We used to be able to find the Pillar’s hot dogs at our local Loblaw’s grocery store. But about two years ago they stopped ordering it in. And I don’t think Pillar’s makes it anymore. We haven’t dared to try any of the others yet, seeing as we still haven’t found a suitable hot dog bun recipe. But I had some time. And some nitrate salts. And so I tried making them myself. I don’t have a sausage stuffer (yet?) so I just made them into small patties by hand and cooked them on the stovetop.
So I added ground beef, spices, water and curing salt to the food processor and mixed. Slow, fast, pulse.
I thought this was good enough emulsification. But it wasn’t. I probably needed to run it about double the time I did in order to get the texture like the store-bought stuff.
The taste was pretty spot on, except for being a bit salty. Next time I’ll add only the curing salt and not add any extra. The texture; however, was nearly like a meatball and fell apart easier than I wanted.
Ramen pork broth is famously milky white, and I wanted a way to make the broth without having to go through the trouble of blanching and scrubbing the bones, then keeping the broth at a rolling boil until it was done. I’ve found a way to do it without, yet get the milkyness and extract the full flavour of the bones. Here’s how I do it.
3 lbs pork bones*
10 L water*
Place the bones on a sheet pan, spread out so they’re not all touching. Turn on the oven broiler and put the pan on the rack about 10″ or so below the top heater element. Roast the pork bones in the oven under the broiler until they are nicely browned on all sides. This takes about 30-45 minutes, turning the bones over about halfway through.
Put the bones in a large stock pot and fill it up with water. Bring the pot of water and bones to a boil, then reduce to a simmer or even slightly less. Cover the pot and let it cook for 10-20 hours. I do this over two overnight sessions, leaving the bones and water to cool down in the pot during the day.
Once the broth is finished cooking, there will be a good layer of fat on the top of the golden yellow broth. Skim off the fat into a blender, and place another 2-4 cups of the broth into the blender.
Blend the broth and fat on high or max for one (1) minute. The resulting liquid in the blender will be milky white and bubbly.
Pour the blender mixture back into the stock pot with the rest of the broth and mix it all together.
Strain broth out using a sieve (I don’t bother to use a cheesecloth/fine mesh sieve/tea towel) to remove the larger chunks of meat and bone. Add the broth to soups, drink it plain with a few pinches of salt, or use it to accompany your favourite soup noodles.
* This is the ratio I generally use. Feel free to use more or fewer bones to the amount of water.
When the thermometer hit 28 degrees last summer, Anita Krajnc pushed a water bottle into a truck-load of pigs on their way to slaughter. Krajnc was charged with criminal mischief. Public outrage and concern over animal welfare blew up, and Krajnc became an international hero.
“No!” the kids shouted, and their teacher elaborated: A few times each year their communities have traditional cultural ceremonies that serve large quantities of meat. But it’s not a common part of the diet—although some children live in an orphanage, where they are fed meat two or three times a week.
We in the western world consume a lot of meat, and it’s the centrepiece of most meals – just take a look at the vegetables found in many restaurants’ menu items and compare it to the meats. In other parts of the world, meat is very scarce and eaten on rare occasions. While many nutrients are more readily absorbed from meat sources than vegetable sources we certainly don’t need to eat as much meat as we currently do for health reasons.
Our ancestors’ consumption of meat is what made us who we are.
Moreover, what the animal eats also matters. Livestock and poultry in Western nations are often raised in large facilities and fed diets that consist mainly of maize and soya, whereas animals from poor villages are typically farmed on a much smaller scale and forage for a greater variety of foods, which increases the nutrient content of their meat. Given these sorts of variations, Hosking says, “we have to be very cautious about making dietary recommendations … for people who have access to large quantities of food.”
Meat is good food. But only certain meat.
So the key question becomes how much meat should a cognitive-health-conscious person eat. Too little can delay development and cognition. But too much, particularly if it is low quality and mass produced, is associated with other health concerns, such as heart disease and cancer, along with memory problems later in life. A person’s life stage matters: pregnant women need more iron, as do babies and children. Genetics also play a part, but we don’t yet know all the particulars. All these caveats make for a murky takeaway.
But a lot of other animals eat meat. The article doesn’t talk about our cooking of meat, which I think is the key to how we’ve evolved.
What do you make of the more meat-heavy Paleo diet trend?
There wasn’t just one Paleolithic diet. Some people close to the North Pole ate enormous amounts of meat, while some others, some hunter-gatherer tribes, ate barely any meat at all. Which Paleolithic was more Paleolithic? That’s the first and foremost thing for me. And then why not other times in our species history? We’ve evolved for a very long time, so why Paleolithic? And then next, contrary to what many Paleolithic-diet gurus say, our bodies actually have evolved since the industrial revolution and we are evolving faster than we have evolved before.
What also of cows and pigs vs antelope or buffalo or rabbits and squirrels?
Eating, it turns out, is the most significant interaction most of us have with the environment. Even if we remain cloistered in air-conditioned rooms in front of keyboards and monitors for most of the day, at some point we must eat—and whether it’s a carrot stick or a Big Mac, with our first bite we implicate ourselves in the food system, and the food system is responsible for 30 percent of worldwide carbon emissions. That is to say, almost a third of greenhouse gases are a result of growing, shipping, cooking, and disposing of food.
A good effort in trying to assess the costs of eating out versus eating in. One of the main conclusions is that meats, especially beef, has a very large environmental impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.
Eating less meat will lead to better human health, as well as reduce our overall greenhouse gas emissions.