Primal meat

It takes a certain amount of guts, if you’ll excuse me, to publish a book about meat in January, when the typical cookbook features words like “lean,” “slim,” and “salad”. But on the other hand, it *is* the dead of winter.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak, and it wants meat, preferably on the bone with some fat attached.

Book Image

In last week’s mail I found Deborah Krasner’s brand-new Good Meat, sauntering onto the field with a T-bone steak and a weathered, macho high-carbon steel knife on the cover.  It’s not the first big meat book of its kind, but it’s one of the first to emphasize local sourcing, and guidance on how to navigate the search for local meat, wherever you are.  It also has fairly full descriptions of the primal cuts (the large cuts separated out by the butcher), and how they break down into the cuts you see on the retail shelf.  This is particularly helpful if you’ve ever glazed over trying to make sense of the hodgepodge of terms–chuck, round, bottom, sirloin, eye, ribeye etc.–that adorn a beef label.

For me at least, it comes at a fortuitous time, because it’s time to address the short ribs in the freezer.  Typically I cook them for 5 or 6 hours, but here I see two days is advisable–to help develop flavor and skim off the fat.  What’s your favorite slow meat recipe?

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