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September 2013 Cookbook of the Month, SMOKE AND PICKLES: Lambs & Whistles, Cows & Clover and Pigs & Abattoirs

Please use this thread to report on the following chapters from the September Cookbook of the Month:

Lamb & Whistles pages 10 - 41
Cows & Clover pages 42 – 69
Pigs & Abattoirs pages 98 - 129

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  1. I'll get the month started with a report on the braised brisket with peach-bourbon glaze. Not sure of the page number - I don't have the book in front of me, and I actually used the version he published in Bon Appetit anyway (it's basically the same recipe as the book, but for a four lb brisket instead of an eight pounder). Here's a link: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/brai...

    So, the recipe has you rub a brisket with salt, pepper, cinnamon and smoked paprika, then braise it with mirepoix, tomatoes (I used tomato paste), garlic, thyme, stout (Guinness), soy sauce, balsamic, bourbon and a bit of brown sugar. When the meat is tender, you remove it, strain and reduce the cooking liquid, mix a bit of the liquid with peach jam (I used Bonne Maman preserves) and some additional bourbon, then apply the glaze to the fat side and broil until crispy.

    This was simply amazing. I had a six pound brisket, and seven people devoured it in one sitting. The flavors mingled so beautifully - it was salty, sweet and smoky in perfect proportion. I made just a couple of changes based on the reviews on Epicurious - first, I tripled the cinnamon and paprika in the rub, but kept the salt as written despite having a larger brisket than called for, as many reviews said it was a bit salty. I also used just two cups of broth in the braising liquid - there was still plenty of liquid, even for my larger brisket. Finally, I braised at 300 degrees rather than 325 as written on the website - if I recall correctly, the book calls for an even higher temperature (like 400, I think), and I'm sure that must be a misprint, because that would incinerate your meat. My brisket was tender after about 3.5 hours, too, instead of 4.5. I followed the do-ahead instructions and reheated the brisket after a day in the fridge - just a quick, gentle simmer in the braising liquid and the glazing under the broiler and it was plenty hot and perfectly moist.

    Anyway, this was a huge hit and a definite do over. I also think it would be great with some pickled jalapeños added to the glaze for heat. If there had been leftovers, they would have made great sandwiches with something pickled or maybe some sliced green tomatoes for acidity.

    1. Brined Pork Chops with Peach-Ginger Glaze (page 110)

      Peach-Ginger Glaze AND Pistachio Gremolata. The chops are marinated for from 4 to 24 hours (I marinated mine for the full 24). He suggests making the glaze and the gremolata at the same time you make the marinade since both can keep in the fridge for up to a week and makes short work of cooking the chops.

      For the brine, a cup of gin is reduced to 1/4 cup. (Pay attention! I looked away and the gin was in flames.) Water, salt, sorgum (I couldn’t find it so substituted barley malt syrup), and brown sugar are stirred in until dissolved.

      For the Peach-Ginger Glaze, peeled, pitted peaches are cut into chunks; simmered with white wine, ginger, honey, and s&p; and whizzed in a blender until smooth.

      For the gremolata, pistachios, bread crumbs, lemon zest, parsely (I forgot to buy some so did without), garlic, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and s&p are pulsed in a food processor until you have what he calls a “rough paste.” I think mine was a bit chunkier, but I liked it that way.

      The chops are browned in oil, spread with a dollop of glaze which is covered with the gremolata, and cooked, in the same pan, in a 400F oven for 12 to 14 minutes until the gremolata is lightly browned and crunchy. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

      The chops were very slightly pink, almost unbelievably moist, and very subtly flavored. The glaze, too, was more subtle than I expected, with only the barest hint of sweet. And the gremolata was just lovely. This wasn’t my favorite pork chop recipe, but it was very, very good, and certainly far more impressive looking on the plate than my usual braise. I would definitely keep this in mind for company.

      12 Replies
      1. re: JoanN

        Brined Pork Chops w/Peach-Ginger Glaze, p. 110

        Wow, Joan, great minds . . .

        If not my absolute favorite pork chop recipe, darned close--and definitely company-worthy. And I never make pork chops for guests as I'm never sure they won't be tough. Even these weren't as moist as I'd like, but that was my fault: my chops were very thick, and I cooked them a tad too long. But they were still delicious.

        I made the brine, glaze, and gremolata the day before I used them so the whole recipe was a snap to put together at the end of a busy workday. I put the meat into the brine in the morning and removed it in time for dinner, about 12 hours later.

        For the glaze: I took a few liberties because I’d just made a big pot of peach butter so wanted to use some of that. To make ½ recipe of glaze, I put about 3/4 c of the peach butter, 2 T of (white) vermouth (instead of white wine), 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, a pinch of salt and several grindings of black pepper into a small pot and simmered it for 5-6 minutes. (I omitted the honey as the peach butter had sugar in it.)

        For the gremolata: whizzed everything (1/2 recipe’s worth; Joan has covered the ingredients) in a FP. We really liked this touch. I had plenty of gremolata leftover, but not to worry--excellent tossed with beets (and probably any number of other things).

        1. re: nomadchowwoman

          Making these tonight with a fairly large, 1lb., chop--any advice on the timing? When it comes to pork chops we don't mind pink, but dislike raw, and live in fear of dry...

          1. re: qianning

            I wouldn't worry too much about it. Mine weren't quite as large yours, but they were larger than the eleven ounces called for. You may just want to bake them for the longer amount of time. Mine were more toward the medium side of medium-rare when baked for 12 instead of 14 minutes. They were so unbelievably moist, I just can't imagine them drying out.

            1. re: qianning

              Am just seeing this and curious about how you timed them and how they came out. My chops weighed in at almost a pound too, and I left them in about 5-6 minutes longer than Lee suggests for the smaller chops, but that was just a tad too long.

              1. re: nomadchowwoman

                It's been a while since I made them and I didn't make a note about my timing, but my recollection is that I cooked them for 12 minutes, checked them with my Thermapen, and they were just barely over 140F which was about where I wanted them. The new USDA guidelines recommend cooking pork to 145, and I figured that's about where it would be by the time I started eating it.

                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                  OK, so, first of all, this was delicious. We loved it. Thanks to JN & NCW for pointing it out--when I initially flipped through the book I thought it would be too sweet; not at all, it is really well balanced and flavorful, with a great contrast of both flavors textures.

                  As for cooking time I cooked them exactly 15 minutes in the oven. And the "done-ness" results were good, but just a teeny tad underdone. No worries, as we were sharing the chop and Mr. QN doesn't mind pork slightly rarer, so he took those pieces that were a bit too pink.

                  However this brings up another point....do you think Lee intends for the chops to be bone-in or boneless? I've re-read the recipe several times, and no idea on the answer. Mine were bone-in, and they were center cut with both the loin & tenderloin attached. The minor underdone portion was the meat close to the bone on the loin side. If I were cooking the same size & type of meat again, I'd go 16 minutes.

                  But, the caveat is, I was also cooking the kale spoon bread in the same oven, and it had just gone in 3 minutes earlier than the chops, so it is possible my problem was temp drop from having opened the door so soon before adding the chops to the oven. In other words, ymmv.

                  1. re: qianning

                    I'm 99% certain he means for them to be bone-in. I think he would have said boneless if he meant otherwise. Also, unless you're cutting them yourself, isn't 1" considerably thicker than boneless chops usually are?

                    Happy to see such positive reports on this. Not that I question my own judgment, you understand. But it is nice to have the confirmation.

            2. re: JoanN

              That sounds good. You could sub. molasses for the sorghum. I do the opposite with Dorie Greenspan's Molasses Spice Cookies and use sorghum in them instead.

              I order sorghum from Bourbon Barrel Foods in Louisville. They age the stuff in bourbon barrels and BTW their vanilla is wonderful.

              1. re: JoanN

                These were very good and I don't have much to add to what has already been stated. Want to thank JoanN and Nomadchowwoman for their reviews or I probably would not have tried these. I rarely make pork chops and your reviews encouraged me to give these a try.

                I made all three components the night before and liked how easily they came together for dinner. I made a full recipe of marinade, peach glaze, and gremolata, but only cooked two pork chops so just used half of each. I have the remainder in the fridge and expect to use it up this week.

                1. re: JoanN

                  I was also very satisfied with this tasty recipe after making it this past weekend. I used a lighter hand with the gremolata so I also had quite a bit left over, but tonight I sprinkled some over sauteed green beans and the combination was delicious.

                  1. re: lesliej

                    green beans with pistachio gremolata--brilliant idea!

                    1. re: qianning

                      Oh - much thanks, qianning; they just seemed to call out for each other!

                2. T-Bone Steak with Lemongrass-Habanero Marinade (page 67)

                  Whizz together garlic, lemongrass, habanero peppers, juice of one lemon (forgot I was out of lemons and substituted lime) and one orange, sesame oil, soy sauce, and salt (which I omitted since the steak was going to be generously salted anyway) in a blender, pour over steak (I had a prime porterhouse), and marinate for 20 minutes.

                  There’s a mistake in the book. He says to pour half the marinade over the steak, but there are no directions about what to do with the remaining marinade. I wrote to the publisher and received a reply saying: "The other half of the marinade should be reserved. It should be spooned onto the cooked steak along with the pan juices before serving.")

                  He uses an unusual method to cook the steak. You heat butter and peanut oil over high heat until just barely smoking, add the steak, cover and cook for three minutes, turn, and cook uncovered for about 2 minutes. My steak was a bit thicker than the 3/4” called for and took an extra minute or two to cook to medium rare.

                  He says in the headnote that he likes to add “a bright acidic marinade for a contrast with all that meatiness” and also says that the acid “accentuates the umami element in the steak and gives it a punch that is quite addictive.” The steak was indeed superb, but how much of that was attributable to damn fine piece of meat and how much to the marinade is beyond my discernibility level. The flavors were very subtle with just the barest hint of hot.

                  I served this, as he suggests, with the Collards and Kimchi on page 200 ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9152... ). Damned fine meal.

                  5 Replies
                    1. re: JoanN

                      T-Bone Steak with Lemongrass-Habanero Marinade, p. 67

                      I needed something very quick tonight, and since I had all the ingredients for the marinade, I picked up a T-bone and came home and made the marinade in about 5 minutes (Joan has covered this so no need to repeat), poured some over the steak and let it sit for about 30 minutes. We opted for outdoor grilling, which worked great. The steak, along with Lee's spinach salad (p. 34), was dinner.

                      We both liked the spicy kick on the outside of the steak, but I tried pouring a little of the reserved marinade on a slice of meat and was glad I tested it as it was almost unbearably hot (habaneros!). My husband would never have eaten it. I could stand it but much preferred the steak without saucing it with the additional marinade.

                      I might try the marinade on a lesser cut of meat, but I'm not sure I'd bother with it for a really good steak (though it wasn't much of a bother--really easy recipe).

                        1. re: JoanN

                          T-Bone Steak with Lemongrass-Habanero Marinade, page 67.

                          JoanN does a bang-up job of describing the dish above, so I won't go further into that, except to say, that, like nomadchowwoman, we opted to grill outdoors. We had a big, thick, T-bone, which four of us shared (with leftovers). I am still of the opinion that marinades absorb better into smaller cuts of meat. Or maybe the larger cuts need more marinating time. Either way, most of the taste was on the outside of the meat, not too much absorbed. It was still very nice; I'd like to try it on a thinner cut of meat.

                          NOW for the really interesting part…
                          One of our guests brought big, fat, white peaches for dessert. I had the (brilliant, if I do say so myself) idea of putting them in the lemongrass-habanero marinade. They absorbed the marinade deeply in a matter of seconds, and we tossed them on the grill. This was the absolute best, most intriguing, most complexly flavored dessert I've had in a long time. I'll make this marinade just for grilling peaches as long as we can get them!

                          1. re: JoanN

                            I made this Lemongrass-Habanero marinade tonight, to use on flank steak. Unfortunately, I couldn't find habanero peppers in my neighborhood, so I subbed a jalapeno, a cayenne pepper and an ajicito. The marinade had a nice kick to it, but it faded over time (I made it this morning and didn't use it till tonight), so I added some cayenne powder to it before serving to spice it up a bit further.

                            The result? Delicious! The lemongrass flavor was subtle but added a lovely sort of herbal/floral element to the mix. I grilled my steak, so I didn't have the extra fat from the butter/oil mixture called for in the recipe, and I think it would have benefited from that, especially since flank is so lean. Still good, though. I definitely preferred it with the extra marinade used as a sauce rather than dry, but I tend to like sauce in general. Even with the extra cayenne, it was not particularly hot - I really need to hunt down some habaneros next time!

                          2. Vietnamese Lamb Chops (page 28)

                            Loin chops are marinated for from 4 hours to overnight in a marinade of honey, fish sauce, grapeseed oil, bourbon, soy sauce, garlic, ground coriander, white pepper, and fresh lime juice. Room temperature chops are roasted @425F for 15 minutes, flipped, and cooked for 5 minutes more. Chops are served with a garnish of cilantro, fried shallots, and lime wedges. He recommends serving the chops with Edamame Hummus on page 199 and I did.

                            I made half a recipe, marinated the chops for about 9 hours, and used fried shallots I still had left from “Burma,” although his recipe is essentially the same. While roasting, the marinade nearly bubbled out of my shallow roasting pan and became almost shockingly dark, although not burned. His timing was perfect for medium-rare chops, but it should be noted that if chops are left in the pan once it’s removed from the oven they will continue to cook to medium.

                            I loved the flavors here. So unusual for lamb, yet wonderfully complementary. Beginning to think of Lee as comparable to Ottolenghi in that his flavor combinations are so unusual but work brilliantly. The pairing with the Edamame Hummus ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9152... ) was completely unexpected and a very pleasant surprise.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: JoanN

                              We don't really eat lamb at our house. I hate to mess with genius but do you think this would work with pork or anything else? It sounds so good.


                              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                Not Joan, but I'll chime in with a big YES. I thought about pork chops myself.

                              2. re: JoanN

                                Vietnamese Lamb Chops, p. 28

                                I followed the marinade recipe to a tee though I made a double recipe as I had guests and thus prepared 14 lamb loin chops. But I opted for grilling them outside rather than cooking them in the oven. I served them with the suggested garnishes: Fried shallots (which, like Joan, I had on hand, courtesy of “Burma.”), lime wedges, and cilantro.

                                I really enjoyed these (though I actually preferred Cindy Pawlcyn’s Mongolian Barbecued Lamb Chops), but my husband thought fish sauce was the dominant flavor and thus didn’t care much for them. One of my guests, however, ate several quite enthusiastically.

                                1. re: JoanN

                                  Vietnamese Lamb Chops (page 28)

                                  I loved this. I also thought it was an interesting cooking technique, cooking the lamb inside the marinade instead of removing it from the marinade and cooking it from there. But, the chops came out perfect medium rare and super tender. I used a combo of lamb loin chops and lamb rib chops.

                                  I thought the flavor was very addicting. But, C was a bit reticent. He first said that the lamb was perfectly cooked but later admitted that the flavor wasn't to his taste. He said that there was something a bit offputting in the marinade and kept asking me what was in it. It's odd because there is nothing in the marinade that we haven't eaten in the past, maybe it's the combo.

                                  Regardless, I enjoyed it (a lot).

                                  1. re: JoanN

                                    I'd love to make these tonight or tomorrow, but the online recipe appears to be gone (unless I'm blind, which is certainly possible). Would anyone be willing to paraphrase? Given that it's 95 degrees here, I will grill rather than roast, so no need to give those cooking instructions. Thanks in advance!

                                    1. re: mebby

                                      Try the "Look Inside the Book" feature on Amazon. I found it there.


                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        Thanks for the reminder...knew I'd seen it somewhere. Still waiting on my book...

                                    2. re: JoanN

                                      Vietnamese Lamb Chops

                                      Made these for lunch today. Like NCW, I chose to grill rather than roast (over 100 degrees here today!). Marinated for about 20 hours. Used rib chops rather than loin chops and used peanut oil in place of both grapeseed and corn oils. Other than that, no subs.

                                      Delicious! I will happily make again following the actual cooking instructions, which I am intrigued by, but these made for a very savory lunch and one that would pair well with a variety of flavors. I served with brown rice and watermelon slices and drizzled some of the hotted up marinade over rice/lamb. My kids really like them too and are happily going off to school tomorrow with leftovers mixed in with rice and some of the sauce.

                                      Despite these being called "Vietnamese," for my tastes the flavor profile could go a lot of directions and was just a delicious blend of flavors, so you could pair it a lot of ways.

                                      1. re: JoanN

                                        For anyone reading along who doesn't have the book, I noticed that Chow now has the recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/30858-vie...

                                      2. Pulled Pork Shoulder in Black BBQ Sauce (page 116)

                                        Not sure why he instructs you to make the BBQ sauce first, since it can easily be made while the pork is either curing in the fridge or cooking in the oven, but he does. And I’m not even going to list the ingredients, because it’s as long as my forearm, although every single item was something that was in my pantry or fridge. Let’s just say it’s a mashup (in a good way) of regular BBQ sauce with Asian ingredients. I made the recipe as written, but left out the jalapeños and cayenne because one of the guests for whom I was making this can’t abide anything that has the least bit of heat. Oh, and I used half the amount of raisins called for because I only had golden raisins and they’re a lot sweeter than the dark ones.

                                        The pork is supposed to be 5 pounds, bone in skin on, but mine was a 5-pound boneless roast from Costco with no skin. It’s is cured for at least two hours in a mixture of salt, cumin, smoked paprika and lots of pepper then wrapped loosely in foil. A half cup of water is poured into the package, and it’s roasted for two-and-a-half hours. Mine took closer to three-and-a-half before it was really pull-apart tender.

                                        I was making this to have on hand for sandwich fixings for guests who were going to need to take something with them while they were setting up for a trade show. The report was that they loved the sandwiches and were fighting over the last one. I made more sandwiches for my godson for lunch and he added some of the hot sauce still in the fridge from the roast duck recipe and loved it that way. He had the sandwiches with a side of store-bought kimchi and was a very happy puppy. Although my guests and I were very pleased with result, it isn't going to replace the Bo Ssam in this household.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JoanN

                                          Pulled Pork Shoulder in Black BBQ Sauce, page 116.

                                          JoanN is making my work here easier. I'm just following her around and appending her posts.

                                          The long list of ingredients, and the recipes, are here on the Chicago Tribune site:

                                          We made the black BBQ sauce a day ahead. I also don't know if there is any advantage to making it in advance. As far ahead as we made it, perhaps the flavors have a chance to mature a bit. We did the recipe as written, but with a mix of chile peppers instead of just jalapeño. Full disclosure, I'm not a barbecue sauce fan, but this one had some interesting elements.

                                          The big detour we took from the recipe was to cook it in a smoker. For a book with smoke in the title, it's surprising there aren't more recipes for the smoker, or even for the grill. Our pork was also a boneless, skinless shoulder. It's a pretty dry cook in the smoker, which surely affects the final product. Ours was really more like a pork roast than pulled pork. It was medium rare, and not falling apart. I liked the rub a quite a bit, but Mr. NS didn't feel it added a lot, or maybe that it didn't penetrate the meat enough in the smoker. He also thought it was too salty, I thought the seasonings were fine.

                                          We made sandwiches with the pork and the (probably too much) sauce, which were fine. I actually liked the leftover pork without the sauce. After serving four for dinner, we had plenty left over. It's gone into the freezer to come out some time for bahn mi.

                                        2. Lime Beef Salad, p.50

                                          I was able to find the recipe link here:


                                          The variety of ingredients in this slaw-based beef salad were what drew me to this recipe, but if I make it again I will tinker with the vinaigrette and use a different method of cooking the beef.

                                          To begin, both the vinaigrette and salad ingredients are prepped and refrigerated. The salad consists of cabbage (I used Napa), plum tomato, mango, mint and sesame seed, while the vinaigrette contains lime juice, brown sugar, soy and fish sauce, sesame oil, ginger and pepper. A pot of water infused with garlic, ginger and salt is then brought to a simmer on the stove while you pound slices of beef round or sirloin paper-thin. The beef slices are cooked in the water for a few seconds, and dropped into the chilled vinaigrette. The salad is given a final toss with the beef/vinaigrette combination and served.

                                          The problem I had with the vinaigrette was its high proportion of lime juice (5T) to sesame oil (2 tsp.). It produced a dressing that was too thin for my taste, pooling at the bottom of the bowl rather than coating the salad and giving it body. An additional tablespoon or so of oil (peanut, shallot, sesame, etc) added to the vinaigrette might be nice to round it out and balance the acidity. And I think a quick sear of the flattened slices of beef would further enhance the flavors (and add color) rather than cooking them in the water.

                                          This seems like a bit of a make-over to the recipe but I think it certainly has potential as the basic flavors are there, and it does makes an attractive salad.

                                          11 Replies
                                          1. re: lesliej

                                            Interesting! It sounds as though the meat prep is a play on Pho doesn't it? When you order Pho the meat is raw, and gets cooked by the hot, flavored broth. In theory, this is a fun idea but I can see how the results could seem too soft and colorless.

                                            I have this recipe marked. Hope I remember your review then.

                                            1. re: smtucker

                                              Hi - I was actually hoping the broth would be a successful way to cook the beef (I'm not familiar with Pho, obviously!) because it seemed like a cool technique, but the broth just wasn't flavorful enough (I think I even added an additional teaspoon of salt). Maybe that's the solution - reducing the water/increasing the aromatics.

                                              1. re: lesliej

                                                Maybe using tuna instead of beef? Then the lime juice would sort of cook the meat?

                                                1. re: LulusMom

                                                  That might actually be a nice alternative.. I would definitely seek out the black sesame seeds in that case (I didn't mention that I simply used toasted white seeds) for the color contrast. I'd also stick to Napa cabbage if using seafood, I think.

                                              2. re: smtucker

                                                Reading through the book I found this recipe a kind of odd combination of a Thai Yum Nua and Vietnamese Pho. Reading Lesliej's review, she might want to look at Nancie McDermott's recipe for Fiery Grilled Beef Salad--http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1992...

                                                1. re: qianning

                                                  I do appreciate the timely (and informative!) link - I'll try this recipe soon.

                                              3. re: lesliej

                                                This is on my to-try list so I was pleased to see your report, lesliej. He does say in the headnote to the recipe that the meat is "delicate" and "not the star of the show." It is, after all, only 5 ounces of beef to serve four people. And if you look at the accompanying photo, the vinaigrette does indeed look thin and has pooled on the bottom of the plate. I suspect your result may have been exactly as intended, although I appreciate your thoughts on what would make it work better for you.

                                                And to LLM, sounds to me as though tuna would be a great substitute for the beef. In fact, I'm making a note in my book to give that a try. But not until I've tried it as written first.

                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                  Hi Joan - I used the link in my review when preparing the recipe (I don't have the book) which doesn't have the same notes/photo, I don't think. But I can see where I was trying to adapt it to my liking without giving it a chance! Regardless, I'll be interested to see what you think.

                                                  1. re: lesliej

                                                    You know, I always say that I don't care much about color photos in cookbooks, but in this book especially I've found them very helpful. With the duck recipe in particular, he has practically no information about how to serve it and without the picture I'd have been at rather a loss.

                                                    And goodness knows I didn't mean to imply in the least that there's anything wrong with adapting a recipe to your preferences. You did give it a chance. You made it as directed and thought you'd like it better with some changes. I may feel exactly the same way once I've tried it.

                                                    1. re: JoanN

                                                      The pictures in this book are so good and make the food look so tasty, that I almost went for that braised lamb. My husband had to remind me that it is when meat is more cooked (as in a braise) that is when it really turns me off. And yet that picture keeps making me think "maybe this time ..." but I don't want to end up with something I can't bare to have more than one bite of. : (

                                                2. re: lesliej

                                                  Lime Salad with a side of Beef (an adaptation of Lime Beef Salad, page 50).

                                                  Mr. NS wanted to do something in his brand new big egg cooker, so I opted to deconstruct the recipe a bit. I marinated the steak in some of the ingredients in the recipe, namely fish sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and chiles, and he cooked it in the egg. I made the salad and dressing as directed, then just plated sliced steak alongside the salad. The dressing spread about the plate a bit, and flavored the steak even more.

                                                  We both thought this was a killer dish done this way, just delicious. Lee gets complete credit for the concept, the salad, and the dressing, which all really pack a lot of flavor. But I loved the marinated, grilled steak with it. We want to do a small plate dinner some time, and I'm putting this on our menu, using just a couple slices of beef and a small scoop of salad.

                                                3. Grilled Kalbi p. 54
                                                  http://www.savorsa.com/2013/07/griffi... *please note the link indicates ½ c sesame oil where the book uses 1/3 c.

                                                  Our family loves Korean grilled meat dishes with kalbi being the favorite.

                                                  We purchased flanken-cut short ribs http://www.thepauperedchef.com/images.... at our Korean market. We’ve made kalbi with English-cut short ribs once, but we lacked the finesse to turn them into something like this. Ours were a little too thick and uneven. http://charcoalfoodie.files.wordpress...

                                                  The short ribs marinate in a blend of soy sauce, ginger, onion, garlic, sesame oil, sesame seeds, brown and white sugar, mirin, scallions and red pepper flakes for several hours. After a quick turn on the grill they are ready to eat.

                                                  My nephew eats these with his fingers using the bone as a little handle. I keep scissors at the table to cut the ribs into bite-sized pieces to wrap them in a lettuce leaf with rice, kimchi, and ssam jang. I haven’t mastered wrapping it into a nice little bite, it looks more like a lettuce wrap, but still tasty.

                                                  We all enjoyed the rich and savory ribs. My nephew thought they were a little salty, but that didn’t stop him from leaving a big pile of little bones on his plate.

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: BigSal

                                                    Thanks Big Sal, these are definitely going on my list. I loved going our galbi when I lived in Korea. So tasty and so fresh with a bit of added lettuce for wrapping.

                                                    1. re: BigSal

                                                      Grilled Kalbi, Pg. 54

                                                      We made this recipe for a Sunday evening meal using county-style boneless pork ribs, marinated the meat for about 5 1/2 hours, then broiled rather than grilled the "ribs" for the recommended 2 min ea side. Boy oh boy was that meat tender! I used half the amount meat called for but kept the full amount of the marinade ingredients.

                                                      As Sal has said, they were rich and savory, and I'll add quick and easy once the marinating period is over. The meat was not as sweet as I expected and that was in its favor, but there was a well rounded balance of spices that suited the meat nicely. Collards and Kimchi on page 200 was a side dish along with brown basmati rice.

                                                    2. Curry Pork Pies (page 104)

                                                      I liked these, but they didn't wow me. They tasted very familiar. They are basically curried pork (ground pork, bacon, onions, bell pepper, carrots, ginger, curry powder, soy sauce, S&P) in a pie crust. The curry powder that I had (Penzeys Maharajah blend) was not as hot as I like, so if I made them again, I'd choose a curry powder with a little more heat.

                                                      I normally make pie crust with all butter but these were made with combo of butter and vegetable shortening. I'd forgotten how nice and flaky the shortening makes a pie crust. I made the dough in the food processor and it came out fine.

                                                      He says you can freeze these. I'm going to be doing that. I'm curious to see how they stand up to reheating. They'd be a nice appetizer at a party.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: stockholm28

                                                        I was a bit surprised that this recipe didn't include a recipe for the curry blend. Kind of misses the point.

                                                        1. re: stockholm28

                                                          I'm going to make these over the weekend and I will up the heat. I have some hot curry powder a friend mixed for me so I'll use that. Seems like they'd be good for work lunch.

                                                          1. re: stockholm28

                                                            Just a follow up ... these do heat up quite nicely from frozen. The dough stays nice and flaky.

                                                          2. Spinach Salad w/[regular] Bacon, [Maytag] Blue Cheese, and Bourbon Vinaigrette, p.34

                                                            No, I didn't make lamb bacon, and without it, this is a pretty standard (albeit very nice) spinach salad, probably not worth reporting on, except for the bourbon vinaigrette, which was very good--not tangy, but smooth, w/a hint of molasses and smoke. I'll definitely make it again. I think it would be delicious poured over carrots, beets, Brussels sprouts.

                                                            1/2 recipe of vinaigrette: 2 T bourbon, reduced to half, 1 T apple cider vinegar, 1/2 T maple syrup, salt, pepper, and 6 T olive oil.

                                                            Salad: spinach, bits of cooked bacon (I used applewood-smoked), green apple matchsticks, sliced radish, (Maytag) blue cheese, and spiced pecans. The recipe title refers to "spiced pecans" but the list of ingredients calls merely for "pecans." Since I'd made spiced ones recently (actually, bourbon-spiced), I used those, and I'm sure they added a nice touch.

                                                            This is a tasty (ideally fall/winter) salad, and I'm sure lamb bacon would elevate it to something really special.

                                                            1. Rice Bowl with Beef. Although I have the book, I printed the recipe out so my son and I could work on the various components together.


                                                              Also, I'll note that I took some liberties. I didn't make the perfect rice, using brown short grain instead. I had some snow peas that needed using so I subbed that for the collards. I made the perfect remoulade which was needed for the corn remoulade part of the rice bowl.

                                                              All in all, it was a fairly simple dish. The corn remoulade was a standout. The marinade for the beef was good but nothing particularly unique. I will try the recipe again with the called-for collard greens however I was pleased with the dish. It was all gobbled down by the family, with the leftover Perfect Remoulade going into today's lunch sandwiches.

                                                              Rice bowl w/o fried egg:

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: tcamp

                                                                Rice Bowl with Beef, Onions, Collards, Fried Egg, and Corn Rémoulade p. 46


                                                                Start with the bulgogi inspired marinade (soy sauce, grated ginger, garlic, sesame seed oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper) and marinate thinly sliced flat-iron steak for 20 minutes. The meat is sautéed in sesame oil.

                                                                While the meat is marinating, make the collard greens by sautéing onion in olive oil and butter until caramelized, and then add the greens, apple cider vinegar and salt until wilted. I have never crossed paths with collard greens until now and enjoyed them quite a bit. Sautéing with butter lends some richness and I quite enjoyed the texture as well (pleasantly chewy). I would be happy to enjoy this sauté by itself.
                                                                Serve in a rice bowl with bulgogi, greens, fried egg and the corn chili rémoulade (perfect rémoulade mixed with sautéed corn kernels and chili powder).

                                                                This was well-received which was not terribly surprising considering my husband is a huge bulgogi fan. We usually make it with rib-eye, but the flat-iron steak and its deep beefy flavor was thoroughly enjoyed. When everything was mixed together, this was reminiscent of a simplified bibimbap. The only miss for us was the corn chili rémoulade. It was tasty enough on its own, but both of us found it unnecessary in the actual dish. We’d make this again sans the rémoulade or maybe with a seasoned gochujang.

                                                                1. re: tcamp

                                                                  RICE BOWL WITH BEEF, ONIONS, COLLARDS, FRIED EGG (NOT), AND CORN CHILI REMOULADE

                                                                  My turn to make this last night. I took a few liberties. I used skirt steak instead of the flat-iron steak, and a mix of turnip greens and arugula instead of the collards. Just using what I had on hand. I chopped the greens finer than called for. And I omitted the fried egg. Or more accurately, just forgot about it.

                                                                  Anyway, we loved this. The meat came out well-seasoned with a nice gingery punch to it. The greens and the corn remoulade were both good accompaniments. And I just really like the whole rice bowl concept as a way of eating.

                                                                2. Cola Ham Hocks with Miso Glaze, p ? (iPad edition)

                                                                  Somebody had to make these, and I figured it might as well be me, as I live in an area where you can get ham hocks, both smoked and fresh, very easily.

                                                                  This recipe calls for for fresh ham hocks, which I spotted a couple days ago and picked up with this recipe in mind. You soak the ham hocks for 30 minutes (not sure why, if you are using fresh uncured meat, but I did it). Then you brown them in some oil in a dutch oven. Onions and garlic go in, then some vermouth (no, not some, a lot of vermouth), cola, rice vinegar, soy sauce, star anise, peppercorns, and bay leaves. You braise the ham hocks in this mixture for two hours.

                                                                  You make a glaze from red miso, apple cider brown sugar, sorghum molasses, and soy sauce. This is heated in a saucepan until syrupy.

                                                                  When the ham hocks are done braising, you pull them out of the liquid, put them on a baking or broiler pan, brush with glaze, and broil until the glaze caramelizes. The recipe says three to five minutes. I broiled a little longer, turning the ham hocks halfway through and glazing the top side again, so that they were brown and gorgeous all over. The ham hocks are served in a bowl with some of the braising liquid. There is a lot of fat in the braising liquid, so I tried to chill it down while the hocks were broiling to remove some fat. Ended up putting it a gravy separator, and removed most of the fat, but you can see in the picture there is still quite a bit in the liquid.

                                                                  These looked stunning, and tasted good, but there really is not that much meat on a ham hock, which is why they end up in soup instead of on your plate. I'm not sure I'd bother making it again. If I did, I'd change the method around a bit to allow for removing more fat from the braising liquid, and reducing it to concentrate the flavors. In general the flavors were mildly sweet and salty, pleasant, but not intense.

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                  1. re: MelMM

                                                                    Forgot to attach picture!

                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                      I'm not familiar with cooking ham hocks. Do you think pork shoulder could be used in this recipe instead?

                                                                      1. re: emily

                                                                        Good question. Probably, but it would be very different. For one thing, you would need a much longer braising time. There is a recipe in the book for a Pulled Pork Shoulder in Black BBQ Sauce, that might be worth trying before you try to adapt this one (it also has cola in it).

                                                                    2. re: MelMM

                                                                      I just ordered a couple of fresh ham hocks, so I probably will make this--but until I read your report, I guess I actually was thinking of ham shanks, or at least the meatier portion of the shank.

                                                                      1. re: MelMM

                                                                        I have fresh ham hocks from our latest pig purchase and was considering making this. Would I enjoy them more if I just cured and smoked them do you think? Or was this worth a venture?

                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                          Depends upon how much meat is on them, and also on what you would do with them after you cure and smoke them. If they have a lot of meat on them, I'd say this recipe is worth a go. Otherwise, you can make stock from them as is, or cure and smoke them and add to the bean pot.

                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                            If I cure and smoke them, soup or beans. Feel like I understand this recipe a bit better now. Many thanks!

                                                                        2. re: MelMM

                                                                          Cola Ham Hocks with Miso Glaze, p. 114

                                                                          I had ordered fresh ham hocks from one of the FM vendors, and when he brought them, they were not the whole hocks (which is just as well at $$$$/lb--for parts that butchers once practically gave away!). They were, however, slices from the meatier portion, and looked much like nice pieces of veal shank for osso buco. We had four, which was perfect for two of us--and, wow, did we love this dish.

                                                                          I went with amounts for the whole recipe even though my hock slices weighed only just over 2 lbs.. MelMM has covered this so I won't repeat the process except to say like her, I soaked the hocks without understanding the reason, browned them, and proceeded with the braise, which took a good 2 ½ - 2 ¾ hours to get tender.

                                                                          As I got ready to make the glaze, I realized I'd overlooked the apple cider (and no way I was seconding DH on a second grocery run at 8:30 as he was half into his cocktail). I mixed half calvados and half white wine as a sub, and I'm not sure what that glaze would have been like with cider, but it was absolutely delicious with the sub, and I'm glad to have some leftover to glaze something else with.

                                                                          I didn't have too much of a fat problem (probably because I wasn't using whole hocks), but I did reduce the braising liquid and strain it, and we scooped up some of that and spooned it over leftover brown rice. The meat was tender and flavorful, sweet-salty, as MelMM has noted, in a very pleasant way. My husband said he liked this as much as any pork dish I've made lately. I'll make it again, but like osso buco, it will have to be a special occasion dish as it was almost as expensive,

                                                                        3. RICE BOWL WITH LAMB AND AROMATIC TOMATO-GRAVY

                                                                          Well it is clear from everyone's posts that I am going in a very different direction than the rest of you this month. For whatever reason, I am finding it difficult to find things I want to cook. After paging through this book several times, I settled on the lamb with aromatic tomato yogurt gravy. I did not make the rice. Instead, I served it in pitas, as suggested in the side note.

                                                                          The lamb is made into a meatloaf (no breadcrumbs) and comes out looking kind of like an ugly flat patty. Very unattractive but very tasty. The instructions tell you to cut the meatloaf into slices and then brown them. I did this and it was key. I think it would have been very dull without this extra step. I then chopped it into chunks, stuffed it into warm pita bread, along with the tomato gravy, tahini, cucumbers and tomatoes, and a lemon cumin yogurt sauce. My DH and son lOVED these and we ate the leftovers the next day.

                                                                          Here is a link to an online version of this recipe:


                                                                          8 Replies
                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                            This is next up on my list, especially since I have odds and ends of lamb in the freezer set aside for grinding. Sounds as though you didn't love it quite as much as the rest of your family. True?

                                                                            1. re: JoanN

                                                                              No, I really did like it. I am more in the vegetarian falafel camp than the ground lamb one, so the fact that I ate the lamb really is a thumbs up for this recipe. It was really very good. The sauce is infused with a lot of complex flavors, and the crisping of the meatloaf gives it an extra special something. But I think I would prefer it falafel style vs. over a rice bowl.

                                                                            2. re: dkennedy

                                                                              Rice Bowl with Lamb and Aromatic Tomato-Yogurt Gravy

                                                                              Made this last night. It was an easy choice as I had all the ingredients on hand, or at least I thought I did. Turned out what I thought was a pack of ground lamb in the freezer was actually a pack of lamb stew meat. So that got a quick pass through the meat grinder and I was ready to go.

                                                                              As DK has said, the lamb gets made into a meatloaf, seasoned with fresh oregano, marjoram, and rosemary, as well as a bit of smoked paprika. It is indeed about the ugliest meatloaf you ever saw, but it tastes good. The frying is critical, as that gives it a crunchy crust. The tomato gravy is fairly simple. Just sautéed onions and cumin seeds, fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, white wine, ginger, garlic, and bay leaves, simmered down into a sauce. The sauce is finished with some butter and yogurt.

                                                                              I served this as a rice bowl. I thought it needed some more vegetable matter, so I included on the rice bowl some leftover seared shitakes and radish and avocado salad from the prior evening's meal out of Vedge. We really loved this. The lamb and sauce were perfectly seasoned and delicious together. That said, there are a couple of things I would do differently next time. First, I wouldn't bother making the meatloaf. I would make the lamb into small patties and pan fry or grill them. It would save a ton of time, and I think the result would be just as good. Second, I would blanch and peel the tomatoes for the sauce. Lee doesn't do this, but I think I would prefer the texture of the sauce without skins.

                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                MeiMM, tell us more about Vedge.

                                                                                1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                  It's a vegan cookbook from the restaurant in Philadelphia by the same name. You can see an extended discussion on the cookbook "buying" thread here"

                                                                                  and my painfully detailed report of a meal cooked from Vedge here:

                                                                                2. re: MelMM

                                                                                  I made this tonight and incorporated some of the changes suggested by MelMM. I didn't bother making the meatloaf and just cooked the mixture as lamb burgers. I also thought the sauce had too much texture/tomato skins (although this may have been my fault, as I used Campari tomatoes instead of Romas and may not have cooked my onions long enough), so I ran it through the food processor after it was done simmering.

                                                                                  Anyway, we really enjoyed this as well. The seasoning in both lamb and sauce was subtle, but they went really well together. I didn't serve rice, so I have a lot of sauce leftover, but the two of us finished off the lamb easily. I think making it as a meatloaf would add an interesting dimension, since our burgers didn't have as much crispness as I'm sure the meatloaf slices would, but DH really liked the juicy, med-rare middles of the burgers.

                                                                                  I felt like the recipe had a vaguely Indian thing going on (cumin, ginger, yogurt, etc.) so I served it with braised red cabbage spiced with turmeric, coriander, mustard seed and cumin seed. They went very well together, and I have a feeling my husband is going to finish the leftover sauce on the leftover cabbage, since there's no more lamb. A keeper!

                                                                                3. re: dkennedy

                                                                                  Rice Bowl with Lamb and Aromatic Tomato Gravy Pg. 14

                                                                                  This is my first recipe review/post in forever it seems. Actually it has only been two months but I've missed getting into the thick of things with my fellow hounds.

                                                                                  I must say for my first attempt I was quite pleased. I did read the comments by DK and MelM but I thought I would try the recipe as written as the technique was something I'd never tried before. I have to say I think the processing and chillng results in a nice dense mixture which cooked up perfectly in the suggested time and proved quite tasty, especially after it emerged out of the saute pan with a gorgeous golden crust. It really did remind me of hte those spits of pressed meat one finds at the ubiquitous Gyro/Shwarma places around here.

                                                                                  While I also ended up with some skins in my sauce I didn't find they detracted immensely, but I would suggest skinning them as MelM stated. The sauce really reminds me of a subtle butter chicken sauce with its combination of cumin, tomatoey acidity, and richness from the yogurt and the butter. All together a very lovely foil with some rice and the browned lamb. I would definitely repeat again but I might be a touch heavier handed with the seasoning of the meatloaf.

                                                                                  I also think it would be lovely in a pita with the tranditional accompaniments but sans the sauce.

                                                                                4. Made the Piggy Burgers last night. Quite tasty. I only had 1 pasilla chili pepper so I made a half recipe of the catchup. It made more than enough. We'll have them again.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Candy

                                                                                    Piggy (Turkey) Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Ketchup, p. 118

                                                                                    Because this recipe is as much (maybe more) about the seasonings and accompaniments as the meat, I figured it would work well with poultry instead of pork, which I don't eat - and indeed, the results were delicious.

                                                                                    The burgers are made by mixing 1 lb. 85% lean ground pork (turkey thigh) with 2 T hoisin, the finely chopped greens of 3 scallions (I used the whole scallions), 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper. The mixture is formed into eight thin patties (two per serving) and chilled.

                                                                                    To make the sun-dried tomato ketchup (which I actually did a couple of days before I made the burgers), 6 oz chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 2 stemmed and seeded dried pasillas (which I didn't have, so I subbed a spoonful of ancho chile powder) are combined with a garlic clove, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup dry red wine, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 T soy sauce, and a bit of S+P and simmered in a covered saucepan for 15 minutes. The mixture is then pureed with enough water to make it smooth (I used maybe 1/3-1/2 cup water). This makes around 2 cups, so it could easily be halved and still be well more than enough for four burgers. It will also keep well, so I'll be using it on a variety of things.

                                                                                    The burgers are cooked briefly in a cast iron skillet (2 minutes per side was just right for my dark meat turkey burgers, leaving them cooked through but still juicy). Serving instructions are to smear a bit of the ketchup on the bottom of a bun, then top with two patties, each also smeared with a bit of the ketchup, then top with napa kimchi, bean sprouts, cilantro leaves, and pork cracklings.

                                                                                    So, the sun-dried tomato ketchup: I was initially concerned about sweetness, with the balsamic and brown sugar, but I needn't have been. Not that it's unsweet, but it's well balanced, with the wine and soy sauce providing depth and savoriness against the tangy, intense sun-dried tomatoes. And it works well with the spicy/salty kimchi and the burgers. I had one pair on a sprouted wheat bun with kimchi (purchased) and some baby spinach leaves (no bean sprouts, cilantro, or pork cracklings), and that was quite good. But lunch the next day was the patties, spread with the ketchup and topped with kimchi, on a bed of baby spinach and chopped ripe tomato, and that was excellent. The remaining patties are in the freezer, and I think they'll be eaten over salad as well.

                                                                                    1. re: Candy

                                                                                      Piggy Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Ketchup - p. 118

                                                                                      Made these a couple nights ago, and am just now writing it up. I made the burgers with pork as written, for the most part, but I did substitute chives for the scallion, because I have the chives in the garden. I also made four 1/4 pound patties, using one per burger, instead of 8 thin patties. I grilled the burgers on my Big Green Egg instead of pan frying. I also made the ketchup. The recipe doesn't specify, but I assume the author intends regular sun-dried tomatoes, while all I had on hand were those packed in oil. I went ahead and used what I had, but omitted the oil called for in the recipe to compensate. I also substituted Chinese Chinkiang vinegar for balsamic vinegar, and sorghum for the sugar. I used 2 pasilla chiles as directed, assuming that by pasilla, he means chile negro, and not ancho (like some California chefs). I didn't have all the toppings on hand, so I departed from the recipe there, and used arugula and the caraway pickles from this book.

                                                                                      We enjoyed the burgers very much. The Hoisin sauce added a mild sweetness to the pork. The ketchup came out almost black in color, and richer tasting than regular ketchup. I'm not a big fan of regular ketchup, so it's pretty much a no-brainer that I would like this better, and I did. The recipe makes much more than you need for the burgers. I spooned some into some beans I was making and it gave them a nice barbecue beans flavor. Since I liked the pork burgers, I'll probably make this again with the recommended condiments, but I think you can get creative with the extras and the burgers will still be good.

                                                                                    2. Bourbon and Coke Meatloaf Sandwich w/Fried Egg & Black Pepper Gravy, p.64

                                                                                      I found a link to the recipe here:


                                                                                      Since I'm the only one in my family who is a fan of meatloaf I debated whether to make this, but hats off to Chef Lee for creating a recipe everyone enjoyed. Even before layering the meatloaf onto this hearty, open-faced sandwich my husband said it was the best he had ever tasted (due in no small part to the addition of bacon, I'm sure!).

                                                                                      Easy enough - glazed meatloaf is sliced and stacked on mayo'd toast with a juicy tomato slice, topped with a fried egg, and drizzled with gravy. Chopped parsley is sprinkled over, and, even though it didn't call for it, a dash of cayenne added for heat. The egg yolk, especially in this recipe, lends more than just an inflated calorie count as its creaminess blends perfectly into the sweet/smoky/peppery sauced meatloaf and crunchy bread.

                                                                                      Just a couple of notes - the initial veggie saute will be overly-crisp after eight minutes on med-high heat; I sauteed just the onions and celery on medium until golden-brown, then added the garlic with the mushrooms and bacon. And, after an hour of baking, the internal temperature of my meatloaf was over 155 degrees, but it was still moist and tender, not heavy, dense or crumbly.

                                                                                      8 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: lesliej

                                                                                        I made this meatloaf tonight to RAVE reviews from the DH, who is a huge meatloaf fan. I had 1.5 lbs of ground beef, so I increased the amounts of other ingredients proportionately.

                                                                                        You start by sauteing chopped onion, celery and garlic in some butter. Then you add chopped bacon and mushrooms and saute a bit longer. This mixture is mixed with ground beef, breadcrumbs, egg, egg yolk, Coke, bourbon, ketchup, Worcestershire and salt and pepper. Plop this in a loaf pan and glaze with a mix of ketchup, soy sauce and sugar and bake for an hour or so. After it's done, drain the drippings and make a gravy with the drippings (you're supposed to have a cup or so), chicken stock, flour, butter and pepper.

                                                                                        I made a few changes in addition to scaling the recipe up. I hate ketchup, so I used a spicy, not-too-sweet BBQ sauce in the meatloaf and a mix of that BBQ sauce and Sriracha for the glaze. I also had some caramelized onions in the fridge that needed using, so I added those with the other vegetables (my fresh onion was smaller than called for, so it probably all worked out).

                                                                                        Anyway, this all added up to a FABULOUS dinner. However, there are a couple of problems with this recipe, IMO. First of all, the original calls for 1 lb of meat and claims to serve 8. Unless you are serving this as an appetizer, I cannot imagine serving 8 people with this recipe - I made 1.5x the recipe and DH and I ate over half of it (gluttonously, but still). I would say it serves 3-4, tops. Second, the texture is somewhat off - there is too much liquid, I think. I used fresh breadcrumbs, so that could have been part of the problem, but next time I would reduce the amount of ketchup (BBQ sauce) in the loaf itself. Finally, the meatloaf didn't exude nearly as much in the way of drippings as the recipe stated - I had a quarter cup, tops. I don't think the gravy really needed more, though - it was plenty flavorful with just the quarter cup of drippings, and I used extra chicken stock to get the correct consistency.

                                                                                        Anyway, despite these issues, it was delicious. I would definitely continue to use BBQ sauce and/or Sriracha for the spice factor - I feel like it might have been too sweet otherwise.

                                                                                        1. re: lesliej

                                                                                          BOURBON AND COKE MEATLOAF

                                                                                          I made just the meatloaf and gravy rather than the whole sandwich. The procedure has already been described, so I'll just add my notes. I lowered the heat on the vegetable sauté, and once the bacon and mushrooms were added, I let it cook for quite a bit longer than specified. Perhaps because of this, I didn't have any of the texture issues that biondanonima described. I used ketchup as called for, and fresh bread crumbs.

                                                                                          One issue I ran into was the one of the meatloaf drippings. I was able to drain about a teaspoon of liquid from my meatloaf. This might be due to the grass-fed beef I was using. It's probably leaner than what the recipe calls for. So for the gravy, I just used chicken stock, and added a small amount of bourbon and coke to it.

                                                                                          We liked this meatloaf very much. I have not made meatloaf very often (or eaten very much of it, for that matter). I just don't have the childhood connection to it that some people do, and it's never been a part of my culinary repertoire. Mr. MM, on the other hand, did grow up eating it, and wishes I would make it more often. Now that I've found this recipe, I will. I think the addition of mushrooms is brilliant. They stretch the meat, but still add a "meaty" flavor. This will be my go-to meatloaf recipe from now on.

                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                            Mel, I don't think the lack of drippings was due to your meat - I didn't get nearly as much as the recipe suggested, either, and I used generic 80/20. I think it's simply an error in the recipe. My gravy was delicious with just the scant 1/4 c. I had, and I think it might have been too greasy with more in any case.

                                                                                            Texturally, I think I am just used to a firmer meatloaf - this one ended up quite soft and crumbled just a bit when I sliced it. It was very tasty, but not as firm as I'm used to. I agree with you that the addition of mushrooms (and bacon) is fantastic!

                                                                                            1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                              Yeah, but I didn't even get 1/4 cup! When I say a teaspoon, I am probably overestimated. There really was nothing to pour off. But, I still loved the dish.

                                                                                              1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                Well, I made 1.5x the original recipe, AND I felt like my meat mixture was VERY wet and loose to begin with. Perhaps the extra cooking of the bacon/veg mixture gave you less liquid to start with and therefore less drippings?

                                                                                                One thing I did notice was that there seemed to be quite a bit of drippings coming out of my loaf about halfway through cooking, but as the baking went on, it reduced and/or reabsorbed. If I had poured off the drippings halfway through, I might have had more - I seriously doubt I would have gotten anywhere near a cup, though. I am being generous when I say I had 1/4c!

                                                                                                1. re: biondanonima

                                                                                                  I just wanted to say that I probably got closer to 1/2 cup of drippings with my meatloaf (80/20 ratio). There are so many variables, though; I did mix the ingredients as little as possible, using my hands, and I also remember scraping every last bit of bacon grease into the bowl. I also poured the juices out of the pan immediately after it came out of the oven (which is what both of you probably did). The possibility of "over-grinding" by the butcher could play a part, as well as grass-fed beef vs. corn-fed. Etc., etc.

                                                                                                  1. re: lesliej

                                                                                                    Like you, I scraped all the bacon grease in, and mixed with my hands, and poured the juices out immediately. I really only see two factors here, the first being that I cooked my vegetables longer and may have cooked more water out, and the second being that my local grass-fed beef is much leaner than what was called for.

                                                                                                    1. re: MelMM

                                                                                                      My experience with ground grass-fed beef is that it is much leaner and "dryer" so I'd bet that was a factor. (I haven't made the meatloaf--never calls to me as my mom's was TERRIBLE--though based on these reviews I am going to try this!)

                                                                                        2. Grilled Lamb Heart Kalbi p. 30

                                                                                          I had bookmarked this recipe early on. I enjoy turkey and chicken heart and was curious to try lamb.

                                                                                          The heart (I just made one) is marinated in onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, mirin, garlic, ginger sesame seeds and red pepper flakes. Truth be told, I did find myself getting squeamish preparing the heart. I was taken back to high school biology identifying the parts of the heart. In addition to trimming the heart of fat and trimming the veins and arteries, I also cut off the aorta (I think) and cut the heart into four pieces instead of two.

                                                                                          The heart is given a quick sear in a cast iron skillet. I ate this as a lettuce wrap with rice, thinly sliced heart (not called for in the recipe, but it was too big not too slice- picture shows the heart pre-slicing), kimchi puree and cilantro. The heart has a distinct lamb flavor and delicate texture which I found to be very rich and delectable with the salty/sweet marinade. The kimchi puree added a slightly sweet, fermented and smoky taste. Because it is so rich, I’d choose to eat this as an appetizer. My husband tried a bite and found the texture and the strong flavor off-putting.

                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: BigSal

                                                                                            I have a lamb heart in the freezer. No question, I am the only person in the house that would even consider eating it. In fact, I might have to eat it when they are all elsewhere. Thank you for the report. Seemed like a fair amount of work for one lamb's heart so it is nice to know that the recipe works.

                                                                                            1. re: smtucker

                                                                                              It was pretty quick to come together since I already had the kimchi made and whizzed up the puree while the heart was in the marinade.

                                                                                              I made the red cabbage kimchi specifically for this dish, but it is not something I'd make frequently. I'm thinking some regular kimchi ( not too sour -more on the fresher side) with some apple slices mixed with chipotles, lemon and sesame might be a quick alternative.

                                                                                              I have two more lamb hearts in the freezer. Any suggestions on what to make with them?

                                                                                              1. re: BigSal

                                                                                                The Olive and Caper [a COTM] has a lamb soup recipe that calls for lamb heart. And someone posted this link earlier this year: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandsty...
                                                                                                Ferguson's Stuffed Lamb's Heart Recipe. It is towards the bottom. Those are the only two recipes that I have collected and marked.

                                                                                          2. Rice Bowl with Spicy Pork (modified) pg. 102

                                                                                            I made the Pork Sausage patties from the recipe and then served them with rice, Kimchi and cilantro. This is a significant modification from the full recipe, but hits some of the same flavor notes (there is supposed to be a kimchi remoulade instead of plain kimchi, as well as jicama which I did not have). I also grilled the patties instead of panfrying. Truth be told, I will probably make it my way again because it was a knockout!

                                                                                            The patties are made of pork, grated beets, grated garlic, sesame oil, fish sauce, sorghum, salt sugar and pepper. I subbed maple syrup for the sorghum, because I haven't bought any sorghum (yet). THis is mixed together and formed into small patties. He specifies quarter sized, but mine were significantly bigger, in part because I was going to grill instead of pan fry as in the recipe.

                                                                                            The pork sausage patties were delicious! Juicy, sweet, savory, smokey (from the grill) and quite red from the beets. With the rice, kimchi and cilantro it made a delicious meal which harmonized well. I also grated the rest of my raw beet and made a beet salad with lime juice and salt to add another fresh and crunchy element. This also played nicely, and probably made up for the lack of jicama in my rice bowl.

                                                                                            My son gave this "a 20" on a scale of 1 to 10 and my husband's comment was "wow." My daughters are less into meat, but still nibbled at the patties.

                                                                                            I will definitely be making this again. I do think grilling really added something so would do that again in grilling season (which is almost always around here).

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                                                              Rice Bowl with Spicy Pork (take 2)

                                                                                              Given the rave reviews of this dish last time I made it and the beautiful grilling weather, I made this again but this time made the kimchi Remoulade to go with it. Wow! I thought I didn't like remoulade (not a mayo fan) but the kimchi remoulade was really brilliant with the pork and rice. Now I'm thinking I should bite the bullet and make the whole thing with the jicama and everything since the rice, pork and remoulade combo was so good. Really great!

                                                                                            2. Darkly Braised Lamb Shoulder, page 18

                                                                                              Imagine my shock when upon organizing the freezer a week ago, I discovered packages of lamb shoulder! I thought it was all gone, completely forgetting that the second lamb had shoulders too. When asked on Friday, "how will you be preparing lamb this weekend?" this recipe came directly to mind.

                                                                                              The lamb is rubbed with ample amounts of salt and freshly ground pepper and then rests. While resting, I started to prep the vegetables. Equal parts onions, carrots, celery, and mushrooms are chopped. Garlic is minced, and jalapenos are chopped. Yu measure out bourbon, ketchup, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, sorghum, black bean paste, and bittersweet chocolate. Chicken stock waits in the wings.

                                                                                              The meat is browned in a dutch oven and then the vegetables are added "tucking them around the meat." Well, I had to brown the meat in two batches, so I chose to saute the vegetables alone for a few minutes. I also misremembered the recipe at the store. I thought I needed 1 lb of mushrooms, not 1 cup so I dry sauteed the mushrooms to remove as much moisture as possible. The meat goes back to the vegetables, and then all the other ingredients are added. It was really hard to stir these other ingredients to blend what with all those meat bones getting in the way. Then you add the chicken stock to cover the meat completely.

                                                                                              Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and then lower the heat to simmer covered for 2 1/2 hours. Remove the top and simmer for another 30 minutes.

                                                                                              So, substitutions. My pack of 2 lamb shoulder "steaks" was 1.85 lbs, so I also used a pack of two neck steaks bringing the total amount of meat to almost 1.5 times the original recipe. I increased the other amounts by 50%. I was out of molasses which I had planned to sub for the sorghum so I used Barley Malt syrup instead. I used a serrano pepper. I used way too many mushrooms. I was not able to increase the chicken broth because the shear amount of liquid that was already being added almost covered the meat, so I only used enough to cover, about 4 cups.

                                                                                              This dish looks NOTHING like the picture in the book. The picture has no vegetables, and the impression is that the meat has a glaze. For this picture they must have strained out all the vegetable matter and then reduced the resulting liquid. My picture doesn't have the three cups of sauce that I had removed to defat! It isn't even close to a glaze.

                                                                                              I have never, ever tasted anything like this. The first thing was the fermented beans. To start, this and salt were the predominant flavor. And then it started to taste sweet, until it was hot. Once we got used to the flavors, the dish was really tasty and very complex. Though a few of the flavors were distinct, the rest had just blended into something dark and very rich. Every bite was slightly different. I don't know if this is on purpose or a side effect of not being able to stir all the ingredients together at the beginning. In the future, I will reduce the amount of sugar going into the pot. But I take some of the blame. I made the polenta with corn stock and clearly, this braise would benefit from a more neutral base.

                                                                                              There is a lot of this dish left, and we will enjoy it tremendously. But, the portions will be smaller. For us, this needs to be just a small part of a bigger meal. Really, really rich. [Should have had some kimchi.] I also suspect that there is far more broth than we could ever consume with this dish, so it will get turned into a soup with some barley and greens.

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                Follow Up:

                                                                                                Tonight I made a sort of rice bowl, using a short grain Asian rice. I just warmed up a tiny amount of the meat and made some wilted greens. I also made some quick pickles with vegetables purchased at the Monday Farmer's Market- onions, carrots, and radishes. On the side I made Korean kimchi pancakes [only way Mr. Smt will eat kimchi.]

                                                                                                The combination of fermented, pickled, and bitter flavors on top of a neutral rice was the perfect foil for the lamb. It just needed some "zing" nearby to shine.

                                                                                                Since we have so much of the lamb left, I will freeze in small containers to enjoy this way throughout the Fall.

                                                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                  Do you have a recipe--or can you point me to one--for the kimchi pancakes? Maybe I can bring my husband too around to kimchi that way. I have the lamb shoulder roast in the freezer, and am waiting for the weather to cool down a tad before trying my hand at braising darkly and your pancake accompaniment sounds like a good way to go.

                                                                                                2. re: smtucker

                                                                                                  Darkly braised lamb shoulder - p. 18

                                                                                                  smtucker did such a great job describing this dish that I don't have much more to say than "I made this too, and it was good!"

                                                                                                  The flavours are exactly as smtucker describes - rich and flavourful with so many interesting elements going on - salty, slightly sweet, and spicy. Like her, we didn't end up with the kind of thick, shiny sauce that appears to be shown in the photo - instead we had a dutch oven full of thin, dark liquid with grey bits of veggies and two lumps of meat floating in it. I can appreciate why the food stylists would not have shown the dish that way in the book. :-) Also, I can't say I would know where to buy grits, and I'm the only person in this house who will eat kimchi or even tolerate having it on the table, so we served this with mashed carrot & potato and some cabbage, and that worked well. It really is essential to have *something* on the plate that will soak up that lovely gravy. If we hadn't been in a rush on a weeknight I would have tried thickening the sauce a little bit.

                                                                                                  I had been thinking that this book was interesting, but not really one I would want to own, but eating this lamb made me seriously revise my opinion. It was just wonderfully delicious.

                                                                                                  1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                    My lamb roast is still in the freezer. I'm glad to see another thumbs up, as I was starting to think I might use it for something else.

                                                                                                    My SIL always purees/blends the veggies cooked with her pot roasts into the liquid in the pot at the end; it thickens it and usually makes a for a nice sauce. Maybe I'll try that with this recipe.

                                                                                                    1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                      That's a great idea, NCW. It's not like the veg had any of their own flavour left by that point. I will give it a try with the leftovers -- I think I'll be serving them over rice like smtucker did.

                                                                                                      1. re: geekmom

                                                                                                        We had some of the frozen leftovers of Darky Braised Lamb last night. I had simply frozen the lamb in zip lock bags, two servings per bag. Since there was so much liquid, there was no degradation of flavor or texture at all. Served over unseasoned sticky rice and some steamed broccoli. The sauce crept over the broccoli. The result was like a highly seasoned vegetable stir-fry. Very satisfactory indeed.

                                                                                                3. Orange Lamb-Liver Pâté with Braised Mustard Seeds , p. 17

                                                                                                  We love pâté, so I decided to give this a shot, after a good gulp at the price of lamb liver, which I had to order. When it arrived, it weighed in at 16 oz so I had to adjust the recipe proportions, upping everything by a third.

                                                                                                  The recipe is straightforward enough. Sauté 1 c. chopped onion and 1 garlic clove, minced, in 2 T butter for a few minutes over high (med-high, in my case). Add the liver (soaked in ice water for an hour, rinsed, dried, cut into 1-inch pieces), and cook for a few minutes until "lightly browned." Lower the heat and add 1T bourbon, 1 tsp sherry vinegar; cook another few minutes until most of the liquid is gone.

                                                                                                  I used an immersion blender to blend the contents of the pan with another 2 T softened butter, 2 tsp grated orange zest, 2 tsp ea Dijon mustard and kosher salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and 1/2 c cream. I knew immediately that it was too much cream (so if anyone decides to make this, start with half the cream and add more as needed). Once blended the mixture resembled a thinnish milk shake, which made the initial pushing through a fine sieve easy although the task soon became tedious as I was trying to get as much of the solids into the mix, in hopes of thickening it.

                                                                                                  I poured it into several ramekins and stuck them in the fridge, Last night, five minutes after I took one out, the pâté was soupy. I could have worked around that I guess, but the pâté tasted very liver-y, even with the orange undertones and the braised mustard seeds (and pickled cherries) spooned over, too livery for my taste. I suppose I just don't like lamb liver. (My husband didn't object to that, to my surprise, but hated the runniness.) I am going to try to salvage this by making a batch of chicken liver pâté sans any cream or added butter and then mix it all together, as I hate to see this go to waste.

                                                                                                  Braised Mustard Seeds

                                                                                                  Very easy, but half the recipe would be plenty for one recipe of the pâté (in fact, you'd end up with about the same amount of mustard seeds and pâté, following the recipe's proportions): everything (1/3 c ea yellow and brown mustard seeds, 1/2 c ea water and white wine, 2 T ea cider vinegar, honey, Dijon, and 1 tsp salt) goes into a small saucepan, is brought to a boil; heat gets lowered and the mix is simmered for 18 minutes, cooled, then refrigerated. (I made this the day before). It tastes like, well, mustard seed, and I think would be good with any pâté, with sausage, or grilled cheese. I've got a lot so I'm open to any other ideas.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                                                                    Sorry this didn't work too well for you, but I appreciate the notes as it is on my "to try" list if I ever get the the Halal butcher to get lamb liver.

                                                                                                  2. Braised Brisket with Bourbon Peach Glaze (pg. 60)

                                                                                                    I had a small dinner party to celebrate the completion of my newly renovated kitchen with new appliances. This was going to be my first dish in the new kitchen, but for various reasons, I cooked it in my temporary kitchen. Regardless, this was a huge hit.

                                                                                                    Quick summary - Cut the brisket in half, rub it with kosher salt, pepper, paprika and cinnamon and let it rest for about 2 hours. In a large skillet, large enough to hold the giant brisket (7-8 lbs), sauté onions and garlic and then remove. Brown the brisket and add the sauteed onions, garlic, coarsely chopped carrots, celery, plum tomatoes, soy sauce, bourbon, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, thyme, beef stock and stout. Cover with foil and then stick it in the oven for 4.5 hours. Remove the meat from the liquid, strain the liquid and reduce. Meanwhile, slash the top of the brisket and brush on the peach bourbon glaze (peach preserves, bourbon and brisket liquid). Add the meat back to the liquid and broil for a few minutes so the top is browned.

                                                                                                    Some problems I ran into:

                                                                                                    I didn't have a pot nearly large enough. This was almost an 8 lb brisket and it was huge. I cut it in half (so I had quarters) and I knew I was going to have pot issues. I ended up using a large corningware but even then, I knew that I wouldn't be able to use all the liquid. The recipe calls for 2 quarts of stock + 2 bottles of stout. I started off with half the ingredients for the braising liquid and heated it up in a dutch oven. After I browned the meat, I put it in the corningware and started to spoon the liquid into the pan. I don't even think I used half of what I prepared (so less then a quarter called for in the recipe. In retrospect, I wonder if I should have used a dutch oven but then my meat would have been stacked. Lee calls for a rondeau but my stock pots were too tall compared to the google pictures.

                                                                                                    Actually, that was the only problem I had but I wasted a lot of liquid. I also didn't use most of the vegetables called for since my pan was already overflowing.

                                                                                                    But, this was delicious and the glaze just added that extra something special.

                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                    1. re: beetlebug

                                                                                                      There is very little chance that I'll make this dish, due to my eating habits, but I did want to congratulate you on your new kitchen. Yay!