At his seminar in Aspen, Iron Chef Michael Symon had a lot to share beyond flavor and spice. The pork-loving chef demonstrated how to make a double-bacon "BBLT" sandwich, with bacon, pork belly, lettuce, and pickled tomato, and kept the crowd entertained with his wisecracking (in addition to wanting to kill the inventor of the garlic press, Michael also wants to go after the guy who invented turkey bacon). As he paid homage to the pig with his 'wich, he also had plenty of pointers to offer when it comes to preparing meat. See them after the jump.
- The cuts of meat you see at the supermarket are actually the least flavorful. For the most flavorful cuts, seek out bellies and offal.
- Michael calls the belief that salting too far ahead dries out your meat "an old wives' tale." For great flavor, make a salt-and-sugar spice rub 24 hours before cooking any of your meats.
- When cutting meat or vegetables, keep in mind that the most important hand is your opposite hand — it guides your knife and controls the thickness of the cut.
- When braising meat, your protein should sit 1/4 inch outside the liquid. Don't submerge the meat; you're not boiling it!
- When cooking in a stainless-steel pan, let the protein caramelize for 1-3 minutes. If the meat's still sticking, then it's not ready. The protein will naturally release itself when it is finished caramelizing.
What do you think of Michael's suggestions for preparing meat? Have you tried any of his advice?