Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Black Sheep!

I'm reading a book on the history of color...
currently learning about the color black.
Back in the middle ages it was a difficult and long process to make black clothing..
It usually involved burning wood, roots, or plants and using the ash which even then didn't produce a true black.

But!! Using wool from animals who were naturally black, such as the mutton of black-fleeced Welsh Mountain Sheep guaranteed a true black fabric. And during the mid-19th century, some breeders began to select specifically for the black fleece color which resulted in the Black Welsh Mountain Sheep!

Merchants went crazy for it.. people got to wear black clothes.. and in the end, the actual animals tasted pretty good as well!
Win. Win. Win.

Even to this day it's the only completely black breed of sheep found in the United Kingdom and was brought to the U.S. in 1972.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on one from HeritageFoods USA.. which I broke down and did a series of specials with at EmployeesOnly!

*the whole animal*

*breaking down the quarters*

*cutting out the loin, wish I had a band saw*

Friday, November 19, 2010

Turkey Time

thanks to the NewYorkTimes for this

Lamb 101

I'm teaching a class at Whole Foods Bowery in a few weeks..
if you want to learn some great stuff about lamb!

Tuesday, December 7th

Lamb 101 with the Butcher's Daughter
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Demonstration and Tasting, $30
Lamb is such a versatile animal, used by numerous cultures worldwide and cooked in many different ways. Join us as Chef Julia Jaksic takes you through a fascinating farm-to-table demonstration of all things lamb: different cuts, basic butchering, cooking methods, and various recipes, using local Pine Hill lamb, raised on Kyle Farms in upstate Genesee County.
On the Menu: Bacon-Wrapped Lamb Chops; Braised Lamb-Shoulder Tacos; North African Leg of Lamb; Crispy Lamb Belly.

Register Here!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dearest Mortadella,

Last night at dinner I finally found someone who shared my love for you!

I know I know.. you're basically bologna. But so much more refined..

First you're from Bologna.. yes Italy!
You're seasoned with black pepper, myrtle berries, nutmeg, and coriander!
Then studded with pork fat and Pistachios!!

I'll always love you..

Friday, October 15, 2010

Get your Grub!

Tomorrow is the the GrubStreet food fest at Hester Street Fair..
I'll be there making Balkan Burgers.. stop by!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shake It!

A little off the topic of all things meat..

Yesterday was the release of the Employees Only cocktail book..
the final page has our recipe for 'last call' Chicken Soup!

Get a copy!!
Speakeasy: The Employees Only Guide to Classic Cocktails Reimagined

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Abattoir

SlowFood NYC is hosting a great panel tomorrow to discuss the importance of the slaughterhouse.. more importantly the mobile slaughterhouse.

Great guests talking about an important and interesting issue!
Try to make it..

Dan Barber of Blue Hill, Glynwood President Judith LaBelle, Jen Small of Flying Pigs Farm, Dan Gibson of Grazin’ Angus Acres, and upstate butcher Debbie Ball.
At Jimmy’s No.43 – 43 E. 7th St. (btn 2nd and 3rd Aves) from 6pm-8pm.

More info here...
Slaughterhouse 101

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Short Ribs from Grazin' Angus I'm making for this evenings "Taste of Greenmarket Event"

more info here:
Taste Of GreenMarket 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

lamb.. oh little lamb.

When I lived in Chicago I would go to this festival and eat this lamb.
I miss it!

LAMB, Croatian Style!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bacon Wrapped What....Ever.

A few weeks ago 'The Best Thing I Ever Ate' stopped by the restaurant..
Rocco DiSpirito kindly suggested that my lamb chops were the best wrapped thing he'd eaten..

So I thought I'd pass along the recipe..
really quite easy..

I use New Zealand lamb chops since they're small and really tender.. but any lamb chop will do.
then they're wrapped in bacon and fried.. (they can also be baked) .. but the frying really seals in all the juices.

I serve them with a salsa verde (southern Italian style)...which is:
capers, shallots, garlic, lemon, anchovies, parsley, and olive oil.

Here's a photo...

And here's a link to a real recipe on the Heritage Foods website.
Bacon Wrapped Lamb Chops

Thursday, July 15, 2010


So while eating our King Cobra Snake (post to come..promise)
our servers attempted to up sell us on a local specialty..

the Flying Fox Bat..

I'm sure someone on television has already taped an episode eating one of these creatures.. describing the taste and texture. (refer to one of those)

I passed.. this bat was freaked out.. and when it started defecating it became too much...even for me.

If we had been hunting and shot it.. that's one thing..
this was another.

Apparently eating bats are good for the male libido... but this seems to be the case for most anything in Vietnam.

In places like Guam the eating of bats have been linked to causing SARS!! yikes!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Back in Action!

Whoa it's been awhile..
lots of travelling and exciting projects.

Happy Fourth of July!
Hope everyone ate lots of this...

and.. apologies to my blog for neglecting you!

Friday, April 16, 2010

This Girl.

Barabara at About.com put together a great piece about me, including a few recipes, on her Eastern European Food blog.

Here it is!
Profile of The Butcher's Daughter

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pickled Bear!

I haven't looked into this too much, but while in Vietnam we saw this baby pickled bear.

I'm not sure what the spiritual benefits to eating bear are, I do know the Vietnamese use a variety of animal parts to cure certain ailments and help to restore vitality and luck.

If anyone can shed some light on this.. please do.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Water Buffalo

97% of all Water Buffalo in the world live in Asia!
They've been domesticated for over 5,000 years.

They're used for work animals, dairy production, and meat.
I'd never been close to one but they were everywhere in Vietnam.

I saw them in rice fields, back yards, on sticks spinning around, almost anywhere just outside a city.

This guy was right outside a place we ate in the Mekong.

We set out to explore early one morning and saw this water buffalo spinning..

but when we came back.. there was nothing left!

I had always thought of them as just mozzarella makers..

Monday, March 29, 2010

Imperial Cuisine

The city of Hue, right on the Perfume river was the Imperial capital of Vietnam for 150 years.
In that time there was an Emperor named Tu Duc, a really picky eater, who demanded his food be different than that served to ordinary people.

SO the chefs of the time transformed food into art.
The trend stuck and its since been known as "Imperial Cuisine"

There are a few places in Hue that still carry on the tradition.. and amazingly most of the chefs preparing this cuisine are women who have lineage that can be traced back to imperial households.

This knowledge has been passed down through the generations.
This is what we ate!

And here is one of the entrances to the old Imperial City

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Its been ages! Shortly after arriving back from Vietnam I set off again to Sayulita, Mexico.
Another amazing trip with lots of food inspiration and photos!

But for now back to Vietnam..
Thought I'd start with a few images of butcher type shots I took.
Its always interesting to see how other countries handle their animals!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cao Lau!

When in Hoi An you must try this local dish.
A specialty known by the Vietnamese to only be found in this small town.


First and most important the Water.
It comes from old wells around the city dug up by the Cham people hundreds of years ago and it's said that this simple ingredient is the source for the unique taste.
(I guess its goes along with that whole, water makes the bagels in NYC!)

Next the Lye used to make the make the noodles come from the ashes of trees indigenous to Hoi An.

And finally the Rice is a local variety.

So what is Cao Lau?

Simply put.. thick rice noodles and beautiful roasted Pork in a pungent Pork broth garnished with Mint, Lettuce, Cilantro and topped off with thinly fried Pork skin.

We decided to head out of the city center and follow all the motor bike drivers to the front of someone's house to eat this.
So simple, so good.

Monday, March 1, 2010


The next few posts will be about things I ate in Vietnam.
It was an incredible 2 weeks of eating and being surrounded by an amazingly beautiful country with an energetic culture.

So I begin slowly not with an animal but a fruit that I never knew existed.

The Sapodilla!
A super sweet caramel like tasting fruit with a texture between a really ripe pear and a persimmon.

Oddly the fruit is Native to Central America.
We raise them in Florida, if you see one, buy it!
Cut it open and scoop the flesh out.
Be careful with the seeds, they have a hook to them that can get caught in your throat! Ouch!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Heeelloooo Nam'

I'm off to Vietnam for 2 weeks..

I'll be eating lots of this...
Pho sure!!
(sorry, I had to)

There will be lots to tell!

Monday, February 8, 2010

!? Veal Goat ?!

or Cabrito...

A friend sent this description over from a processing plant close to Los Angeles..
Cabrito are very small goats, veal goat. They are not much bigger than a rabbit 4-7 pounds dressed. They are cleaned for people, but great for the dogs as well.

yikes! I thought I would clear up a few things.
First they are young kid goats.. only 1 to 3 months in age.

Second, since they are still milk fed they are sometimes referred to as Veal Goats.

And lastly Cabrito is a Spanish word that refers to the dish of roasted young kid goat.
But overtime we have used the word to refer to any dish (roasted, stewed, or braised) using this young animal.

oh and Monterrey, Mexico is usually thought of as the headquarters of cabrito!

Why are little mini things always so cute..animals, hamburgers, golf..

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Its a Cake! Its a Sandwich!

It's full of meaty goodness.. It's a Smörgåstårta!

Another reason to visit Sweden soon..
I saw one of these sandwich cakes at a party a long time ago
and always wondered where they originated.
And finally I've found out.

Here's the deal-
You take a loaf of bread cut it the long way, and layer fillings like a cake.

These fillings can be:
Shrimp Salad
Egg Salad
Cold Cuts
Chicken Salad
Insert whatever else you like to put on a sandwich..

And then frost it with Mayonnaise!!

Make it look appetizing by decorating it with olives, cucumbers, cheese, gherkins, tomatoes, radish, or any pretty vegetable.

Like a cake it looks to good to eat!

I'll be trying my hand at one soon..
will be sure to post some photos.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fit Meat?

Maybe this is how the whole over-consumption thing started..

I obviously have an affection for meat.. but I don't need it to stay fit!

This stamp is from the Producers Livestock Commission 1941
National Stock Yards, Illinois

Monday, January 25, 2010


I've posted about Temple Grandin in the past.. and have heard rumors about Claire Danes playing her in an upcoming HBO series.
And here it is!

I was a little apprehensive but it looks like Claire studied her stuff.. she sounds so much like Temple.
This is a story that needs to be told!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Le Balkan Burger

Thought I'd share an article I'm mentioned in from this weeks
New York Times Dining Section.

The Balkan Burger Unites All Factions

Monday, January 18, 2010

Canard Au Sang .. or Pressed Duck

A traditional French dish made famous by the Tour d'Argent restaurant in Paris. Sadly very rare to find in America.. I know that a press exists at Daniel, unfortunately the dish is not on the menu.

It begins with a young duck which is strangled, to keep as much blood as possible. The duck is roasted.. and then the delicacy begins.

A Maitre'd pushes a clothed cart to your table holding the ornate press and begins by carving out the breasts (taking out the liver), and sending the legs back to the kitchen for the next course.

Everything else left on the carving board is thrust into the press and crushed!
The marrow, blood, and juices come running out of the press.
These are cooked table side with the addition of cognac (sometimes port or madiera), butter, and occasionally the liver to thicken.

The result is said to be "the height of elegance"
This decadent sauce is showered atop the breasts and enjoyed!

It may help to just watch it!

If anyone finds a place in NYC that does this...
Let's go to dinner!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Choose It.

Here's the deal with USDA Beef stamps and grades.
It can be confusing...and you can end up buying the wrong grade.

USDA Prime
Best grade. This meat comes from young well fed cattle with lots of marbling. Mostly sold to restaurants. These cuts are usually cooked under hot direct heat.

USDA Choice
Also a good grade.. these cuts have less marbling than prime grades.
But are still good for quick cooking and also include braised cuts.
Most common grade found in supermarkets.

USDA Select
These cuts tend to be leaner.. with much less marbling.
Most of what you find under this grade will have to be braised.
Also found in retail stores.

The last two grades are "Standard and Commercial" which are sold as "store brand" meats..and "Utility, Cutter, Canner" used for ground beef, or processed products.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I always make sure to have some sort of game on my menu.. right now it happens to be Elk Loin.

Listen to the latest Brian Lehrer show about the popularity of game in America!