Those of you who have been following know that I have very little experience cooking any type of meat or fish.
Honestly, the past three months have been rather odd. I have spent the summer at home in the Midwest, and over the life of this blog (about five weeks), I have cooked meat three times. Three nights in five weeks have been dedicated to meat. Beyond that, this summer I have consumed my share of smoked fish, prosciutto, pancetta, and anchovies. I went out and ate some steak and egg, a bowl of scallops and shrimp, and even a huge slab of ham topped with sauerkraut (an odd experience, that). In short, dear reader, I have eaten much more meat (and I am including fish here, I suppose) in the last three months than I usually consume.
Quite honestly I am more than happy with my usual plant-based diet that might be sprinkled with the occasional can of fish. (I would argue that canned fish receives a worse reputation than it deserves.)
Yet, lately, I have been thinking. Perhaps I should learn how to cook meat, even if I rarely eat it. After all, whatever would I do if, someday, I am asked to butcher an entire chicken? or fillet a fish? or know the characteristics between different cuts of meat? or (gasp!) do whatever it is that people do with game meat?
Most likely, of course, I will never be asked to do such things. And yet, because one never knows what the future holds, I should like to be prepared.
As mentioned above, I have cooked three meat dishes in the past five weeks, two of which are featured in this blog (here and here). Both are chicken khoreshes from Batmanglij’s Food of Life. And both, though respectfully good, fell short of spectacular. I have no doubt that the problem rests with me, not the book.
So, in an attempt to improve my knowledge about meat, I hereby swear that I will (attempt to) cook a few more meat and fish dishes, even after the summer ends and I return to the East Coast. My latest meat-cooking adventure: these pork rib chops that I made last night. Lo and behold, the chops turned out well. I may have overcooked them a bit, not sure. Hopefully, my plating eye for meat will improve over time. But all in all, I am quite pleased.
And I must admit that browned bits of meat really do make a fine base for a sauce.
This is my 59th completed dish from Batali’s Molto Italiano. Percentage complete: 18.04%