep maroon sauce.

                      I served the tenderloins with roasted eggplant and a simple panzanella from Mediterranean Harvest. We Loved This Meal. G really loved the meat... he had five pieces! There are two left that he'll have for lunch today. This recipe will definitely make more appearances at Casa G & G.