'meats' on Serious Eats

Cured Meats Rule at Cask and Larder in Winter Park, Florida

The DIY charcuterie movement has finally reached country-wide levels of pervasiveness, which is a good and a bad thing. In the wrong hands, house-made charcuterie is a step down from store-bought options (the number of times I've had improperly emulsified sausages or poorly cured hams far exceeds the number of excellent ones I've had), and potential dangerous. In the right hands, the interplay of meat, salt, and time can be a truly revelatory eating experience. Chef de Cuisine Dennis Bernard of Cask and Larder in Winter Park, Florida, has the right hands, along with the brains and humility to know when to use them. More

Video: Behind the Scenes at Lorentz Meats, a Processing Plant in Minnesota

Lorentz Meats in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, is on the small side, but it's growing. The small-is-beautiful types think Lorentz is getting too big, but the company is touted as one of the most efficient, clean, and successful processing plants in Minnesota, and widely used by small farms. I visited the plant last year. Not wanting to delve too deep into the politics of meat processing, my approach was more focused on the actual butchering process. This episode is more of an informative music video. More

Enter Fleisher's Best Meat T-Shirt Idea Contest

We're joining forces with Fleisher's Meats again to help them choose the latest tagline for their ever-growing collection of meat-themed shirts. The winner will be awarded a $100 gift certificate to Fleisher's Meats and, of course, a t-shirt. To enter to win, just leave your best tagline as a comment here. Fleisher's is looking for sassy, salacious, political, and funny—so hit us with your best shot. More

How to Pan-Baste

Crispy-skinned, pan-seared, or crusted of any kind—when a menu description brings to mind a deeply browned, so-crispy-it's-noisy piece of skin or seared meat, chances are I'm ordering it. It's that crunch, and the hopefully juicy, soft flesh that lies beneath it (vegetarians: substitute fried potatoes in your fantasy), is a large part of why I eat out in the first place. The chefs behind those perfect proteins don't have a magic wand or a secret ingredient. So what is the key to this seductive outer crust? Pan-basting. More

Video: Julie Powell on Butchery and Marriage

When Julie Powell, the Julie part of Julie & Julia, was reaching a rough patch of her marriage, she turned to butchery. What better way to vent all that aggressive marital tension than through hacking animal carcasses, right? Her book Cleaving came out last week and in this video, she talks about all the relationship metaphors—the cutting, the cleaving, the hurting—while butterflying a leg of lamb (compliments of rockstar Brooklyn butcher Tom Mylan of The Meat Hook). "I put [butchery] in the same class, this is going to sound strange, as say, knitting or gardening. There's something rote about it and yet it engages your mind and creativity, and it focuses on you," says Powell. Watch the video, after... More

Street Food Profiles: Roli Roti in Northern California

[Flickr: Gary Soup] Name: Roli Roti Vendor-rotisseur: Thomas Odermatt Twitter: @RoliRoti Location and hours? 27 farmers' markets in Northern California (check out the schedule here) from San Jose to Sausalito to Davis. [Flickr: mercedesfromtheeighties] What's on the menu? Gourmet rotisserie meats such as free-range chickens, heritage pork (made into porchetta sandwiches), and lamb. How long have you been street fooding? RoliRoti started in 2002, but Thomas has been grilling meats for much longer. It all started back in his family's butcher shop in the Swiss Alps where his father Otto taught him the secrets of beautifully grilled rotisserie meats. When he arrived in Berkeley, California, Thomas was taken with the local gourmet food movement but found that the typical... More

Meat Master Can Tell Cow's Age, Gender, and Breed After One Bite

[Photograph: Robyn Lee] Lauren Vernet of the University of Bristol is known for having a "perfect palate for tasting meat." In this feature at The Independent, Kate Hilpern does a steak tasting with Vernet to learn about their different flavors (mushroom, malt, sour milk, and more) while getting Vernet's insight on how maturation period, breed, sex, and feed affect the flavor of beef. What's the best kind of beef? Vernet says it's based on individual preference: "Provided it's good-quality well-reared beef, you can't (as some butchers and chefs do) say one type is categorically better than another." He does say that a good steak should give three to four chews per mouthful: "You chew beef at the back of... More

Seriously Italian: Speck from Alto Adige

Editor's note: On Thursdays, Babbo pastry chef Gina DePalma checks in with Seriously Italian. After a stint in Rome, she's back in the States, channeling her inner Italian spirit via recipes and intel on delicious Italian eats. Take it away, Gina! Alto Adige is Italy’s northern-most province, anchored by the cosmopolitan city of Bolzano, sharing a long border and a powerful cultural connection with neighboring Austria. Also known as Südtirol, or South Tyrol, the land fluctuated between Austrian and Italian control at the turn of the last century, finally becoming part of Italy after World War I. Speck is the most treasured food product of the Südtirol, a distinctly flavored, smoked, cured ham that represents well the character of Alto... More

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