Meat is murder: A guide to desire
Nearly two years ago I made a relatively significant decision in my life: I’d no longer be partaking in any red meat or pork.
It was a continuation of these random “New Year’s resolutions” I’d started making years before. I’ve been off carbonated drinks for three years. These are life decisions. Something more permanent than a resolution.
The reasons are random and varied. It was less of a health-related thing, although the advantages in this regard are plain. First, I need to spend the rest of my life knowing I can make a change. I don’t want to the answer to “Why do you do what you do?” to be “Because it’s the way I’ve always done it.”
Secondly, if our role as parents is to be a better parent than our parents, then it’s important for me to be a half-decent example to my kid as to how to eat. Growing up, we never ate out nor did we eat a lot of desserts. However, we ate like hillbilly ogres. Somewhere lodged between some major organs are three-and-a-half pork chops, a slab of cornbread, red beans cooked in pig lard and whole milk.
I don’t prevent The Kid from eating beef or pork. I just work in chicken, fish and vegetables whenever I can. And I don’t make her eat anything I won’t eat myself.
Full disclosure: I don’t judge other people for eating beef or pork as long as I don’t get the dumb “Well, I may die early but I’ll die happy” narrative. How is your children and family losing you at 55 to a heart attack “dying happy?” And what if you’re alone or homeless? How is that dying happy?
And, I cheated in Philadelphia enjoying two Philly cheese steaks 14 months ago.
With all that said, here are the 10 red meats and pork I really miss:
10. The Hamburger
I put this at 10 because I have a genuine affinity for turkey burgers and, especially, black bean burgers. I think they are choice. Plus, I’m not a big hamburger guy to begin with because 95 percent are crap meat (fast food) or overcooked (see: any cookout). I do miss the good burger made by a restaurant that knows how to lay the beef.
9. Pork Ribs
Ribs typically fall outside of my realm of interest: Too much work for a scant payoff. It’s like crab legs. It wasn’t until I was older that I appreciated the rib. Delicious. Something I miss.
Just joking. Plus, it’s probably 25 percent chicken, 15 percent pigeon, 5 percent turkey giblets, 35 percent horse, 5 percent recycled computer parts, 10 percent polecat and 5 percent HUMAN!!!!!!!!!!! IT’S MADE OF HUMANSSSSS!!!!!!!!!
7. The Chicken Fried Steak
Not only is it delicious, but I’ve never been to a place where I or someone I’m with says, “Man, that chicken fried steak was terrible!” It defines the rule that anything deep-fried can not be ruined.
6. Foie gras
Fun fact: Goose and duck are red meat! I’ve never had foie gras. I think it’s illegal in the United States although we CAN fatten up and kill mentally retarded prisoners and unborn babies (I guess the argument is that we don’t fatten up the unborn babies). However, I pine for foie gras. It looks so got-danged moist and flavorful.
When you have good beef brisket, all is right with the world.
4. Lil’ Smokies
You know those little sausages, about the size of your pinkie. The Wife’s been putting them in dough for Lil’ Pigs in a Blanket. With spicy mustard … ummm.
3. The Fletcher Corn Dog
I’m glad I haven’t gone to the State Fair of Texas because the temptation would be too great. I love the Fair because every year these same “cooks” come up with crazy items to deep fry. People love trying these items. Others can’t believe that anyone would eat Fried jambalaya, Fried Butter or Fried Oreo. Meanwhile, the corn dog and funnel cake are “OK.” No, they’re not. The corn dog is the most idiotically delicious thing ever: Deep-fried batter on a hot dog! The funnel cake is just fried fried with powdered sugar.
2. Pulled Pork
No matter the vehicle (bun, tortilla, on its own), well done pulled pork is dreamy.
1. The Steak
The momma bear of red meat. Maybe the most primal: I imagine cavemen slaughtering an ox or antelope. Do they chop it into a brisket, deep fry it in batter, grind it up or cure it? No. They rip it off and either eat it raw or skew it with a sharp stick and cook it. O, how I miss the steak.