Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2, 2009

I’m a firm believer that you should never boil meat.

Well, I suppose that’s not exactly fair as a blanket statement. I would understand and accept the boiling of meat if: A) you are saving the broth that is created to use somehow, or B) you are a contestant on Survivor. Other than that, I can’t fathom why anyone would use boiling as a cooking method for meat. And no, poaching in a seasoned ‘broth’ of water and spices does not count as boiling…nor does boiling meat for the purpose of making soup (see ‘A’ above). I don’t even support the practice of boiling ribs or any other meat before grilling or barbecuing…if anything, slow roast it or steam it first if it can’t go directly on the grill, and for the love of god, save the juices that are created. That’s where all the flavour is.

Years ago, I worked with a woman who was trying to explain to me that her live-in boyfriend loved her British-style home cooking. I said that ‘British-style home cooking’ essentially meant ‘Boil the shit out of it.’ She responded by telling me that there’s nothing wrong with boiling, and that she boils pretty much everything. I was nearly vomiting as she was listing all the things she boiled, but then she said that her boyfriend’s favourite thing was her Boiled Chicken.

The conversation went something like this:

Chicken Boiler: “His favourite is my Boiled Chicken”
Sean: “Boiled Chicken?!”
CB: “Yes, what’s wrong with that?”
Sean: “Like…a whole chicken?”
CB: “Yeah, you just drop the whole thing in boiling water and cook it until it’s done.”
Sean: “What!?”
CB: “It’s juicier that way.”
Sean: “It’s not juicy…it’s just WET!
Even worse than that was a situation about 10 years ago when we had gone away to a family cottage for the weekend, and on the day we were scheduled to leave, I saw that our hosts had set out a nice brick of peameal bacon to use for lunch. I was looking forward to lunch as peameal bacon is one of my favourite foods. So, we tinkered around in the morning, fishing or swimming or hiking, or whatever we did that day, and when it came time for lunch, I was heading back to the cottage in anticipation of a beautiful peameal sandwich.
Little did I know that instead of slicing and frying (or even grilling) the peameal, the chosen method of cooking was instead to put the entire brick of bacon into a pot, cover it with water, and boil it…ON HIGH…for THREE hours.

I was nearly in tears as I watched this destroyed piece of meat get placed, still soaking wet, on a plate in the center of the table. To make matters even worse, the ‘accompaniments’ to this gourmet meal were a plate of crudely hand-torn strips of processed cheese slices, and Wonder hot dog buns. Then, we had to slice a piece of peameal for ourselves off of the wet brick, put it on the hot dog bun, and add some cheese. Now, I say ‘slice’ since the utensil we used was a butter knife, but as soon as you touched it, the peameal flaked like a giant glob of tuna or canned chicken. It was anything but ‘slicing.’

It was so disheartening and depressing watching such a nice piece of meat get ruined like that. It’s upsetting to me just remembering it…

I need a Coke.


Opal said...

OK Boiling is wrong. I agree! I once ate at a friends house when I was younger and I watched the mom make a meat sauce for spaghetti (being Italian I was right in there)but the first thing she did was boil the ground beef. I was thinking this is going to taste like shit. Sure enough it did.
Who chops up frozen ground beef and boils it???

Sean said...

I'll tell you who...


Opal said...

I also have a family cottage in the Honey Harbour area and we only grill our meat when we are there, isn't that the point of a cottage??? Next summer when I take my friends there you are welcome to join us and enjoy some GRILLED MEAT!!!

Opal said...

Do all Mangia-cakes boil their meat???? Fucking grose. My ex didn't like any food I made, it might be because I don't boil anything but noodles. No one else complains.

Sean said...

I'll gladly come up to the cottage...sounds like fun.

Mangia-cakes have no standards for food. Case in point: Cheez Whiz and bologna and Kraft dinner, when we Italians grew up with salami, cappicollo, provolone, and veal cutlets.

Opal said...

TRUE TRUE, I remember begging my mom for kraft dinner and she would tell us that it was only for people who can't afford REAL food. LMAO. My sisters and I then started refering to KD as "welfare food".

Anonymous said...

Boiling chicken as part of a good chicken soup is ok. Or Hamburger soup. Soup in winter is awesome, and healthy.

But otherwise, I am in agreement.

Sean said...

That's what I was saying in the first section...the only time it's acceptable is when you're making soup. That way you're saving and using the flavour that you're removing.

Anonymous said...

Sean O'Sullivan would never have eaten boiled Chicken.

"Eat your chicken, Sean".

Anyone remember that one ?