Meat Lovers

Recipes for beef, birds and more

Some women are light-lunching salad ladies. Some are dessert-loving sweet tooths. And some of us are meat-and-potatoes kinds of gals.

Dainty be damned. Every now and then, a girl’s just gotta have some rib-sticking ribs, a cowgirl-size steak, a juicy burger or a big ol’ drumstick.

Six recent cookbooks can help you toss the salad and tear into some serious protein:

“The Gourmet Burger”

By Paul Gayler
Published by Gibbs Smith

Classic All-American Burger


1 pound, 12-ounces well trimmed, coarsely ground beef, chilled
1 onion, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or sunflower oil for cooking
8 slices American-style cheese
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce leaves
2 large tomatoes, thickly sliced
1 onion, sliced
4 burger buns, split
1/4 cup mild American mustard
1/4 cup good-quality mayonnaise
2 sweet dill pickles, sliced


Mix the meat and the onion in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and chill 1 hour.

Divide the mix into four-ounce, evenly sized burgers and brush them liberally all over with the oil.

Heat a chargrill or pan grill until very hot. Add the burgers and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until cooked and slightly charred all over.

Preheat the broiler to its highest setting.

Place the burgers on a broiler rack and cover with the cheese slices. Broil until the cheese is melted.

Toast the buns, and then brush the bases with mustard and the lids with mayonnaise.

Top the base of the buns with the shredded iceberg, followed by a burger, and then by the onion and tomato slices.

Finally, top with the sliced dill pickles and replace the bun lids.


Makes 4 servings.

Bacon-Wrapped Turkey Burger


1 pound, 12 ounces coarsely ground skinless turkey breast, chilled
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh, flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 scallions, finely chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable or sunflower oil for cooking
8 slices bacon
Olive oil
1/4 Camembert cheese
4 slices Brioche loaf
1/2 cup watercress
Spicy Cranberry-Green Peppercorn Relish (see recipe below)


In a bowl, mix together the ground turkey, 1 tablespoon of water, the mustard and parsley.

Heat the butter in a small frying pan and, when hot, add the scallions, half the thyme, the garlic and cook 1 minute. Allow to cool, and then add to the turkey mixture. Season to taste. Chill in the refrigerator up to 2 hours.

Form the mix into 4 evenly sized burgers. Wrap each in 2 slices of bacon, and then secure each with a toothpick. Brush the burgers with a little olive oil.

Heat a chargrill or pan grill until very hot. Place the burgers on the grill and cook 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

Using a cookie cutter, cut out a 3-to-3-1/2-inch circle out of each slice of brioche and toast the slices under a preheated broiler. Place some watercress on each of the brioche slices, and then top with the burger.

Cut the camembert into 1/2-inch-thick slices and place one on each burger. Sprinkle the remaining thyme over the top, drizzle with a little olive oil, and then place the burgers under the broiler until the cheese begins to melt.


Makes 4 servings.


Cranberry-Green Peppercorn Relish


1-1/2 cups cranberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated
1/2 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon green peppercorns, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar


Place all the ingredients in a small pan with 2/3 cup water.

Bring the mixture to a boil slowly, and then let it simmer until it thickens into a jam-like consistency.

Leave the relish to cool before use.

Note: Relish may be kept, covered, in the refrigerator up to 10 days.


“The Meat Club Cookbook: For Gals Who love Their Meat”

By Vanessa Dina, Kristina Fuller and Gemma Depalma
Published by Chronicle Books


Stuff It With Bacon Meatloaf

Butter or oil for greasing
1 egg
1 cup milk
3 cups soft, white, fresh breadcrumbs
1 pound bacon
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley
3 tablespoons ketchup, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons hot sauce (optional), plus extra for serving
1-3/4 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.

Beat the egg and milk together in a large bowl. Add the bread crumbs and mix gently. Let the mixture stand 15 minutes, or until the bread absorbs the milk.

Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan, brown 14 slices of the bacon until crisp. Remove the strips and drain them on paper towels. Chop the bacon into 1/2-inch pieces.

Add the beef, onion, celery, parsley, ketchup, 2 tablespoons hot sauce (if using), salt, pepper, basil, thyme and browned bacon to the bread-crumb mixture. Roll up your sleeves and mix well with your hands.

Refrigerate the mixture overnight if possible.

Pat the mixture into the prepared pan in an even layer. Top the loaf with the remaining slices of raw bacon. Bake 55 minutes, or until the meat is firm to the touch and has shrunk from the sides of the pan.

Let the meatloaf rest 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with extra ketchup and hot sauce.


Makes 6 servings.


Tangy Tarragon Pork Roast


3 pounds center-cut pork loin
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup olive oil


Tarragon Pesto

1 bunch fresh tarragon
3/4 (6 ounces) cup walnuts
1/4 cup walnut oil
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove
Freshly ground black pepper


1 bunch fresh tarragon, minced
1 cup whole-grain mustard


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Season the pork loin with salt and pepper.

In a large sauté pan or skillet, heat the olive oil until smoking. Sear the loin 2 minutes per side, until well browned all over.

Remove the loin from the skillet and place it on a rack in a roasting pan.

Roast the pork 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Meanwhile, make the Tarragon Pesto: Blend the tarragon, walnuts, walnut oil, shallot and garlic together in a food processor until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the roast from the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees.

Mix together the minced tarragon and mustard and slather it evenly over the roast.

Return the roast to the oven and bake an additional 40 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer reads 145 degrees.

Remove from the oven and let it rest 10 minutes. Serve with the Tarragon Pesto.


Makes 4 to 6 servings.

“A Chicken in Every Pot”

By Kate Heyhoe
Published by Capital Books Inc.

Bangladesh Drums

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
1 tablespoon boiling water
6 cloves garlic
2 inches fresh ginger root, peeled and thickly sliced
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon ground half- sharp paprika (or mixture of sweet paprika and ground chile)
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon garam masala
4 pounds drumsticks or other chicken pieces


Crumble the saffron into the boiling water and let it soak 15 minutes.

In the work bowl of a hand blender or food processor, combine the garlic, ginger, lemon juice, paprika, salt and garam masala. Add the saffron liquid and pulse until blended.

Rub the spice mixture over the chicken pieces. Marinate, refrigerated, 1 hour to overnight.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer in a baking dish. Cook about 30 minutes, turning halfway through, or until the inside is done (when internal temperature registers 170 degrees and the outside is golden and crispy). Serve hot.


Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Creole Mustard Chicken Breast


4 chicken-breast halves, with skin or skinless
1/2 cup chicken stock or canned, low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup Creole mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1/4 cup corn oil
1 leek, cleaned and sliced into thin rings
1 Roma tomato, seeded and chopped


Season the chicken with salt.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the broth, wine, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add the leek, making sure to separate the slices into rings. Fry until the rings become brown on the edges but still retain their shape. Remove the leek rings from the pan and place them in a single layer on a plate.

In the same pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the chicken breasts, rib-side up, and cook until brown, about 4 minutes. Turn them over and brown the other side.

When the chicken has browned, pour the mustard mixture over the breasts and into the pan. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the breasts are tender, about 15 minutes.

Serve the chicken with the sauce. Top the breasts with the crisp leek rings and chopped tomato.


Makes 4 servings.



By Rodney Dunn
Published by Laurel Glen


Red-Wine-Marinated Beef Tenderloin With Balsamic-Glazed Onion


1 beef tenderloin (fillet), 3 pounds
Red Wine Marinade (see recipe below)
2 pounds small, white pickling onions, each 1-1/2 inches in diameter
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons superfine sugar
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar


Trim any excess fat from the beef. Fold the tail of the tenderloin under to create an even shape and thickness, and tie at 2-inch intervals with dampened kitchen string.

Place the beef in a nonreactive container just large enough to accommodate it and pour the marinade over the top. Turn the tenderloin to coat. Cover and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the onions in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour 1 tablespoon oil over the onions and season them with salt and pepper. Toss to coat evenly.

Remove the beef from the marinade, and pat it dry with a paper towel. Place the tenderloin in the pan with the onions. Drizzle the beef with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and season it with salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 150 degrees for medium-rare, or until the meat springs back when pressed with fingertip, about 40 minutes.

Remove the beef to a carving board and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Let the meat rest 15 minutes before carving.

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar and vinegar until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture over the onions and turn them to coat evenly.

Return the onions to the oven and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced and the onions are tender, about 10 minutes longer.

Carve the beef across the grain into think slices. Serve with the onions.


Makes 8 servings.


Red-Wine Marinade


1 orange
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
3 bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
5 juniper berries
6 cups red wine
3 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt


Using a vegetable peeler, remove the orange zest in narrow strips, allowing them to fall into a large, nonreactive bowl.

Add the onion, carrots, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns and juniper berries. Pour in the wine and olive oil and stir well to combine. Season with salt and stir again.


Makes 10 cups.

Chicken With Asian Spices


1 (3-pound) chicken
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
6 star anise
3 cinnamon sticks
6 cardamom pods, bruised
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 lime


Remove the neck from the chicken cavity and reserve. Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold, running water and pat it dry thoroughly with paper towels.

Tuck the wing tips under and truss the legs with dampened kitchen twine. Place on a shallow platter with the neck.

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, oils, honey, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom and garlic to make a marinade.

Brush the marinade over the chicken. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place a flat rack in the roasting pan. Stack 2 large sheets of parchment paper on the rack.

Remove the chicken from the platter, reserving the marinade. Place the chicken in the center of the paper. Slip the neck alongside. Brush the chicken with the reserved marinade.

Using a vegetable peeler, remove lime zest in a single, long, narrow strip, allowing it to fall onto the breast of the chicken.

Bring the paper up and over the chicken and fold the edges over to enclose the bird completely. Secure the package closed with bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water 30 minutes.

Roast the chicken until the thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 175 degrees. Or, pierce the thigh joint with a thin skewer, The chicken is done with the juices run clear, 50 to 55 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a carving board, cover it loosely with the parchment from the pan, and let it rest at least 10 minutes before carving.

Carve the chicken, arrange it on a platter, and serve hot or at room temperature.


Makes 4 servings.


“Ribs, Ribs, Outrageous Ribs”

By Steven Raichlen
Published by Workman Publishing


Sweet Soy-Grilled Short Ribs


1 cup sugar
3/4 cup Chinese oyster sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sake, Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 scallions, white parts minced, green parts thinly sliced
About 3 pounds bone-in individual beef short ribs, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces

Place the sugar, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sake, garlic, ginger and scallion whites in a large, nonreactive mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Stir in the short ribs. Cover the bowl and let the ribs marinate 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Prepare a grill to high heat (450 to 650 degrees).

When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the short ribs on the grate and grill until sizzling and darkly browned on the outside and cooked to taste, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium.

Transfer the ribs to a platter or plates, sprinkle the scallion greens on top and serve.


Makes 4 servings.

First-Timer's Ribs


For the mop sauce

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup apple cider
3 tablespoons bourbon, or 3 more tablespoons apple cider
3 tablespoons soy sauce


For the rub and ribs

2 tablespoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dry mustard (preferably Colman's)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
2 baby back pork ribs (4 to 5 pounds total)
1-1/2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably hickory or apple), soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, and then drained


Make the mop sauce: Melt the butter in a nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cider, bourbon and soy sauce. Keep warm until ready to use.

Make the rub: Place the salt, brown sugar, paprika, pepper, mustard, garlic powder and celery seed in a small bowl and mix with your fingers, breaking up any lumps in the brown sugar or garlic powder.

To prepare the ribs, place a rack, meat side down, on a baking sheet.

Remove the thin, papery membrane from the back of the rack by inserting a slender implement, such as a butter knife or the tip of a meat thermometer, under it. The best place to start is on one of the middle bones.

Using a dishcloth, paper towel or pliers to gain a secure grip, peel off the membrane. Repeat with the remaining rack.

Set aside 1 tablespoon of rub for serving. Sprinkle the remaining rub over both sides of the ribs, rubbing it onto the meat.

Cover the ribs with plastic wrap and refrigerate them while you set up the grill.

Set up a grill for indirect grilling and preheat the coals to medium (325 to 350 degrees). To set up a charcoal grill, dump or rake the lit coals into two mounds on opposite sides of the grill. To set up a gas grill, set one burner to the temperature you want, but place the meat over the unlit burner. Place a large drip pan in the center of the grill under the grate.

When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the ribs, bone-side down, in the center of the grate over the drip pan and away from the heat.

If cooking on a charcoal grill, toss half the wood chips on each mound of coals. cover the grill and cook the ribs 45 minutes.

Mop the ribs on both sides with the mop sauce. Re-cover the grill and continue cooking until the ribs are well browned, cooked through and tender enough to pull apart with your fingers, about 45 minutes to 1 hour longer.

When the ribs are cooked, the meat will have shrink back from the ends of the bones by about 1/4 inch. Mop the ribs again every 15 minutes and, if using a charcoal grill, replenish the coals as needed.

Just before serving, brush the ribs on both sides with barbecue sauce and move them directly over the fire. Grill them until the barbecue sauce is browned and bubbling, about 1 to 3 minute per side.

Transfer the ribs to a large platter or cutting board. Let the ribs rest a few minutes then cut the racks in half or into individual ribs.

Sprinkle a little of the reserved rub over the ribs and serve at once with more barbecue sauce on the side.


Makes 4 servings.


“The International Meat Book”

By Carole Lalli
Published by HarperCollins


Flank Steak With Oregon Blue Cheese Sauce


3 pounds flank steak, trimmed
1/4 cup cracked black pepper
1/4 cup chopped garlic
6 bay leaves, fresh if possible
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped rosemary
3/4 cup Oregon or other good-quality Pinot Noir
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 cup homemade or good-quality commercial beef broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons flour
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces Oregon blue cheese or other mild blue cheese, crumbled (about 2
cups loosely packed)
Fresh watercress for garnish


Rub the steak with the cracked pepper and garlic. Place the steak in a shallow glass or stainless-steel dish.

Add the bay leaves, rosemary, wine, olive oil and vinegar. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours, turning the meat 2 or 3 times.

Prepare a charcoal fire. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.

Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry with a towel. Strain the marinade into a medium nonreactive saucepan and discard the herbs and spices.

Bring the liquid to a low boil and continue boiling until it is reduced by half.

Add the beef broth to the wine reduction and bring it to a simmer.

Make a beurre manie by combining the butter with the flour, incorporating it completely.

In small bits, whisk the butter-flour mixture into the wine mixture, whisking well after each addition, until a smooth sauce of the desired thickness has been achieved.

Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep warm over very low heat.

Season the steak generously with salt and pepper and grill it over medium-hot coals 3 minutes per side. Then, turn and cook again on each side 3 minutes longer for a total cooking time of 12 minutes for medium-rare. For medium, cook 1 minute longer on each side, for a total of 14 minutes.

Transfer the meat to a warm serving platter and let it rest in a warm spot.

Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in 1-1/2 cups of the blue cheese, stirring until smooth. Check the seasoning and adjust with salt and peppr as necessary.

Cut the steak on the diagonal, across the grain, into 1/4-inch slices and arrange them on a platter. Top with the sauce and garnish with watercress and remaining cheese.


Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Lamb Chops Basque Style


12 shoulder or loin lamb chops, about 3 pounds total
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh marjoram
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
1 cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir
6 cups (3 pounds) peeled, seeded and chopped, fresh tomatoes, or drained canned


Season the lamb chops to taste with salt and pepper. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, and sear the lamb chops, a few at a time, about 2 minutes per side, or until lightly browned. Transfer the chops to a large plate.

When all the chops have been seared, set the plate aside in a warm spot.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, marjoram and cumin to the pan. Saute until the garlic is golden, 2 to 3 minutes, being careful not to burn it.

Add the peppers and onion and sauté just until the onion is translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red wine and tomatoes and simmer 10 to 12 minutes, to reduce the liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Return the lamb chops to the pan, cover, and simmer the chops in the sauce 3 to 5 minutes to heat them through. Serve the chops from the pan, accompanied with rice and a loaf of rustic bread.


Makes 6 servings.