Meat and Potatoes: 52 Recipes, from Simple to Sublime

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Is any culinary combination more fundamental and complete than meat and potatoes? Whether roasted, braised, or grilled, turned into soups, salads, croquettes, or stews, meat and potatoes are the stuff of endless possibilities. Joan Schwartz, author of Macaroni and Cheese, brings us Meat and Potatoes, a new collection of outstanding recipes from celebrated chefs across the country, including Michael Anthony and Dan Barber, Bobby Flay, Anita Lo, and Nora Pouillon. These chefs work their magic with beef, lamb, veal,...
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Overview

Is any culinary combination more fundamental and complete than meat and potatoes? Whether roasted, braised, or grilled, turned into soups, salads, croquettes, or stews, meat and potatoes are the stuff of endless possibilities. Joan Schwartz, author of Macaroni and Cheese, brings us Meat and Potatoes, a new collection of outstanding recipes from celebrated chefs across the country, including Michael Anthony and Dan Barber, Bobby Flay, Anita Lo, and Nora Pouillon. These chefs work their magic with beef, lamb, veal, and pork in combination with a variety of both white and sweet potatoes. The results are dishes that can be hot or cold, spicy or mild, sentimental or cutting-edge.

Meat and Potatoes takes us from simple preparations such as Grilled Rosemary-Marinated New York Strip Steak with Potato Gratin to such eye-opening creations as Slow-Braised Veal and Vanilla Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie, Bomboa's Braised Short Ribs with Mashed Boniatos and Gingered Baby Bok Choy, and Indian-Spiced Rack of Lamb with Potato Tikki and Mint Yogurt.

With the renaissance of comfort food in full swing, Meat and Potatoes is a must-have cookbook and an ideal gift for cooks of all levels.

About the Author: Joan Schwartz is an avid reader, writer, and cook, and the author or co-author of twelve acclaimed cookbooks, including Macaroni and Cheese: 52 Recipes from Simple to Sublime; Matthew Kenney's Big City Cooking; Bobby Flay's Bold American Food, Boy Meets Grill, and From My Kitchen to Your Table; and Joel Patraker's Green-market Cookbook. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and received an M.A. from the University of Chicago.She is listed in Who's Who in America. Schwartz lives in Westchester County, New York.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Schwartz (Macaroni and Cheese) offers recipes from chefs across the country for another comfort food category. Some are as homey as Bacon Lovers' Mashed Potatoes, while others are more sophisticated thematic takes: Herb-Grilled Lamb Chops with Chanterelle and Potato Hash, for example, or Leg of Venison with Roasted Yams. A brief introduction identifies the different cuts and types of meats used, as well as potato varieties, and there's a source guide for specialty ingredients. Recommended for most collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812966640
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/4/2003
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Joan Schwartz is an avid reader, writer, and cook, and the author or co-author of twelve acclaimed cookbooks, including Macaroni and Cheese: 52 Recipes from Simple to Sublime; Matthew Kenney’s Big City Cooking; Bobby Flay’s Bold American Food, Boy Meets Grill, and From My Kitchen to Your Table; and Joel Patraker’s Green-market Cookbook. She is a graduate of Rutgers University and received an M.A. from the University of Chicago. She is listed in Who’s Who in America. Schwartz lives in Westchester County, New York.
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First Chapter

Chapter 1

Introducing Meat and Potatoes


Admit it, when you're hungry, you want meat and potatoes! Put the two together and you need very little else to make a meal; their synergy in a dish always promises sustenance and comfort. But although comfort food was what I was after as I set out to collect recipes from America's finest chefs, I soon learned that the pairing of meat and potatoes goes way beyond the homey and nourishing-it provides a feast for the imagination.

The chefs who contributed to this book work their magic with beef, lamb, veal, and pork, and combine these meats with both white and sweet potatoes (including boniatos, which are a bit of each). The meats are grilled, roasted, braised, fried, or sautéed; the potatoes-whole, sliced, chunked, diced, or mashed-are braised, fried, sautéed, boiled, or simmered. The results are such creative leaps as Slow-Braised Veal and Vanilla Sweet Potato Shepherd's Pie (Gerry Hayden); Beef Short Rib Hash with Sunny Eggs and Balsamic Syrup (Deborah Stanton); Potato-Crusted Lamb Cakes (Daniel Angerer); Indian-Spiced Rack of Lamb with Potato Tikki and Mint Yogurt (Thomas John); and Roasted New Potatoes with Bacon, Chive Flowers, and Green Tomato Dressing (Ilene Rosen).

Much of the time, at home and in restaurants, meat and potatoes are cooked separately and presented together at the table. Grilled steak, for example, is just plain wonderful served with a creamy, herbal potato salad or beside a rich gratin that accents its simple perfection.

But when meat and potatoes are married in the pot, the finished dish is even more complex and nuanced, as with rib-eye steak that is oven-roasted over abed of potatoes so that the savory and herbal flavors of the meat and its seasonings permeate the potatoes (Mitchel London); mashed potatoes that are formed into crusty cakes and stuffed with chili-spiced, braised short ribs (Andrew DiCataldo); diced potatoes combined with chorizo and layered over tortillas, to make crisp quesadillas (Sue Torres); and jalapeño-spiked mashed sweet potatoes that stuff a tender pork roulade (Glenn Harris).

Cook them separately or cook them together-both approaches show how meat and potatoes can work with one another, each highlighting the qualities of its partner. The final harmonious dish can be hot or cold, spicy or mild, sentimental or cutting edge. Just as macaroni and cheese is always greater than the sum of its parts, so is meat and potatoes.

A few words of advice: Although some of the dishes can be cooked relatively quickly, most of these recipes are not instant. Braises and roasts will require prep time and cooking time, and you should read each recipe carefully and plan ahead. But the good news is that nothing smells as wonderful as meat and potatoes that are gently simmering or roasting along with aromatic vegetables and herbs, wafting an atmosphere of well-being and plenty through your kitchen. Such cooking embodies the best qualities of slow food, whose preparation is a calming and gratifying activity-more pleasure than work and offering rewards you can taste.

Nevertheless, to make them more manageable, many recipes can be broken down into components that are made and refrigerated ahead and combined just before serving. A number of dishes can be cooked ahead and reheated later, and their flavor will deepen and mellow. And the bonus is that when you cook and later reheat, you get to enjoy the sensual experience (but not the work) twice.

As you become acquainted with these recipes, they will feed your own creative talents. Once you feel comfortable with the mechanics of braising, slow-roasting, and grilling, it becomes easy to choose a cut of meat and a variety of potatoes and pair them with the appropriate method. You can invent a recipe from scratch or deconstruct one of ours and reshuffle components to come up with a spontaneously delightful meal. Meat and potatoes are not only inspiring, they are forgiving.

About Meat

Buy the freshest and best-quality meat, from a butcher or supermarket you trust. If possible, buy ground meat from a butcher who grinds it to your order, rather than from a market where it has been preground and wrapped. Of course, check the date carefully on all packaged meat. As soon as possible after purchase, rewrap and refrigerate meat; use ground meat within two days and solid pieces within four days.

You will find that the more tender the cut of meat, the less time it needs to cook. Steaks and chops take only minutes from grill to table, while beef short ribs and oxtails-where flavorful morsels are hidden among the bones and fat-require longer braising. Leg and shoulder of lamb need a good amount of time in the oven to reach optimum flavor and texture. Although you can let each individual recipe be your guide, here are brief descriptions of the cooking methods used in this book:

Braising: Brown the meat in a little oil, then cook, partially submerged in a flavorful liquid, in a heavy, tightly covered pot or pan. Meat can be braised on the stovetop, in a Crock-Pot, or in the oven. Braising is the preferred method for tougher cuts of meat.

Grilling: Light an outdoor charcoal or gas grill and cook the meat quickly at a high temperature. Indoors, you can substitute an electric grill (make sure it provides enough heat to sear the meat), a stovetop grill pan, or a broiler.

Roasting: Cook the meat in a preheated oven, at a moderate to high temperature.

Sautéeing: Cook the meat in a skillet or sauté pan, in oil that has been heated until it shimmers, over medium or medium-high heat. Stir the meat as it cooks.

Stewing: Cover the meat with a flavorful liquid and cook at a simmer. This may be done on the stovetop, in a Crock-Pot, or in the oven.

The following meats are called for in our recipes:

BEEF

Cheeks

Meat near the face of the steer. Cheeks are a rich cut, with a gelatinous texture and a very intense flavor.

Chuck

Juicy and inexpensive cut from the shoulder and neck. Ground chuck goes into stew, meat loaf, and hamburger, and becomes the stuffing for chili peppers.

Oxtail

Tail of the steer; very bony meat. Chunky pieces (not from the end of the tail) are the meatiest, and become flavorful and tender when braised. Generally sold in 1- to 3-inch cross sections.

Rump

A cut from the bottom round; flavorful, a bit tougher than chuck, but very tender when braised.

Short Ribs

Cut from the prime rib and the next lower three ribs, these tasty, meaty ends of beef ribs require long cooking to become tender. They have layers of fat, meat, and bone. Fat must be removed both before and after cooking.

Shoulder

Same as chuck.

Steaks

Filet Mignon: Cut from the beef tenderloin. This is the tenderest steak, but it has a milder flavor than other steaks.

Rib Eye: Cut from the rib section. Juicy, flavorful, marbled with fat; not as tender as filet mignon.

Shell, or Strip Loin, Steak: A boneless cut from the beef short loin. Tender and mild-flavored.

Skirt Steak: Long, narrow steak, cut from the breast. A little fatty, but tender.

LAMB

Chops

Loin: From the hind saddle of the lamb. These are the tenderest lamb chops.

Rib: Cut from the rack. Tender and flavorful.

Shoulder: Cut from the lamb chuck. Juicy and marbled with fat, but not as tender as rib or loin chops. Arm chops, with a round bone, come from the lower part of the shoulder. Blade chops, with a narrow bone, are cut from the beginning of the shoulder.

Leg

Last half of the hind saddle of the lamb. A whole leg weighs from 6 to 11 pounds, but you can buy the shank end, which has more meat and less fat, or the sirloin end, which is tender but has more bone. A leg of lamb can be boned and then either butterflied or rolled and tied.

Rack

The attached lamb ribs, usually seven or eight ribs (each would be a chop if they were separated). The rack, which is the beginning of the foresaddle, is tender and delicious.

Shank

Includes part of the arm chop and bone. The foreshank is meatier than the hind shank.

Shoulder; Boneless Shoulder

A bit less tender than the leg, and more economical. A boneless shoulder can be rolled and roasted.

PORK

Bacon

Very fatty meat from the underside of a pig, sold sliced

or in slabs. It is cured and smoked. Applewood-smoked

bacon has excellent flavor and texture.

Chorizo

Cuban-style pork sausage made with paprika, wine,

sugar, garlic, and fat.

Ham

Cured pork leg or shoulder. Black Forest ham is cut in one piece from the tenderest portion of the ham and smoked over corncobs or pinewood. It has excellent flavor and texture.

Kielbasa

Polish smoked sausage made from pork or a combination of beef and pork (it may also be made from beef).

Loin

The pork loin is divided into the blade end, which has the most fat; the sirloin end, which has the most bone; and the center, tenderloin portion, which is the leanest and most tender.

Tenderloin: The fillet cut from the center of the loin, usually 8 to 12 ounces; lean and tender.

Pancetta

Flavorful, moist Italian bacon that is cured, not smoked. It is usually sold in a sausage shape.

Prosciutto

Italian cured, air-dried ham that is firm, with a delicate flavor.

VEAL

Breast; Boneless Breast

The breast includes the lower end of the ribs and weighs 9 to 10 pounds with bones. Chewy and flavorful.

Chops

Loin: These are the tenderest veal chops. Tournedos are boneless loin chops, very lean and tender. They are thin, so be careful not to overcook.

Rib: Cut from the rack. Very tender.

Rack, or Veal Rib Roast

The first part of the veal foresaddle, the rack looks like several attached rib chops. The first six bones have the tenderest meat.

About Potatoes

Textural wizards, potatoes can morph from dense to fluffy, chewy to crisp, depending on their preparation. A number of varieties are available at greenmarkets and supermarkets, and for more unusual types, contact the specialty suppliers listed in Sources. In our recipes, each chef states his or her preference, but if it isn't available, feel free to try another potato that is similar.

White (and gold) potatoes are classified as

STARCHY, with high starch and low water content

WAXY, with low starch and high water content

ALL PURPOSE, with medium starch and water content

NEW, with low starch and high water content (harvested when

young and thin-skinned, these potatoes

can be of any variety).

More starch generally makes potatoes good for baking, frying, and mashing; less means they are best roasted, boiled, or braised. That said, you may enjoy russet potatoes in some braises, as I do. They crumble a bit as they cook and thicken the sauce.

If you aren't sure which category your spuds fall into, put them in a bowl of salted water (2 tablespoons of salt to 11 ounces of water). High-starch potatoes will sink; waxy potatoes will float.

Shop for tubers that have firm, unwrinkled skin, without sprouts, cuts, or blemishes. Avoid those with green spots under the skin, which indicate that the potatoes have been stored in the light. (In a pinch, green spots, sprouts, and blemishes can be cut off, and the rest of the potato can be cooked.) Remove potatoes from their plastic bag and store them in a pantry that is cool, dark, and well ventilated. Although you should never refrigerate mature white or sweet potatoes, because their starch will convert to sugar, you can refrigerate new potatoes, which are lower in starch.

A general rule is three medium potatoes per pound; each pound makes about 2 cups mashed.

The following potatoes are called for in our recipes:

Peruvian Blue or Purple

Skin and flesh range from blue or lavender to dark purple. They have a dense texture, a subtle flavor, and a medium starch content. They originated in South America.

Boniato, or Cuban Sweet Potato

White-fleshed sweet potatoes that are less sweet than regular sweet potatoes, with a more subtle flavor, and a fluffy texture when cooked. Their skin color ranges from red to tan.

Fingerling

Shaped like a finger, 1 to 8 inches long. These are baby long white potatoes, with thin, light skin and a firm, creamy texture. They are all-purpose, with medium starch.

German Butterball

Yellow-fleshed round or oblong potatoes with a buttery taste, smooth deep yellow skin, and medium starch. This variety originated in Europe and was renamed in the United States.

New

Small, round, red- or brown-skinned potatoes that have been harvested before reaching maturity. They have low starch.

Red Bliss

Small, round, red-skinned new potatoes grown in California, Minnesota, and the Dakotas. They have a firm, smooth texture, white flesh, and less moisture than other red varieties, and they are low in starch. The spring and summer crops are sold immediately and have a sweeter, milder flavor than the fall crop, which is stored for later shipment.

Round Red

"Boiling potatoes." These have reddish-brown skin, waxy flesh, and medium starch.

Ruby Crescent Fingerling

Slightly larger fingerlings with pink-tan skin, yellow flesh, and low starch.

Russet, or Idaho

Rough brown skin with many eyes; white flesh; a light, fluffy texture when cooked; and high starch. This is the most widely used potato variety in the United States.

Sweet

Although there are many varieties, with orange, red, or white flesh, the darker-skinned orange-fleshed potatoes and the paler-skinned yellow-fleshed potatoes are the most common. The orange-fleshed, commonly called yams, are sweet and moist; the yellow-fleshed are less sweet and drier in texture. Both are long and tapered. (True yams are another tuber entirely, not related to sweet potatoes. They are large, starchy, and bland, with white, pink, or yellow flesh.)

Yukon Gold

Tan skin; oval shape; buttery, light yellow flesh; and a creamy texture. These are all-purpose potatoes, with medium starch.
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