Today, I asked our butler to conduct a survey of our larder and apprise me of the meats contained therein. Upon realizing we had neither a butler, a steward, nor even a manservant (or, for that matter, a larder), I went to the basement myself, opened up the chest freezer, and counted everything myself.
In the days right after receiving all the meat of our share of a cow or a pig, cooking is easy--if I want to cook something, well, I just go get the meat and cook it. Of course we have it: we have everything! Many of the most desirable cuts, of course, get eaten quickly, and now we're getting down to it, my friends. Which is good, since we'll be getting another split side of beef and another half-pig in just a few months. Now, though, the task before me is to figure out how best to prepare the meat that we still have.
Come with me and have a look at the meat ledger (one package unless otherwise noted):
Not T-bones, but labeled as such: 2
Cubed steaks: 5
Beef steak for Swissing
Hamburger: 42 lbs
Pork hocks: 2
Pork chops: 3
Smoked ham: 2
Bacon: 10 lbs
Sausage: 14 lbs
: 19 2-cup containers
And there you have it. Some of these things are easily dealt with. We'll cook a bunch of pork steaks just as soon as my in-laws come to visit, as they're from Missouri, which apparently is the land of the pork steak. The T-bones could very well be our anniversary celebration, and the chickens get eaten right along, at least one each week (we'll be getting more throughout the summer).
Some of these items, though, are rather mysterious to me. I've eaten my fair share of cubed steak throughout my life (after all, my parents always bought beef by the cow), but I've had very few good ones. Oxtails? Heart? And how do I Swiss my steak?
What I would love to do is to find enough excellent recipes so that we can eat all of this meat without ever having the same dish twice and always having an excellent gustatory experience. Dear readers, can you help me out? If you have great recipes or cooking techniques for the cuts of meat I've listed, please (please, please, please) send them to me. I would be grateful. I would blog about it. I would credit you as the source. I would probably even invite you over for dinner, especially if you live far enough away that you couldn't possibly accept. What more enticement do I need to offer? Leave a recipe in the comments or drop me an e-mail. Please.