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4 Healthy ways to cook meat

1.Hanger Steak with Horse radish and Walnuts

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Hanger steak seasoned with creamy horseradish and melted onions emerges from its quick roasting crisp on the outside, tender and juicy inside, and infused with the flavor of the golden walnut and horseradish stuffing. The cooking juices are simple and hearty and make a lovely
drizzle atop the meat. Try serving this with the Nutty Fresh Shell Beans (Chapter A World of Side Dishes) or Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes with Poppy Seed Dressing (Chapter A World of Side Dishes) and a Côteaux du Languedoc, such as Musardises from Domaine les Grands Costes.

FORTHESTUFFING:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium red onions, diced
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper ½ cup (5 g) flat-leaf parsley leaves
1
/3 cup (80 ml) creamy-style horseradish
¼ cup (25 g) walnuts, lightly toasted and minced
1 pound (500 g) hanger steak
1 cup (250 ml) robust red wine, such as a Cabernet Franc from the
Languedoc ½ cup (125 ml) stock or water
2 fresh bay leaves from the Laurus nobilis or dried imported bay
leaves
2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted butter, cut into 4 small pieces, chilled Lovage or celery leaves for garnish Fleur de sel.

Note: Hanger steak—a long, thin, lusciously flavored and textured piece of beef—is called onglet in French. The roasting time is short, so that the meat remains rare. If you prefer your beef more well done, roast as directed and let it rest for a longer time. If you prefer more of a horseradish bite, use regular horseradish rather than creamy.

1. For the stuffing, place the olive oil and the onions in a medium skillet over medium heat and stir. Cook the onions until they are translucent through and soft, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently so they don’t turn golden. Season to taste with salt and pepper, remove from the heat, and cool.

2. Mince the parsley.

3. In a small bowl, mix the parsley, horseradish, and walnuts. Taste for seasoning and adjust.

4. Cut the hanger steak crosswise into two equal portions, then slice down the center of each steak but not all the way through it (butterfly), so that you can open the steaks like a book. Spread one-third of the horseradish mixture inside each steak. Place one-third of the cooked onions atop the horseradish mixture in each hanger steak and season with pepper. Close the steaks over the filling as though you were closing a book, pushing any onions inside the steak if they threaten to ooze out.

5. Spread the remaining third of the horseradish on top of one of the hangar steaks, season it with salt and pepper, and top it with the remaining onions. Set the other hangar steak on top, pressing the two rmly together. Tie the steaks together with kitchen string to create what looks like a beef roast.

6. Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

7. To cook the steak, place it in a roasting pan. Pour the wine and stock or water into the pan, add the bay leaves, and place the pan in the center of the oven. Roast until the steak is rare and tender to the touch, about 20 minutes, basting it twice and adding more stock or water to the pan if necessary. You don’t want all the liquid to cook away. Remove the bay leaves. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and keep it warm by covering it with an aluminum foil tent.

8. To make the sauce, place the roasting pan over medium heat and bring the cooking juices to a boil. (If there aren’t many juices, add ½ cup [125ml] wine to the pan). Boil just until the juices have reduced to a light syrup. Correct the seasoning, and whisk in the butter. Strain the sauce into a pitcher or a bowl.

9. Remove the strings from the steak and cut it into ½-inch (1.25-cm) thick slices. The slices may fall apart, but you’ll see that you can arrange them nicely on the plate.

10. To serve, place three lovage or celery leaves in the center of each of six warmed plates. Arrange two slices of beef atop the leaves, then drizzle the slices with the reduced cooking juices. Season with fleur de sel and serve with any remaining juices on the side.

2.Lamb Shoulder with Apricots and Walnuts

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Lamb is, hands down, my favorite meat, no matter what the cut. It isn’t just the flavor of lamb I find pleasing, but the fact that it is so versatile. It can be seasoned or left plain, made sweet or salty, cut into chunks or left whole, grilled or braised. Its flavor and texture rise to any occasion. Here, apricot marmalade and walnuts turn lamb shoulder into a sweet and sour masterpiece. Try a lovely, lush Corbières with this, such as one from Clos de l’Anhel.

One 3¼-pound (1.7 kg) lamb shoulder, at room temperature ¼ cup (60 ml) apricot preserves
1 cup (100 g) walnuts, lightly toasted and nely chopped
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (250 ml) dry white wine
2 fresh bay leaves from the Laurus nobilis or dried imported bay
leaves
1 large thyme sprig
One 4-inch (10-cm) rosemary sprig

Note: Ask the butcher to remove the blade bone from the shoulder and to loosen but leave in the upper leg bone. The herbs in the wine that surrounds the lamb are a flavorful addition; always use fresh herbs, as their flavor is so much brighter than dried.
I suggest using cinnamon from Vietnam or Indonesia, which pretty much covers the world’s major cinnamon-producing areas. I prefer Vietnamese cinnamon for its spicy, hot bite, while the Indonesian spice is a bit more mellow. The main point is to buy and use quality cinnamon. Visit www.penzeys.com.

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

2. If the upper leg bone hasn’t been loosened, cut around it with a knife to detach the meat from it.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the preserves, walnuts, and cinnamon. Rub the mixture over the inside of the lamb shoulder, tucking a fair amount of the stuffing into the space created by loosening the meat from the bone. Season with salt and pepper. Tie the lamb into a packet with kitchen string, keeping the apricot stuffing mixture and the leg bone, if you have it, inside the packet. You will end up with a roundish packet.

4. Place the lamb in a heatproof nonreactive baking dish and pour the wine around it. Place the herbs in the wine and roast until the lamb is browned on the outside, resists slightly when pressed, and has an interior temperature of about 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare, about 1¼ hours, basting it occasionally with the liquids in the pan. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the shoulder with coarse salt, and transfer it to a cutting board with a trough around the edge, to catch any juices that
emerge from it. Cover the lamb with a tent of aluminum foil and let it sit for at least 20 minutes and up to 40 minutes, to allow the juices to be reabsorbed.

5. Place the baking dish over medium heat and bring the cooking juices to a gentle boil. Remove the herbs and reduce the cooking juices until they are the consistency of a thin syrup. Taste for
seasoning.

6. To serve, remove the string from around the lamb and slice it into ¼- inch slices. Drizzle with the cooking juices and serve.

 

3.Pistachio- and Pepper-Stuffed Lamb Fillet

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I spent an unforgettable evening in the kitchen with Fatih Babacon, chef of the restaurant Mahana inGaziantep, Turkey, watching him prepare his very special version of traditional Antep Turkish dishes. He uses the best possible ingredients and stays close to tradition. Here, a tender piece of lamb is flattened and rolled around a moist and flavorful stuffing of dark red pepper paste, leeks, yogurt, and pistachios, then quickly grilled over a wood fire. This would be perfect with a Côtes de Provence from Clos d’Alari.

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 large leeks, trimmed, rinsed well, and diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound 6 ounces (680 g) lamb fillet
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon Turkish pepper paste
2 tablespoons whole-milk
Greek-style yogurt
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (55 g) pistachio nuts, nely chopped

Note: I use what the French call afillet of lamb, from the neck. In North America, it is best to use a fillet from the lamb round or upper thigh. Pound it gently to flatten it, but don’t use too much force; meat is best if its cellular structure remains intact. If you cannot find the deep, rich Turkish pepper paste (biber salcasi, available by mail order from kalustyans.com), use an extra teaspoon of tomato paste and 1 tablespoon mild to hot paprika, or to taste. Precede this with Parsley, Green Olive, and Walnut Salad (Chapter Small Plates) and accompany it with Potatoes with Yogurt and Pistachios (Chapter A World of Side Dishes).

1. Build a fire in the grill or fireplace. When the coals are red and dusted with ash, place the grate about 3 inches (8 cm) above the coals.

2. Place 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a medium, heavy pan. Add the leeks and garlic and stir to coat them with the oil. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until they are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat.

3. Lay out the lamb on a work surface. Butterfly it (or ask your butcher to do this) by cutting nearly all the way but not quite through the length of the piece, and spread it open. You may need to pound it slightly to flatten it; if so, pound it gently so as not to compromise the texture of the meat. Spread the meat with the tomato and pepper pastes, then with the yogurt. Top with the leek mixture, arranging it in a thin line down the length of the lamb, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the edge.
Lightly season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle the pistachios atop the leeks. Roll the long side of the lamb back over and atop the leek and pistachio stuffing, enclosing the stuffing within it. Tie the roast firmly in several places to keep it together. Brush or rub the lamb with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil.

4. When the grate is hot, place the lamb on it, directly above the coals, and cook until the side closest to the re is golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn the roast until it is golden all over, a total of 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how rare you like lamb. Fifteen minutes results in perfectly cooked, but slightly rare, lamb.

5. Remove the lamb from the grill and let it sit for about 10 minutes. Remove the string, then slice the lamb into rounds 1½ inches (4 cm) thick. Serve immediately, drizzled with any juices that have emerged from the lamb.

 

4.Lamb and Apples with Pistachios

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A true classic of Antep cooking, from the east Anatolian area of Turkey, this dish is easy to identify for the classic bright green pistachios and rich-tasting dried pepper paste (available at Middle
Eastern markets or at kalustyans.com), tender lamb, and a host of spices. All combined, the ingredients evoke a “wow” when the dish is served, for it is unusual, bright, satisfyingly delicious. I owe this dish to Mrs. SerminOcak, the recognized master chef of Gaziantep, Turkey, who served this to me as part of a sumptuous meal she prepared for a group of her friends. This would be lovely with a white Burgundy.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1¾ pounds (860 g) boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1½-inch (4-cm)
cubes
Fine sea salt
1½ pounds (675 g) white onions, cut into eighths
1 tablespoon Turkish pepper paste (biber salcasi)
¼ cup (60 ml) tomato paste ½ teaspoon freshly ground allspice
4 medium (about 3 ounces/90g each) rm, tart apples or quince, peeled, cored, and cut into 1½-inch (4-cm) cubes
1/3 cup (55 g) pistachios, lightly toasted
1 small, rm, moderately tart apple, preferably with very red skin, cored,
skin on, very thinly sliced, for garnish Fleur de sel (optional)

Note: This is traditionally made with quince, but because they are hard to find, I adapted the recipe for apples. By all means, use quince if you have them. If using apples, try a firm variety such as Cox Orange Pippin, Fuji, or Pink Lady. The garnish of apple slices may seem tricky or fussy, but the slices atop this dish are beautiful against the lamb and the green of the pistachios. The apple garnish fits just as well if you’ve used quince in the recipe.

1. Place the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and add the lamb. Season it lightly with salt and brown it on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove the lamb from the pan, reduce the heat to medium, and add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are golden and softened, about 10 minutes. If the onions are sticking, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to the pan.

2. While the onions are cooking, whisk together ½ cup (125 ml) lteredwater, the pepper paste, and the tomato paste.

3. Return the lamb to the pan with the onions and the tomato paste and pepper paste mixture. Add the allspice, some salt, and the apples and stir well, scraping up any browned juices from the bottom of the pan. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat so it is simmering merrily, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the lamb and apples are tender through, about 1½ hours. Check occasionally to be sure there is enough liquid in the pan that the meat and onions aren’t sticking and add a bit more if necessary.

4. When the meat is tender, remove it from the heat. Taste for seasoning. At this point you may let this dish sit for several hours and then reheat it. It will just become more flavorful as it sits. If, once you are ready to serve it, it is soupy, increase the heat to medium-high and reduce the cooking juices until they are slightly thickened.

5. About 5 minutes before serving, stir the pistachios into the dish. Set the apple slices for the garnish in the dish, laying them atop it, cover the dish, and let it sit for 5 minutes. The slices will steam just slightly in that time and absorb a bit of flavor from the sauce.

6. To serve, carefully remove the apple slices and set them aside. Evenly divide the dish among six shallow soup bowls. Delicately arrange the apple slices atop each serving, so the colorful skin shows. Season with fleur de sel if desired and serve.