Ultimate Meat Braise

Okay. I’m finally able to get to the ultimate braise meat-fest. Jamie’s Italy started me on the idea of ‘arrosto misto’ – mixed roasted meats – for a party. Cool concept. A variety of meats, a little exciting and posh. This quickly evolved into ‘mixed brasied meats’. Something I could cook forever, forget about, and enjoy with my guests, avoiding all ‘a la minute’ cooking if possible. My idea was to serve it with mashed potato, gravy, and bordeaux.

I sourced my meats at my favorite local asian meat counter. Where else are you going to hook yourself up with a whole boneless beef shin? I seared the pork and beef on my gas outdoor burner, and braised it all in a giant turkey roaster. It hardly fit. Glorious. A piece of elk brisket slated to appear didn’t make the cut, simply because I could not jam any more meat into the damn roaster. By the time they were all consumed, the meats probably saw upwards of 12-14 hours of slow cooking. I almost burned my house down by spilling the copious fats [mostly duck and pork] all over my oven, but we survived the incident. I finished the resulting cooking liquor with beurre manié, black currant jam, and rosemary. It was a serious campaign for real gravy.

I have to admit I was pretty concerned that the flavors would just end up being one muddied-mess-of-meat. But I learned one key thing. Cook a duck in with any meats for a ridiculously long time, and the whole thing will taste fantastic. Every last scrap was a hit. If you ever feel inspired to have a carnivorous meat-fest, I highly recommend this.

I’ve spent two days enduring continuing education seminars. Luckily, a colleague and good friend helped me survive it [as did the serious amount of wine], and I should be back to me good old boring blogging self this week. It’s good to be back.

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