Category Archives: Meat

Trou Normand — A Carnivore’s Delight

The "small'' beef chop at Trou Normand.

The “small” beef chop at Trou Normand.

 

Sure, you can choose a salad or veggie sides at Trou Normand in San Francisco’s South of Market district.

But really, this restaurant is all about the meat.

Local heritage breeds, whole-animal butchery, and up to 40 different kinds of house-made charcuterie and salumi offered daily are its hallmarks.

It is the younger sister restaurant to Bar Agricole, both founded by Thad Vogler. Executive Chef Salvatore Cracco, who heads the kitchen and butchery program, was the former butcher and sous chef at Bar Agricole.

They’ve turned the historic Art Deco Pacific Telephone Building space into an airy, industrial-hip environment with an unfinished ceiling, marble tables, over-sized tufted leather banquettes, and cool cafe artwork.

The light fixtures.

The light fixtures.

The bar with its iconic artwork.

The bar with its iconic artwork.

A couple weeks ago, I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant. Naturally, my husband, aka Meat Boy, tagged along. After all, this carnivore’s paradise is right up its alley.

The restaurant is named for the northern French tradition of enjoying a small glass of brandy, usually Calvados, between courses to settle the stomach and awaken the palate. Gotta love the French, right?

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The Go-To Weeknight Dinner for Carnivores: Maple and Soy Glazed Flank Steak

Yes, you can make this even on a busy weeknight.

Yes, you can make this even on a busy weeknight.

 

When it comes to weeknight recipes, who doesn’t love easy and versatile?

That’s just what “Maple and Soy Glazed Flank Steak” is all about.

It’s from the new cookbook, “The Great Cook: Essential Techniques and Inspired Flavors to Make Every Dish Better” (Oxmoor House).

The book, of which I received a review copy, is by James Briscione, who has worked as a chef at Highlands Bar and Grill in Birmingham, AL, and at Restaurant Daniel in New York. He’s now the culinary director at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. You might also recognize him as the first two-time champion of the Food Network’s “Chopped.”

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Porking Out on Father’s Day

Pork loin gets all pretty and tasty with a profusion of fresh orange slices.

Pork loin gets all pretty and tasty with a profusion of fresh orange slices.

 

My Dad never met a piece of pork he didn’t like.

Chinese char siu cut into itty-bits and scrambled with eggs for breakfast.

Lacquered pork ribs from Chinatown to gnaw on blissfully until they were picked clean.

A big ham he’d stud with cloves and bake with rings of pineapple for Christmas dinner.

And neatly tied roasts brushed with soy sauce and honey, purposely big enough to allow for leftover slices to stuff into sandwiches packed for lunch the next day.

It’s been seven years since my Dad passed away. But every time I enjoy an exceptional porky meal, I can’t help but think of him.

Chef Charlie Palmer’s “Pork Loin with Oranges” is a dish I know he would have loved. My Dad wasn’t into fancy. While this dish isn’t pretentious, it’s pretty enough to be a party plate for a special celebration, yet easy enough to prepare for an every day meal.

It’s unfussy — just a generous pork loin roasted gently with an abundance of onion and fresh orange slices until the tangy citrus marries with the sweetness of the meat in perfect harmony.

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You Never Know What You’ll Turn Up in Hawaii

Atomic red hot dog musubi from Foodland market on Maui.

Atomic red hot dog musubi from Foodland market on Maui.

Like Neon-Red Hot Dogs

Yes, hot dogs the very unnatural color of atomic red are a thing in Hawaii.

Think of them as the red velvet cake of hot dogs.

You can find them in packages in the supermarkets, atop musubi or nestled into buns.

As one Hawaiian-born chef joked to me, “We do like our carcinogens.”

Even though he and his friends grew up on them, none could offer an explanation as to why they are the color that they are.

Even a Maui News article published a few years ago wasn’t able to shed much light on it.

I’ll take a wild guess and surmise they’re that hue to emulate char siu or Chinese barbecued pork. But who knows?

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Pigging Out at Cockscomb in San Francisco

Brined, braised and roasted pig's head at Cockscomb.

Brined, braised and roasted pig’s head at Cockscomb.

 

If ever a restaurant embodied its owner’s personality, it is Chris Cosentino’s new Cockscomb in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood.

It’s dark and it’s loud. Picture a concrete bunker hidden away with taxidermy on the walls. There’s a ceramic pig’s head you might recognize from Cosentino’s previous restaurant Incanto, as well as a huge stuffed buffalo head (a gift from a couple of patrons). Shelves around the horned beast’s head display Cosentino’s first bike helmet and old toys. The toilet paper rolls in the bathrooms are even made from spare bike parts.

As for the menu? A lot of it is rich, meaty and rustic — the delicious stuff you picture chefs devouring after a long night, especially male ones. Even so, a female colleague and I (she treated me), dug in and were rewarded with a meal that delighted and definitely made us feel like one of the boys.

Another kind of pig's head on the wall.

Another kind of pig’s head on the wall.

Wall art.

Wall art.

Drink coasters.

Drink coasters.

Why a restaurant named for that ruffle appendage on a rooster’s head? Cosentino says it’s because it harkens to his initials, “C.C.” and because “The rooster runs the farm. Its cockscomb is a commanding piece. The larger it is, the more attention that rooster gets.”

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