Is fish considered meat??

Greetings Carnivores,

Here’s an interesting question I have come across MANY times:

Is fish “meat”?

The answer is actually very simple, … or is it?

I was taught many years ago, ALL muscle IS meat. The body is basically broken down into muscle, fat, sinew and bone. Everything that is a muscle (including the Heart) is considered protein, and therefore … meat.

Simple, right?

Well, “if” all muscle is “meat” then, … the flesh of any fish is almost entirely muscle and therefore a protein (considered to be one of the very best sources of protein) and by the simple definition, must be “meat”, right?

Listen, … I’m going to be “Switzerland” on this one from here on out. I don’t want to upset any particular beliefs so, I just present the following for you to decide:

Catholicism considers fish to be in a separate category because they are not warm blooded mammals, do not reside on land, and breathe air and therefore ok to consume during Lent.

Fair enough.

In culinary terms, fish IS considered to be in a separate category so … is it meat??

I’ll leave it up to you to decide.

Don’t fight, lord knows there’s too much of that in the world these days. 🙂 🙂 🙂

That’s it for today Carnivores, thanks for dropping in … Oh, and by the way … you can share this post with your peeps by following my Blog … otherwise, just scroll down to the “share” area below and “click” on any of the buttons and … share away!!

Please, stay tuned and … please click “follow” on this page (Carnivore Confidential). You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new. And, … no need to worry about being bombarded with junk … WordPress is VERY responsible.

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please like and share my posts on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential
And, follow on Twitter @DougieDee

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Denuded … what the heck does THAT mean???

Greetings Carnivores,

Todays offering comes once again, from a question I get asked ALL the time.

I was over at my friends’ house for dinner a couple of weeks ago and my buddy asked, “Hey Dougie … can you write a post that explains what “denuded” means?

Well Steveo … here ya go buddy …

If you look up the actual definition of denuded, it doesn’t automatically refer to meat.

It will say something like “without natural or usual covering.” So, this could refer to anything from a bald head, to a spot on your lawn, devoid of grass.

In the case of meat however, … it’s pretty much the same thing.

If all the “natural” fat covering, Silver skin or veins have been removed, then this particular piece of meat is considered to be “denuded.”

Ok so, let’s recap:

Anything labeled as “denuded” when referring to meat in your Butcher’s counter, means that he has removed ALL the “natural” covering. being the fat, sinew, silver skin, veins … EVERYTHING.

Now here’s the part that will probably make you reconsider actually buying that piece of meat … it’s BRUTALLY expensive!

The butcher has taken a fair bit of time to completely “clean” this piece of meat for you AND … he has also incurred a loss in that, he hasn’t sold YOU all that “extra” weight.

So, … guess what? He makes up for his “loss” by charging a LOT more for the denuded piece.

The moral of the story folks is, … buy the whole primal, whether its a Tenderloin, Striploin, Ribeye, Outside round … whatever, and “clean” it yourselves.

The internet is an amazing resource for “how to” videos, and cutting your own meat at home is no exception.

Hopefully one of these days,…  this old, non-tech savvy, butcher will venture into to world of video to help you even further … an old guy can dream right??

To my brother from another mother, Steve … I hope this helped you and, if not … put the beer in the fridge, give me a call, and I’ll be right over to give you a personal lesson.

That’s it for today Carnivores

Thanks for dropping in … Oh, and by the way … you can share this post with your peeps by following my Blog … otherwise, just scroll down to the “share” area below and “click” on any of the buttons and … share away!!

Please, stay tuned and … please click “follow” on this page (Carnivore Confidential). You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new. And, … no need to worry about being bombarded with junk … WordPress is VERY responsible.

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please like and share my posts on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential
And, follow on Twitter @DougieDee

Sous-vide, Surgery and a bunch of time on my hands … again.

Greetings Carnivores,

I’ve been away from writing for some time now. Call it what you like, “writers block”, “lack of motivation”, “creative void”, “laziness”, I don’t know. but, … here I sit, one week into ANOTHER extensive surgical re-hab and … I’m faced with a WHOLE bunch of time on my hands.

Yep … I somehow managed to almost COMPLETELY tear my left Biceps tendon off the bone at the end of January, believe it or not … lifting a bag of firewood. You can’t make this stuff up.

I finally got to see the wonderful Orthopedic surgery team, headed by Dr. John Haverstock at the brand new Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, and spent a couple of hours last Thursday morning having them reattach it.

Last week was pretty much a wash, dealing with the obvious pain associated with such a fun procedure. Now, … like I said … here I sit.

Ok so, enough of that … todays topic comes from my dinner inspiration, and my very mostest (I know, … not an English word) favouritest (I know … another one … don’t be a hater) kitchen toy, … (“Drum roll please”) … my Anova Sous-vide immersion cooker.

Oh and, no … I’m not being paid to endorse this product … I’m just giving you an honest product review of mine. There are MANY other brands out there to choose from.

Anova Precision Cooker Flowers

I don’t want to sound like I’m jumping on the bandwagon here because, I’m not. A LOT of folks are just now coming around to how AWESOME this method is but … truth is … till just recently, unless you were a professional chef … the rest of us Minions have been in the dark.

I’ve been playing around, using this technique for the past couple of years … as a matter of fact, I originally tried making my own Sous-vide cooker, first using, an insulated cooler then second, a crock-pot but, in both cases … I couldn’t maintain and hold the critical temperature adjustment needed for success.

Now however, I’m currently the proud owner of my second REAL Sous-vide cooker. Not because there was anything wrong with the first one I bought but, more because I was a cheapo and bought the basic one first, then … realized how awesome it was and, shelled out for the second one: the Bluetooth model.

I’ve been meaning to post about this for quite some time now and, … today is the day.

Like I said earlier, Sous-vide has been around for a very long time and is usually exclusively used by high-end restaurants but, thanks to the surging popularity of this method lately, the price has come down significantly so that now … everyone can afford one.

The term “Sous-vide” refers to “cooking under vacuum” but … that’s only a part of this magic. It’s actually a PRECISE method of cooking in a controlled environment … in this case a water bath, where you dial in your desired “doneness” (temperature) and walk away. Whatever you’re cooking can NEVER (well, … actually NEVER is not the right word here because, overcooking in a Sous Vide bath, results in mushiness). The key point here is … the item IN the bath will NEVER exceed the temperature of the vessel it’s being cooked in. There are TONS of cooking tables and time/temp guidelines on the Web … experiment for yourselves.

Here’s the real deal, AWESOME part about cooking Sous vide:

Imagine your next dinner party … Steaks, veggies, potatoes … EVERYTHING done ahead of serving time … sitting there, blissfully hanging out, waiting for you to plate, while YOU, the host, are enjoying pre-dinner cocktails with your guests!

Unless you’ve catered your party … THAT NEVER HAPPENS!

Think of it this way: let’s say you’re aiming for a nice medium rare beef steak (Rib eye for the sake of argument). The “window” you’re aiming for, for med-rare is (128-131 degrees F. for me) That “window” is extremely  hard to hit with conventional cooking methods because of inconsistencies in the cooking vessel, whether it’s a Grill, Oven or Pan, temperature fluctuations, and (click here)  carry-over cooking.

Carry-over cooking is a thing of the past with Sous-vide because the juices NEVER escaped in the first place so, there’s nothing left to do to this steak except hit it with a BLISTERING HOT, cast iron pan just before serving to give it a sweet “char” on the outside.

You don’t even need a high-end vacuum sealer … all you need are zip-lock bags and use the “air displacement” method.

I’ve already gone past my (self-imposed) post word limit for today so, … I’ll leave you with that morsel to digest.

Please check out Sous-vide cooking, Anova, Joule and Sous-vide Supreme on the net and google Sous-vide.

That’s it for today Carnivores 🙂 🙂

Thanks for dropping in … Oh, and by the way … you can share this post with your peeps by following my Blog … otherwise, just scroll down to the “share” area below and “click” on any of the buttons and … share away!!  🙂 🙂

Please, stay tuned and … please click “follow” on this page (Carnivore Confidential). You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new. And, … no need to worry about being bombarded with junk … WordPress is VERY responsible.  🙂

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please like and share my posts on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

And, follow on Twitter @DougieDee

 

Bacon … NOW, I have your attention.

Greetings Carnivores,

What is it about this stuff?

Sweet, salty, smokey and oh soooooo devilishly addictive.

By definition, Bacon is quite simply, a type of salt cured meat, most often pork. But, it doesn’t stop there. This wonderfully addictive, salty, gift from God, can be prepared from many different cuts, as well as many different products.

Hell, even the Veg-heads (you KNOW I love you Sally) have embraced this stuff in a Soy-Tofu form they call “Fakon”.

Now, it can come from the pork belly, loin, cheeks or jowl but, it can also made from beef, poultry … anything really because as I said earlier, “bacon” refers to a salt curing process.

It can be eaten on it’s own or, usually as a breakfast item, saddled up next to eggs, hash browns and toast on your plate. You can use it to enhance the flavour of wild game, give your Mom’s meat loaf that extra “umph”, or send that beef filet mignon or, huge sea scallop to the next level.

Why stop there? How about bacon jerky? Jam? Soups, sauces, salads, sandwiches, deserts, candied, chocolate dipped … even ice cream and milk shakes!!!

The only limit to the usage of bacon is your imagination.

In Canada, we’re pretty famous for our back bacon, made from the boneless pork loin, while the Italians are known for Pancetta, Prosciutto and Guanciale and, good old side bacon is one of the oldest cuts of meat dating back as far as the 1500’s.

In closing, I’m reminded of a guy I lived with in residence while in University who happened to be Jewish and, … he couldn’t resist this stuff like the rest of us. If his Mama only knew …

Don’t worry Evan, your secret is safe here buddy … 🙂 🙂

That’s it for today Carnivores 🙂 🙂

Thanks for dropping in … Oh, and by the way … you can share this post with your peeps by following my Blog … otherwise, just scroll down to the “share” area below and “click” on any of the buttons and … share away!!  🙂 🙂

Please, stay tuned and … please click “follow” on this page (Carnivore Confidential). You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new. And, … no need to worry about being bombarded with junk … WordPress is VERY responsible.  🙂

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please like and share my posts on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

And, follow on Twitter @DougieDee

Loss Leaders … the art of getting you into the store

Greeting Carnivores,

Recently, my wife and I were attending a festive Christmas party and a friend was commenting on my humble musings here at Carnivore Confidential. I love getting feed back and suggestions for future topics, and my buddy Drew gave me a great idea for todays post.

He was chatting about the HUGE difference in price from store to store for the same product … in this case, Prime Rib roasts.

Now, … as long as you are comparing “apples to apples” meaning, Triple “A” to Triple “A”, Double “A” to Double “A”, Prime to Prime, Select to Select, or Choice to Choice and so on, it REALLY behooves you to shop around.

ALL stores will do a fair bit of comparison shopping, meaning they will send their own people around to the other stores in the neighbourhood, to check their prices for “apples to apples” competitiveness.

Impulse buying is such a HUGE game in retail but … the store has GOT to get you into their location first, in order for them to be able to work their magic on you.

THE BAIT

Much is made of “Loss leaders” in the retail industry, and it’s a very common practice in the meat business.

In case you’re not familiar with the term … “Loss Leader” refers to advertising a certain product (lets say Chicken Breasts) at a below cost price, to entice shoppers into the shore with the hopes that while they’re there, they’ll end up buying other high-end items at inflated prices … and in the case of Drew’s comment … Prime Rib roasts.

The resulting sales will overcome the “Loss” from the below cost item that got you into the store in the first place.

Like I said before, … as long as store “A”, store “B” and store “C” are all selling the SAME product eg: Triple “A” Prime Rib Roasts … you will generally see a HUGE disparity in pricing depending on who is offering which “Loss Leader” as bait to get you in the door.

Knowledge is power people 🙂

In closing, I want to wish each and every one of you a belated, very Merry Christmas and all the best in 2016.

Happy New Year !! 🙂

Stay hungry Carnivores and, please stay tuned. Don’t forget to click “follow Blog via email” (CarnivoreConfidential).

You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new … and, I PROMISE … you won’t get bombarded with spam. WordPress is very responsible. 🙂

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

Put Pork on your fork … the controversy continues.

Greetings Carnivores,

Controversy … it gets the blood moving, don’t you think?

Have you noticed lately, the foodie trend of posting photos or comments of what you’re making for dinner, or eating at the restaurant? There always seems to be great ideas for recipes and tasty looking pics everywhere you look.

I often draw inspiration for my blog posts from questions or comments I hear or read along the way and, my offering for today comes from something a friend of mine posted regarding medium rare pork.

John was outlining his menu plan for the evening with the centrepiece of the meal being a beautiful “Pork Tenderloin, roasted to a perfect medium rare.”

The resulting “Fire Storm” of negative comments he received re: the danger of eating pork ANYTHING but well done was impressive, to say the least.

So, … here’s the controversial part.

The danger of eating under-cooked pork was VERY real years ago, and our Great Grandparents and Grandparents needed to be vigilant about internal “done-ness.” Pig farmers and our relatives back in the day, were forced to deal with a pathogen called Trichinella Spiralis, which caused a nasty issue called Trichinosis. This was and potentially STILL CAN BE, a very real threat causing nasty round worm infections.

Trichinosis is caused by the ingestion of under cooked pork or wild game, that had been infected with the larvae of a parasitic round worm.

Thankfully though, todays farmers understand that this parasite is transferred to animals through poor feeding practices and exposure to infected animals, and with the highly sophisticated bio-security measures adopted many years ago, the presence of Trichinae has been virtually eliminated in North American farms.

I say FARMS because … Trichinosis is STILL a very REAL threat for folks who sustain themselves eating the flesh of “some” wild animals, particularly Wild Bear and Boar.

Those of you who fill your larders with such, please be careful and cook to an internal temperature of at LEAST 165 degrees F.

I have faith in our farmers practices, bio-securities and the agencies that are in place to protect our food supply, so I can say that I TOO enjoy my pork slightly “pink” and not over-done (unless we’re talking about long, low and slow cooking for shoulders and ribs). Please keep in mind, … I’M NOT talking rare but a beautiful juicy pink.

Let’s face it … the entire carcass (except for the shoulder, neck and belly) are extremely lean. Granted there is generally a heavy covering of fat under the skin BUT, the muscle is VERY lean, and this can equal a very dry end result if overcooked.

You folks have to be your own judges.

There you have it Carnivores, please stay tuned and … don’t forget to click “follow Blog via email” (CarnivoreConfidential).

You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new … and, I PROMISE … you won’t get bombarded with spam. WordPress is very responsible. 🙂

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

 

 

Nasty practices, revealed

Greetings Carnivores,

Recently, there was a CBC Marketplace episode that dealt with shady practices at retail stores in the Bakery and Meat departments.

If you saw the show you were probably aghast at the things they uncovered.

Having grown up in the meat business, I CAN tell you that I have seen my fair share of sketchy things in the past.

I CAN however, help you with a little bit of knowledge.

Ideally, the store wants to sell everything the day it’s produced so that a fresh counter is cut every day.  This is great in a perfect world but sadly in the case of big retailers, this is not always possible … there will ALWAYS be carry over from the day before or, maybe even the day before that. This however, does NOT indicate it’s no longer sale-able.

Common practices dictate that fresh product is labeled with the day it was produced. This can then be displayed for 3 days, after which it’s pulled and either destroyed or mixed with daily trimmings and re-purposed as ground meat.

If this is bothersome to you then you can avoid this re-purposed meat, by buying your ground beef later in the day since all the re-wrapping is done first thing in the morning.

I should say however, that I personally have NO QUALMS WHATSOEVER about buying this since it’s more often than not yesterdays VERY lean roasts, steaks and stew that’s being ground. Ground steaks, roasts and stew for lean ground beef price … I’ll buy that all day long.

Watch your labels.

If it says “Best before … blah, blah blah” this is only a guideline to peak freshness, and not the date that it’s instantly garbage. Quite often retailers will reduce the price of items that are one day away from their peak freshness as per the BB date to try to get them out the door … I will buy them every time and stick them in the freezer.

Ground beef.

I wrote about ground beef again a few weeks ago (here) so, no need to touch on that again.

When making your meat (or anything fresh really) purchases, I always dig to the bottom and back of the counter … that’s where you find the freshest product.

I NEVER, let me repeat NEVER buy pre-marinated meat, fish or poultry. These are almost ALWAYS made from one or two day old (or more) products that have become a dark and lost their fresh cut look.

Shish-ka-bobs are a way of re-purposing old meat … seasoned fish (Cajun or lemon peppered catfish comes to mind) and BBQ spiced poultry or pepper-corned steak … all methods of re-purposing old product … and here’s the REAL KICKER … it’s sold at a HIGHER price because it’s now considered “Value added”.  Crazy huh???

As far as dipping old, brown meat in fresh beef blood or even dye, to make it “red” again … I can HONESTLY say, I have never seen that done. Maybe some old timers did it. You never know … they were probably very good at placing their thumbs on the scale, if you know what I mean …

There you have it folks, please stay tuned and … don’t forget to click “follow Blog via email” (CarnivoreConfidential).

You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new … and, I PROMISE … you won’t get bombarded with spam. WordPress is very responsible. 🙂

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential