Post title cleverly coined by the husband in reponse to my declaration yesterday that this month I’m going to “beef up.”

The first two months of my Carne-val of meat have largely consisted of explorations of fowl and pig. I’ve really porked up (in every sense of the word!) and have enjoyed eating pork ragu, fried pork jowl nuggets, some dried meats like speck, and bacon and sausage a plenty.  I tried a decent piece of ham. I even bought and cooked bacon for the first time: First duck bacon and now “regular” bacon — specifically this bacon (from the hippiemart: it’s not all tofu and sprouts and kale). Okay, okay, I did use some of the bacon to saute with organic kale.  It was delicious.

It’s interesting to cook meat in general, as I have very little frame of reference for it. Most people grow up seeing, even if just in passing, meats being cooked. Other than at other people’s BBQs and my bacon-loving college roommate, I have never really been around meat cookery. So what have I learned?  I am disturbed by how much fat liquifies off bacon. Simultaneously, I am intrigued by the idea of clarifying it and using it in other things.  On TV, I watched Gordon Ramsey go to the abattoir with two pigs he raised himself on “The F Word” and it was sad and hard to take. Yet I am still planning on putting together a butchering class to learn how to break down a pig.  He still cooked and served those pigs. I’m not taking it that far: I have space for tomatoes, but not livestock. Which I think may be illegal in any case in NYC and in every case would definitely not be cool with the landlord. (No, really, that’s my giant hairless cat!)

The best part so far is how easy it is to order anything I want when I go out. I haven’t turned 180 degrees so I order sausage followed by a bacon-wrapped pork chop followed by a ham and cheese sandwich. I still order a lot of the same kinds of things: I love fish, I love pasta, I love vegetables. I crave them. But now I don’t have to ask if the collard greens have bacon. When I taste bacon in my cornmeal-crusted catfish, I don’t have to make my dinnermates taste it and weigh in before asking the waiter and considering being the jerk who sends back the fish because of a whiff of meat. Instead, I go “yum.” I say “Taste this, it’s amazing.”

Since I’m getting comfortable with porcine products on my plate, it seems the right time to mooooove on. Sorry, I can’t help myself. Simply, my plan for March is to really brave beef.



2 Comments

  1. #
    Laura
    March 2nd, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Please let me know when the butchering class is happening, I’m so there.

    No, not really.

    But, after you brave the pork, next stop: hunting!!

  2. #
    Laura
    March 2nd, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Oops, I meant “after you brave the BEEF.”

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