March Mad Cow

March 30th, 2009

So I have kind of failed at making March “Beef Month” as the only other beef I have eaten since the Burger Joint burger is one bite of Kobe Beef off the husband’s Surf ‘n Turf birthday plate at La Bernadin. I liked it, but so far there’s no question who will take the final spot in my own personal march meat madness  bracket. It will come from the pork region. And the region of pig will be belly.  I had another portion of pork belly at A Di La and it only cemented my love of the fattiest part of the pig. I’ve gotten some excellent bacon at the Union Square farmer’s market and enjoyed my first BLT. I try to eat other meat, but bacon keeps drawing me back in.  In the words of a wise man, “Bacon, the most beautiful thing on earth… bits of bacon are like the fairy dust of the food community”:

So while I may be guilty of a meat fail with my march mission, the year is but a third over and there’s plenty of time to give beef it’s due. Meanwhile, I’m going to cook up some Bacon Donuts. Bibity bobity bacon!

Meat Hero

February 19th, 2009

Now while I humbly begin a journey that includes meat, one of my comedy heroes, Mike Nelson of MST3K fame, is eating nothing but bacon for the month of February or “Bacon Stupidity Month.” I heard about it when he began, but nothing but bacon? And not only bacon, Mike is a hardcore bacon purist:

No condiments allowed. No syrups, or hot sauces, or pureed vegetables in the form of ketchup. No sauces at all. Just nature’s finest bacon, all by its dignified self.

I hesitated to blog about it until he made it through at least a week.  But after two weeks, he is still going strong. Mike Nelson, you are the the porky wind beneath my wings.

Related Bacon Fun:

So I haven’t done much meating lately — the husband and I moved this past weekend, so it’s been a hectic week.  But I can share a vital piece of non-breaking news: Pig + black beans = yum. Yes, world, the combo that shares a title with a Weezer song is famous for good reason. I am a big soup person in the winter, and I can finally enjoy black bean soup without searching high and low for a version sans bacon or ham. And now that I’ve had it, why would I ever bother? Black beans love smokey bacon, they totally want to be married in my mouth!

I also had my first Brazilian meal a little while ago, and while I wasn’t brave enough to order my own Feijoada (I went with fish), I did try it and found the hunk-o-pork + black beans bite similarly delish.

Anyway, hopefully I’ll get some meating in this weekend … I did buy some ‘duck bacon’ at the newly-joined food co-op yesterday…

Bonus Trivia:

Here are other things that people have sung about that go well with pigs, via my dad’s mega list of  food songs:

  • “Pork chops & Mustard greens”-Ernie Andrews
  • “Bacon Eggs & Biscuits”-Jim (that’s all he wrote, ‘Jim’ — I don’t know who this Jim is)
  • “Eggs & Sausage”-Tom Waits
  • “Pork Roll, Egg, and Cheese” - Ween
  • “Hot Dogs & Cabbage”-Little Wally

Breakfast Meating

January 4th, 2009

first sausage hamming it up

Beginning with breakfast meats seemed a wise way to begin: If I hated/couldn’t stomach the sides of meat, there was still plenty of eggy and french fried goodness to enjoy. I’m still wary of ordering a big ol’ steamin hunk o’ meat for my main meal. Baby steps to the elevator.

So I started the year with bacon, and yesterday at our favorite local diner, I noticed the sausages looked pretty good — not those sad little links you see some places, but what looked like nice, fat, fresh sausage (from what I know, which admittedly is little). I added a side to my eggs and toast. I’ve had chicken and turkey sausage, so I knew the basics of what I was getting into. I thought it wouldn’t be that different, but I have to say it was — it was (to state the obvious) more pork-y in flavor, but also more juicy. The casing had a tight snap which made for a pleasing bite, and the inside was tender and tasty. Even better than eating it alone was having a bite with toast and egg. Me likey.

Today to finish the battle of the breakfast meat, I tried ham with my eggs and sweet-potato fries. Ham is definitely the most recognizable as flesh of my forays so far. No pretending it’s not meat, it looks like a cross-section of muscle. Which I guess it is.  This was the most pork-y tasting of all, and hella salty. I am a girl who literally eats salt plain (I used to shove those little paper packets of salt in my mouth and suck on them when my parents weren’t keeping an eagle eye on me), so this should appeal to me, but I was not into it. My meat-tour-guide/husband tasted it and reported that this was typical but not especially good ham. It was better as part of a egg-toast-ham bite, but the ham was still most of what I tasted even in this combo. I could see how it would be good as a flavor note or part of a sandwich with some strong cheese (swiss or something), but I did not love my eggs and ham. I may retry it here or there. I just won’t eat them anywhere.

So the surprising winner of the breakfast meat battle is…. sausage!

First Meating of 2009
Many years ago I made a new year’s resolution that amused many of my friends: To start eating bacon. I was tired of resolutions of doing less, behaving better, of deprivation and starvation. Screw that, said I. I decided to welcome the new Millenium with a resolution I could possibly keep: Eating more. Specifically, of a meat that I had never tried but smelled oh so delicious. Also, I was a big fan of breakfast and brunches and resented the fact that so many meal-deals came with a side of sausage, bacon, or ham which I had to pay for yet could not eat. It was what my husband called my typical Jew’s dilemma: I didn’t get a dollar off or an extra egg for not eating pig, so it seemed like a waste, yet I was raised to not eat meat. Oy vey!

So I decided to eat bacon when it was part of the meal. I still haven’t eaten ham or sausage, but bacon became the first four-legged friend I would occasionally munch upon.

As I begin my year-long journey into meat, I thought it appropriate to begin again with bacon. Pork is a traditional New Year’s meat around the world — some believe it to be lucky, some say they symbolize progress, while here in the U.S. I think it most commonly symbolizes the welcoming of the new dawn by the hungover.  For me, it means a meat I know I enjoy and can eat without getting sick. So let the meating begin!