Marlene Newell, who runs an excellent cooking forum called CooksKorner tested all the recipes for Ratio and Twenty. She’s a friend and excellent cook. One of her passions is Yorkshire pudding, in effect, a savory popover, which is how she bakes them (as above). I, too, make roast beef for Christmans dinner and Yorkshire pudding. I believe it’s critical to cook it in beef fat, for flavor, so I buy and render suet for this purpose. I’ve also poured the batter straight into the roasting pan which works great so long as there are no burnt bits (the pudding ripples and puffs like crazy; I then cut it to serve). I imagine the roasting pan method was how it would have originated, the batter cooking in the fat and meat juices in the roasting pan. Read On »

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Butcher shops are popping up all around the country with staff who know their cuts and where their animals are from, via NYT.

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I’ve written about pastrami short ribs, and love them because they’ve got the perfect meat-to-fat ratio. But ever since the arrival of a Big Green Egg (planning a review soon), I’ve wanted to do a proper pastrami, which is essentially a corned beef brisket, coated with pepper and coriander and smoked (the result above was perfect—look at that awesome fat). While I’ve published the corned beef recipe from my book Charcuterie, I haven’t really talked about smoking strategies at home. I recommend two different methods: stove top and in a kettle grill. Stove-top smoking is easy with an inexpensive ($43) Cameron smoker. I bought one a few years ago and it works great for bacon and would work great for this brisket. Briskets require long low heat though, and this is tricky on a stove Read On »

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Scientists may soon be able to grow artificial meat in labs by merging pig stem cells and horse foetus serum.  Frankenburger Lives, via the Telegraph UK.

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I love benevolent crazy people, people who just do things because they have to. Sometimes they make sense (Dickson Despommier and vertical farming). Sometimes they make no sense at all (making a farm and raising livestock in urban Oakland, which is what Novella Carpenter did—totally crazy, and she wrote a fabulous book about it called Farm City). I know benevolent insanity the moment I hear it and I heard it the moment I heard Prescott Frost’s voice: “Every acre I can change from corn to grass, the better.  It’s the only way we’re going to change this train wreck that we have now,” he told me by phone last week.  He was calm and direct. “My mission is to change agriculture, to rip up the corn and put it to pasture.” Easier said than done, of Read On »

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