Slow and Low Cooked Red Meat (Food Memories of 2011, No. 27)

Every day in December, I'm writing a short post about some food memory from 2011, mostly to be more thankful for all the great food and drink I've been lucky enough to have this year.

Red meat has never made me feel passionate. Steaks and lamb chops on menus typically don't get a second look  from me. Burgers have crept into the picture a little more this year, but I almost never want to eat a whole one. Lamb, beef, bison, venison, veal all taste too rich... unless they're cooked slow and low.

Braising has shed new light on red meat for me, particularly this year. I still think it tastes best in small portions or when thinned out with other ingredients, like osso buco rounded out with vegetables and red wine, or lamb barbacoa (slow roasted, not technically braised) served in little pinches on a taco (the ones at Empellon in New York deserve an award; shown, image from Bloomberg).

In 2011, I've warmed up to red meat considerably, mostly because I've been open to trying more of it, and through that I've learned that I prefer it braised or otherwise cooked slow and low, and in small quantities. I don't need much to feel satisfied.