Even James, the guy who handed me a bag of 20 pig ears, gave me a funny look.  “What do you do with ‘em?” It’s not obvious, even to farmers, not in America. It wasn’t obvious to me till I had my first one several years ago at Michael Symon’s Lola, fried crispy on the outside, gelatinous and chewy on the inside, their richness offset by the sweet-sour heat of pickled chillis. Michael said he’d had a similar reaction when he’d first had one from Mario Batali. Where did Mario first have them? “The ears were a prized part of eating whole suckling pigs on weekend lunches in Segovia, Spain, near where we lived in Madrid throughout high school,” he said in an email yesterday. “I’ve  lived for ears and cheeks ever since!” How Read On »

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A few weeks ago, I made a full meal on the grill, grilled green beans, grilled vidalia onion, and some awesome grilled short ribs.  The following are three recipes, techniques really, for making barbecued beef short ribs, cooking them start to finish on the grill, pre-cooking them and finishing them on the grill, and cooking them sous vide and finishing them on the grill.  (If you don’t have a wood or charcoal grill, I really don’t recommend doing short ribs this way.) Use whatever your favorite barbecue sauce is, store bought or homemade. (I need to do a homemade barbecue sauce post! Anyone wants to make suggestions, feel free in comments.) I recommend the first method because it results in a deeply smokey flavor, and is a good excuse to hang out around the food and Read On »

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By supporting local farmers for meat you maybe ignoring & perpetuating the existence of factory farms, learn the term “conscientious carnivorism”, via the Atlantic.

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Many have asked when our book, Salumi, a follow up or really continuation of our Charcuterie, will be out.  I finished the rewrite earlier this summer, and Brian, chef-owner of Forest Grill, my co-author whom I first wrote about in Soul of a Chef, finished up recipe testing, so the book is now slated for a summer 2012 publication. The book is devoted solely to the Italian craft of dry-curing meat.  Salumi is the general term for these meats.  Above were some trials I dried in the wine cellar of my dear friend, JD SULLIVAN!!!  It proved to be ideal, and a nice patina of beneficial mold grew naturally on the salame above. In the foreground is guanciale, dry-cured jowl.  I’m slicing some coppa; also on the board, tied, is lonza (dry-cured loin) and a small Read On »

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My daughter was born 16 years ago, June 4th, a Sunday.  Two weeks later, was Father’s Day.  Having never been a father on Father’s Day, I took it easy. I’d finished the manuscript of my first book, but hadn’t heard from my editor (I forget nothing, Bill!); I had no prospects and we were near broke. I grilled a turkey. We’d gotten it free, a local grocery store giving out turkeys at Christmastime to loyal customers, and it had finally dawned on me earlier in the week that we ought to eat that thing.  By the time it thawed, well, it was Father’s Day. Donna was delirious from no sleep and both of us fretted over our first newborn—”Is it supposed to be black as tar?” “Honey, I think it’s falling off. What do we Read On »

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