For the last several years the cookbooks I have added to my collection have mostly been focused on vegetables. As my cooking evolved to be as seasonal as practical I found myself most at a loss when I stared down the same vegetables every week. At the same time we began buying sustainable and humanely raised meat from local farmers by the whole or part animal. Most of the time I could find an appropriate recipe in my collection of cookbooks. Although I did face a stumbling block with many of the organ meats and other lesser known cuts lurking in my freezer.
The organ meats are listed as "optional" on the cut sheet but I could not bring myself to say no. Many factors went into that decision. Firstly, I had paid for the animal, ALL of the animal. In addition I feel it is more respectful to the animals we eat as well as our planet not to waste what we don't know how to deal with. The world could live off of what we in this country throw away. However I still struggled with some of these cuts.
One year I made one of my families favorite dishes, an Armenian lamb and beef sausage, using the heart and kidneys of that years lamb. The smell when I ground the meat prevented me from enjoying the finished product. As I was alone in the kitchen when I made them the rest of my family enjoyed the finished product as they normally would. Sebastian looked a little surprised when I did not limit the number he ate the way I usually do. We shared them at a neighborhood pot luck where they were enjoyed by my neighbors as well.
Another problem I have found when cooking with a whole animal is scale. I once pulled apart my freezer searching for 2 more lamb shanks to complete a recipe. The problem was the recipe called for 6 lamb shanks, a recipe designed for cooks who are disconnected with the farmer's who grow their food and the cuts available per animal. I needed a meat cookbook that explained the techniques necessary to prepare grass finished meats, that shared how to prepare everything, not just the choice cuts.
This Fall after reading an article about Deborah Krasner's new cookbook, Good Meat, I knew right away I needed this cookbook. I needed it not only because Krasner's cookbook collection makes mine seem small, I needed it for all the insight on how to cook sustainable meats. I have now been cooking with it for half a year and I only have one complaint, it is so large that it topples over my cookbook holder. Every time I use it I have resorted instead to balancing it precariously on a step stool or the box from my new food processor. However I am really not complaining about a cookbook so filled with recipes and advice on how to fill out a cut sheet that it is too big, or at least not complaining a lot. Every recipe I have tried so far from this cookbook has been a success. Some have even elevated cuts of meat my family usually disdained to favorite dinners.
I contacted the author, Deborah Krasner, and I was able to arrange a copy to give away to one of the readers of this blog. A copy that is now signed by the author! To be entered in the drawing just leave a comment telling me which of the following recipes you would most like to see on my blog. I will share the top vote receiving recipe here after I announce the winner of the cookbook. In addition I would also love to know if there is a specific cut of meat you need help finding a recipe for.
I am not going to give out multiple entries for this giveaway, mostly because I am not good at keeping track of many different things. However if you are a regular reader of Hippo Flambe sharing this giveaway with your friend's means cookbook publishers are more likely to give me books to giveaway in the future. I am also not going to use a random number generator to select the winner, because I have two very random boys who would be crushed not to have a role in the fun.
Lamb Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Green Olives
Brightness from preserved lemons, richness from olives and complexity from ginger, cumin, saffron, cinnamon, paprika, parsley and cilantro.
Salt and Spice Cured Loin Lamb Chops
You start by mixing up the salt and spice cure, a blend that will add complexity and subtly to other meats as well. The blend is then mixed with olive oil and herbs before being rubbed on to the lamb chops to marinate. After the meat is grilled the lamb is savory and sweet and irresistible. A dish I prepared and then told the boys they better hurry up and come to the table, before I ate all of the lamb.
Salt Seared Burger with Red Wine Reduction
This technique for cooking a grass fed burger is inspired. It produces a juicy, caramelized burger with a red wine reduction to gild the lily. The same technique can be used for a perfect sirloin steak.
Beef Liver Mousse
As a young child I used to enjoy the "sport" of ordering beef liver in restaurants. I never enjoyed the dish itself, but I could worry down a few bites in order to enjoy the reaction from the waitress when I ordered it. Happily this pate does not taste like that liver did, instead it is reminiscent of chopped liver and french pate.
Roasted Cardamom, Oregano, and Garlic Chicken Thighs
I was prepping this dish while hanging out with a friend. As I crushed the cardamom she smelled them in wonder. "I would look at a recipe that calls for cardamon and just ignore it. I would not have realized it smells so wonderful." The smell of the cardamom comes through in the finished thighs as the perfume of the cardamom is blended with the oregano and garlic on these succulent thighs.
To be entered into the cookbook giveaway please leave a comment telling me which recipe (Lamb Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Green Olives, Salt and Spice Cured Loin Lamb Chops, Salt Seared Burger with Red Wine Reduction, Beef Liver Mousse, Roasted Cardamom, Oregano, and Garlic Chicken Thighs) you most want me to share. Please tell me as well if there are any cuts of meat you need recipes for. I would also love to know who you, my readers are. Please make sure I have a way of contacting you. So either include your e-mail address in the comment, (you should use spaces in your e-mail address to avoid unwanted spam), or send me your e-mail address at: robin at hippoflambe dot com, a blog address in the url, or link to a blogger profile that is not private and includes a way to contact you. If try to contact someone and I do not have a way to do so I will draw a new winner. Entries are closed at 11:59 PM (eastern standard time) Sunday February 27th.
Giveaway is now Closed. My children will draw the winner later today (February 28th)