I have a love-hate relationship with meat. In my younger days, I was vegetarian, and I lived in a happy world where I could cook all the things I intended to eat. My twenties drifted by in a swim of plant-based goodness: I ate all the chick peas, black beans, and tofu money could buy. I did not worry if I had under or over-cooked things because to me at least (and I may be totally wrong here) I do not believe one can get death from eating under-cooked peppers.
Meat, however, is another story.
Whenever I’m cruising around the supermarkets here, I have a look in the reduced section. This is where they keep the stuff that’s going to go off quick sharp. I always have a look because you never know, and I have a freezer so if there’s something that’s a particularly good deal, I can snap it up and freeze it, to be enjoyed later.
This is a habit I believe I have developed from The Mom. Whenever I’m at home and she asks what I might like/deign to/be able to digest for dinner, I will make a suggestion and she will counter with something like: “Ah, yes, a roast chicken. Excellent choice. I believe I have three I bought only five months ago when they were on sale. I’ll just get one out of the freezer…” whereupon she will do exactly that, and moments later a frozen carcass will be defrosting in a giant bowl of water on the counter.
If I were to test her, and her freezer, by asking for something more exotic, like cow meat (side note: I do not know what the cuts of meat are on most animals and so will just refer to the animal I would consider consuming in a general format), The Mom would of course ask more specific questions, but because she knows that a cut of meat means little to nothing to me, she’ll be a bit smarter about it: “Do you want pressure-cooker cow, BBQ cow, or oven cow?”
“To which, I might reply: “Oven cow!” I really will have no idea what this means, or what I might get in response, but I enjoy the surprise.
Anyhow, the point is that The Mom’s freezer is a graveyard of delights and one could find possibly every meat one might want to eat lurking in there. So I have adopted this approach. Though, that said, it’s less fun because if I’m cooking there’s really no surprise. Instead, there’s just a lot of frustration, mild panic, and cursing.
The Mom jokes that I don’t realise that the meat has a sell-by date – but my levels of paranoia are such that I get freaked out by even the slightest whiff of not-okay-to-eat-ness about things and so this is why I’ve gone the route of freezing.
There is only one small flaw in an otherwise seamless plan: now that I have the meat in the freezer – a large brisket if the label is to be believed (and another aside here: I love that people are putting the titles of the meat on the label, because that way, when I inevitably call The Mom or Crazy D for advice on how to prepare it, I can at least tell them what I’ve bought – it’s so much easier than pointing my camera at it on video chat and saying something like, I do believe this is lamb). So the only problem in this brilliant plan is that now I’ve got the brisket, I’m not entirely certain how to cook it.
I generally understand that I must defrost and then cook at a low temperature for a long time, and if this were baked goods I could freestyle it, but with meat I need precise, nay scientific instructions. And then of course, there’s the soup bone incident that still looms large in my memory. It was such a crushing disappointment it may be some time before I get involved with my brisket.
Anyhow, I have no problem buying sale meat because my dear friend and previous flat mate and ‘Mme Meat’ in our house then, used to always do it and she’s not dead yet so surely that’s a ringing endorsement.