Monday, November 10, 2008

Mmmmm ... Meat

First, I apologize to my veggie friends, but those that know me understand my penchant for the beasties from our local farmers here in Frederick County, MD. This post is dedicated to those hardworking men and women who deem it necessary to take care of our chattle for our consumption.

To those beasts who have not burdened and are about to die so that I shall live, I salute you.

Danny Rohrer is a farmer whose crop is the animal. In his honor I present a preparation of a rack of goat. The goat is such a useful creature, especially to those in more arid climates. It lives on scraps in poorer countries and yet it can still sustain life for the farmer and his family. The goat has taste characteristics normally toward the more gamier fare. However, the meat that came from the Rohrer farm was as delectable as any I have ever tasted.

In order to prepare this small (1.25lb) but delicious looking rack, I chose to dry rub in sage, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Oh, by the way, the herbs are from our own garden (organic, of course) and all other supplies are from the Frederick Farmer's Market.

But before I did that, I needed to dress it up a bit. The French are quite particular as to how the meal looks, this is no different for a simple rack. Dressing it a la francais means to trim cleanly the tips of the rib. Additionally, in order to create the appearance of a clean bone practically jumping out of the rack after it's cooked, one must split the fascia next to the bone on the "bone" side of the rack. Notice how it looks after it is cooked to get an idea of final presentation.

This "table" presentation means the guests can just pick up the rib of their choice.

The cooking of the rack was simple. Start the charcoals in a chimney starter. We want NONE of that nasty starter fluid taste. Set coals to one side of grill, put grill on, scrape grill after 5 minutes (it's easier when it's hot). Since the coals are probably still pretty blazin', you'll put the potatoes on first.

My potatoes involve thickly sliced and quartered laying in a foil "packet" with Montreal chicken season (1/2 tsp) and a small sprig of rosemary. Over the hot coals the butter melts, nearly frying the potato quarters while the seasoning chars slightly to a mild salty crispiness. You know they are done when you can actually HEAR the frying of the potato over the coals. Move them to the side (after about 15 minutes).

Set the rack meat side down with 2 foil pie plates over it. Since this was a small rack the first side took only 7 minutes while the bone side took less than 5 minutes. This will leave you with a medium rare (more rare, but not blue) portion of meat which gives you the true essence of the meat, which practically melts in your mouth. This is due in no small part to the quality, freshness, and care of Danny's product. Let the meat set for 10 minutes (as it will let the juices settle back to the cool part (the middle), slice between the bone, press together and give the table presentation as above.

And now a word from our sponsor - The Health Advocate (Me) - Why naturally raised meats are better:

1. They TASTE better
2. They have more nutritive value because the animal was not fending off a chemical onslaught and over crowded conditions
3. Because they're DEEEEELICIOUS!

Did I mention they taste better...oh yea... well you get the idea, there's a reason it tastes better.

In the end, we save on transportation cost, support local farmers and thus the local economy, and most important make friends that we can count on.

Here are some more photos for the shutterbugs out there. Enjoy.


No comments: