Me at the Meat Counter

July 27, 2009

So today I broke down and went to Whole Foods in Lincoln Park to buy beef. As most of you know by now I rarely buy or even eat meat. But - beef I haven't cooked or eaten in about 20 years. I just don't care for the smell or the taste. I don't judge you if you do eat it. Some of my best friends - oh, and my husband - eat beef. But here I was today standing at the counter looking forlorn and a little pathetic with a handwritten recipe for Nihari in my spiral cookbook journal. One of the guys behind the counter took pity on me.

"So, how can I help?" he asked.

"Um. Well. Um. I need some beef. I mean I have never bought beef before. This is all new to me. But I'm writing a cookbook and I need to include a beef recipe in it and I thought I should come here and actually buy it myself." When I'm nervous I tend to ramble. My new-found buddy behind the counter just stood there and looked at me. Curious - but not all that interested.

"Oh yea. So what can I get you?"

Sigh. More words. "I'm experimenting with a Pakistani beef stew recipe in my crockpot. I need a cut that will stand up to the slow cooker."

His suggestion was to go for the shoulder - which has a bit of fat on it that would do the stew - according to him - good. But, my friend Sofie who is Pakistani and who grew up eating Nihari suggested beef brisket. According to the diagram of the cow on the facing wall this cut came from the belly. Of the cow. That poor poor cow. Sigh. Gulp. "Okay. Let's do two pounds of the brisket and then if that doesn't come out I'll come back for the shoulder. Okay?"

"Great!" Hmmm. Great that's a great choice? Or great...yeah, get the hell out of my face you crazy non-meat eating freak? Hm. Who cares? I've got a cookbook to write!

So..I'm home now and that's what's in the crockpot. Nihari. For all you lovers out there - this is my attempt to convert the traditional recipe to a slowcooker one.

And I'll need a lot of taste testers for this one - 'cause I ain't gunna' try eating this one myself!

(Miral - thanks for your thoughts. I will be posting more detailed recipes. Tell me what you would like to learn as well. One of my next post will be my slowcooking rajmah).



Anupy Singla
Anupy Singla

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7 Comments

Indian As Apple Pie
Indian As Apple Pie

July 30, 2009

Thanks Karyn. I did hear the Nihari had a little too much salt in it. I'm going to make it again with less. Thanks for the great feedback. And yes, I loved loved loved the fake Keema too. I couldn't stop eating it. I have something else for you to try if you want to stop over tomorrow. We're in and out but are around. -Anupy

Indian As Apple Pie
Indian As Apple Pie

July 27, 2009

Thank you Sir Brennan.

I would be ever so grateful to you! And I'll also have you know I was the only vegetarian likely that covered the livestock futures market for Bloomberg News. I've been to a feedlot and out drinking with cattle ranchers in Oklahoma. Lets not talk about how much fun they made of me and my preference for veggie burgers. These guys were hardcore. I blamed it on my heritage. They eventually saw past it and I got an award-winning feature out of it! Ha! -Anupy

Anonymous
Anonymous

July 29, 2009

Hi Anupy,
I tried the beef dish (sorry, I don't remember the name) and I liked it, although it was a little salty for me, but again, I do think that I'm more salt sensitive then most. I REALLY liked the (fake) lamb dish. Hard to believe it's a soy product as it was so flavorful. Also, I really enjoyed the spices. What are the spices that are in it? I'm afraid my newbie Indian palate could not identify a single one!! Such new tastes you are bringing to my senses! I like it!! Thanks, Karyn

Anonymous
Anonymous

July 27, 2009

Anupy, you are such a great writer. I laughed throughout. I'm game should you need additional taste testers. Let me know. Karyn

smokingpenguin
smokingpenguin

July 27, 2009

May I recommend you stop going to Whole Foods? If you need a tour guide to the land of meat I will be happy to help. There are some really wonderful options in this city that was built (at least partially) on the cattle industry. On a recent trip to the Paulina City Meat market looking for beef bones the meat master's there stopped me in the middle of a sentence, asked me what I was making, and changed my order for me. Using veal bones the stock I made was ten times better than it would have been! End your enslavement to our organic corporate masters and join the localtarian revolution!

BIOburn3
BIOburn3

July 26, 2009

HI sugar!! I hope your weekend was well, apparently you have been very busy. I as well was very busy, my weekends are always so long b/c I work long shifts at the store. That is why I haven't not commented on the blog, I come home from work and fall asleep. Please say hello to your girls for me.

If you ever need help at the meat counter let Brennan know he is great with meat, we even have a butcher we go to on Paulina and the staff is very helpful.

How are things turning out? Hopefully good. The pumpkin dish sounds fantastic! If you haven't caught on yet I tend to read all of yor posts and then post all of my comments at once lol. I'm strange like that. I will let Pam know to email you if she wants to jump on board, your house is on her way home so it might work out perfectly for the both of you. Brennan and I will stop by this week and taste as well. Also we should talk about what day is good for the girls to come over and meet the puppies.

Hopefully all is well.

Sofia
Sofia

July 26, 2009

hey friend! i'll pick some nihari up tomorrow, we actually just had some for dinner tonight (i'm about to go for another helping). let me know when is good for you! sofie

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