Tiburón -Shark- Žralok

Tiburón -Shark- Žralok: Writing Cooking Traveling

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

10 lbs. of Kosher Lamb

Two sets of ribs, some five pounds of nicely marbled ground meat, and a hunk of fat, flesh, and bone I can't even identify because the label is in Hebrew, are currently residing in my freezer. Meat has returned to my kitchen after nearly two years' absence. When I told my writing professor, a New Englander of Portuguese origin, he responded with a hearty, "Welcome back." 

We'll think of the slaughtered lamb from Mitzvah Meats as a sort of celebration.

Why I came back to meat is obvious: meat is delicious. As a foodie, my pseudo-morals about not killing animals and the fact that humans don't need to eat meat (it is bad for you to eat it every day, in my opinion) have never held enough water to keep me out of the blood and flesh pool for more than a few months at a time. Come on, I grew up watching entire hogs with metal poles sticking out of their mouths and rear ends rotate slowly over an open fire. Before my age had entered the double digits I picked at blood sausage and charred skin along with all of the adults, luxuriating in the meaty wonder of it. I've been a closet foodie most of my life and when I finally decided to embrace this obsession with food, meat was right there grabbing at my pseudo-vegetarian ankles, begging to be heard or, rather, prepared.

And finally I did. On Monday I made pork chops. The first meat I cook since I left Spain in 2007.

But my qualms about the killing of animals (and all the rampant cruelty of corporate America's industrialized farms, see Food, Inc.) for what I consider a luxury item still bring up images of horrifying cruelty, eyes wide with fear and confusion before a bloody, painful death. So I decided that the only way I could really enter the meat cooking world was to buy meat from a provider I knew had given my dead animal a good life. Enter my CSA and their connection to Mindful Meats, or Mitzvah Meats. Although the price for all the lamb was steep, it was kosher, humanely raised, and pasture-fed. And most importantly, you knew this meat was going to taste awesome.

The clincher was the idea of making a lamb ragú. I have no idea how I'm even going to make that with the weird cuts I was given and my utter lack of a meat cleaver, but a ragú will be made, along with a tajin and... ribs, I guess. This is a bright new world that has opened up for me in the kitchen and while chicken is off-limits for now and vegetables will still hold the upper hand, I'm finally catching up with the rest of Food World. Many great vegetarian cooks will argue that you don't have to make this stuff to be considered a foodie but the bloodlust is ingrained in me. My culture, my upbringing, my tastes all demand a meat fix every so often. Usually red. Usually rare.

I'm excited.

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