The Classic Meat Dishes

Ham

Ham Bone-in Cooked Shank

A Real Hankerin’      Every once in a while, I get a hankerin’ (it’s the way my people talked) for a taste of a good ol’ bone-in country ham – the kind that my grandma used to make on Easter. If you’ve ever tasted one (which I often did in my youth), the taste was unforgettable. The Kiss Principle Applies Here      My advice is to keep it simple. Something happens to many of the commercial types that are for sale at the grocers. These hams are most likely soaked in brine…

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marsala

Mushroom Gravy

     This easy creamy gravy, spiked with Marsala wine, can be whisked together while the main event of your meal is cooking. Start by browning mushrooms in butter to give the gravy plenty of savory flavor. Add flour to thicken, simmer in Marsala wine and beef broth, and finish with heavy cream. Serve this versatile gravy with everything from meatloaf to beef Wellington.

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Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington

     Beef Wellington. Even it’s name is a bit stuffy.  As for haughty cuisine, I place it in the same class as oysters Rockefeller, beef bourguigon, Caesar salad, and baked Alaska. We also assume it’s a dish only that only the well-heeled and well-to-do can afford. I’ve seen it described as ritzy and swank, and my personal favorite descriptors have been highfalutin and fancy-schmancy.      It’s basically a steak fillet covered with pate de foie gras, then wrapped in pastry and baked. The beef  [tenderloin] is seared, then topped with either foie…

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Rib roast

A Wonderful Classic – The Prime Rib Roast

     Mention Thanksgiving and the turkey with all the fixins immediately comes to mind. Depending on which historian you read, the turkey may or may not have been served at the first Thanksgiving meal. Many think the meat served was probably venison along with seafood and waterfowl. If there was turkey, it probably was wild turkey and not a domestic variety. Whatever they ate there seems to be clear consensus the first Thanksgiving involved serving plenty of meat.      I sometimes decide to give the iconic turkey a break and to…

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Rack of pork roast

Pork Rack With Mushroom Pan Sauce

      My new favorite way to cook a pork roast is to purchase a 5-bone rack . If you want to get fancy, have the butcher “French” the bones. It will make for a delightful presentation and it is delicious.      This is in stark contrast to the pork I’m used to eating. It seems to me the majority of the really bad meals I’ve eaten over the course of my life have involved pork. I’ve choked down uninteresting, unpalatable, and barely digestible roasts. I’ve struggled with loins that couldn’t be saved…

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2-bone Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon (The Magic Of Braising)

     Of the dishes I cook, the one that gets the most raves is my braised beef short ribs.  Also called beef Burgundy or beef bourguignon (pronounced “bore-geen-YONE”), it’s basically a French stew. It started out as a peasant dish, but over time it’s become a standard of French cuisine.       It’s a simple recipe. The cooking method is called braising, where a cut of meat that would have been too tough to eat if cooked in a traditional way is slowly cooked in wine and broth along with…

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coq au vin cuisine

Coq Au Vin (Your Go-to Classic)

     Just because you’re using a classic recipe such as coq au vin doesn’t mean you can’t change it.  All good cooks want their rendition to be unique, so alter it until you are finally satisfied you have it exactly the way you want it.      To try to set my coq au vin recipe apart from everyone else’s, I’ve done the following:            *  I use fresh pearl onions instead of the frozen variety; however, removing the outer papery layer is a bit tedious.           *  I add a dab of…

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filet cooked medium-rare

Steak au Poivre (A Picture-Perfect Filet)

     Many times in magazines I’ve seen advertisements picturing a perfectly cooked filet nicely seared on the outside and uniformly pink on the inside. I used to wonder what tricks were used to get that result and if it would be possible for me to create such a masterpiece.       Well, it actually can be done. The way I’ve found to achieve such a feat is to first sear the filet in a skillet, and then finish it in the oven.       When I want to serve a picture-perfect filet, my favorite…

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