Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Get Cooking!

A pork roast braised with onion, fennel
rosemary, and white wine. Delicious!
One of the fun things about getting a mixed box of cuts (in the case of our pork), or the full side of an animal (in the case of our lamb), is that you get to experiment with all kinds of different cuts of meat and styles of cooking.

Of course, this can also be a real challenge if you've never cooked with, for example, lamb neck slices. 

Some cuts lend themselves to a fast, hot sizzle on the ole' cast iron pan - for example, bacon and lamb chops or pork chops. Some cuts need longer, slower cooking with a dry heat - like a roast, or tenderloin. And still others will really only taste their very best when cooked long and slow with moisture added; these braising cuts are generally from muscles that the animal used a LOT - the pork sliced hocks, and the lamb neck slices are examples.  

There are tons of great recipes out there, my very favourite tend to come from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingsal, a chef and farmer in Britain with a rustic, homestyle, don't-stress-about-it style. You can find some of his recipes here: www.rivercottage.net/recipes. Also check out www.lambrecipes.ca, and putporkonyourfork.com/recipes - for more pork and lamb recipes. We are going to be posting some great lamb and pork recipes as we cook through our supply of pork and lamb over the winter. If you have any recipes that you've tried and loved, please share them, and we'll post for others to see. 

To get started though, here is a list of the different cuts that you will find in your order of pork and/or lamb, and what basic cooking technique you could try.

Lamb
Loin or Rib Chops: Pan-frying, broiling, BBQing, or roasting
Rack of Lamb: Broiling or roasting
Lamb Shanks: Braising or roasting
Boneless Shoulder Roast: Braising or roasting
Whole Leg: Braising or roasting
Neck Slices: Braising or roasting
Ground Lamb: Pan-frying, roasting, BBQing
Stewing Meat: Stewing
Liver: Pan-frying, thinly sliced; or patés
Soup Bones: Stewing to make stock

Pork
Roasts: Roasting, Braising (e.g. pulled pork)
Smoked Bacon: Pan-frying, broiling
Unsmoked Bacon: Pan-frying, broiling
Osso Bucco (Sliced Hocks): Braising, roasting
Sausage: Pan-frying, BBQing, broiling
Tenderloin: Roasting
Ribs: BBQing, Braising, Roasting
Ham Steaks: Pan-frying, broiling, BBQing
Pork Chops: Pan-frying, broiling, BBQing
Ground Pork: Pan-frying, roasting, BBQing

Cooking Techniques
BraisingA slow moist-heat cooking method using a small amount of liquid with a tight-fitting lid. Use for less tender cuts.

BroilingA quick dry-heat cooking method done in the oven using the broiler setting. Use for more tender cuts. Less tender cuts can be used if marinated.

BBQingA quick dry-heat method over charcoal, wood or gas flames. Use for more tender cuts. Less tender cuts can be used if marinated.

Pan-fryingA quick dry-heat cooking method using a pan on a stove top. The pan is uncovered. Use for thinner cuts or to brown larger cuts before roasting.

RoastingA dry-heat cooking method used for cooking bigger cuts. No liquid is added or cover used. Use for more tender cuts.

StewingA slow moist-heat cooking method using a pot with a tight-fitting lid. The meat should be completely covered in liquid. Use for less tender cuts and soup bones.


Bon appétit! 

1 comment:

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