These days, even many butcher shops sell pre-cut meat from boxes, but Wayland's Meat, run by a husband and wife in Oakland, is a wonderful throwback, says Kayde.
"Wayland buys whole pork, lamb, and sides of beef, and cuts to order. They will split and slice marrow bones and short ribs, quarter rabbit, and debone that pork shoulder." It makes some sausages in-house, including a polish-your-plate, slightly spicy pork sausage, and also carries Italian-style, chicken-apple, and lamb sausages. The shop is small, and the selection varies. "Last week they had fresh rabbit, free range chicken, ground lamb, and oxtails, aside from the standards," says Kayde. Don't see what you want? Ask anyway, as it could be in the back. Wayland's also handles special orders promptly, part of the all-around great service you can find here.
Like many products of genius, Della Fattoria's Reuben sandwich is brilliant but a tad eccentric: It has fatty Niman pastrami instead of corned beef, tangy Thousand Island dressing instead of Russian, and levain bread instead of rye. The Alexander Valley sauerkraut, on the other hand, is textbook.
The correct cooking techniques and ingredients rich in umami will take a basic beef stew from simply hearty to deeply flavorful.
"The biggest key for me is browning the meat well," says alanbarnes. "Not just cooking it until it loses its reddish color, but subjecting it to very high heat (skillet, broiler, gas grill, blowtorch, whatever) until it has a really good mahogany-colored crust on the outside."
Seasoning is also vital. "Don't underestimate the role of salt in your stew," advises TorontoJo. "Salt and pepper the meat before browning it. Salt the stew while it's cooking, taste it after the salt has had a chance to blend in, add more salt if you think it needs it. I also like to use soy sauce to add saltiness and an extra boost of umami."
Richly flavored braising liquid helps. Hounds like to use good beef stock, especially in combination with fruity red wine or a stout or ale. "Guinness is a magical ingredient paired with beef," says kattyeyes, while joonjoon likes Chimay in stew.
Beef stew's flavor can be punched up with umami-rich ingredients. Try minced rehydrated dried mushrooms or powdered dried mushrooms, tomato paste, or Worcestershire sauce. "A few minced anchovies sautéed with the onions after browning the meat give a nice added dimension," says King of Northern Blvd.
For a different spin on the dish, Val recommends this recipe for mahogany beef stew with red wine and hoisin sauce, which she says is "utterly awesome with horseradish mashed potatoes." karykat says the hoisin "adds a sweet-sour-spicy note that is good." Both reduce the hoisin a bit to avoid making the dish too sweet.
TV.com has posted this clip of the new show Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, which starts airing on ABC in March. The premise: Jamie Oliver goes to Huntington, West Virginia, the unhealthiest town in America, to convince residents to change the way they eat. From the looks of the sobbing chef in the clip below, his mission to "start the biggest food revolution this country has ever seen" may have been harder than he expected.
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on Thursday, January 14th, 2010
Eggplant is great as the base for a dip or spread. "Eggplant roasted into submission, minced garlic, mayo, salt, pepper" is the_MU's simple recipe. "That's it," says the_MU. "Serve with warm pita, or eat with spoon." eight_inch_pestle purées roasted eggplant with Parmesan, minced parsley, and garlic, and stirs in olive oil, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Baba Ghanoush is karianne's favorite, "hands down."