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Meat-Zine, Issue #001 -- teaser here
September 24, 2007
Greetings! Here's Our 1st Issue!

Bacon Roasted Fryers

You know sometimes life just isnít fair. Here recently Iíve had it brought to my attention that Iím not getting any younger, or thinner. Iím not sure but I think they were trying to tell me something, like, Iím getting fat, and old. At first I didnít have a clue to what they were talking about. I mean, I look in the mirror everyday and the same young vibrant reflection stares back at me. Youíve all have seen my picture right there by my column, right? Itís hard to imagine that I might need to... gaspÖ go on a diet. But ever since I started turning on the light in the bathroom before I look into the mirror Iíve come to the same sad conclusion. Yes Iím not getting any younger, or thinner. Weight Watchers came first and I started eating healthier and logging everything I ate every day. Next thing I know I lost over thirty pounds. But that wasnít good enough. My doctor had me go on a 3 week liver, kidney and colon cleanse where I canít eat anything at all that resembles food, just veggies and water and maybe a little lean meat. Iím smack dab in the middle of the cleanse right now and the only thing that keeps me going are my plans for my day after the diet dinner. The wife says I should use a new picture of myself for the column since Iíve lost so much weight but I really donít think that will be necessary. All they need to do, down there at the paper, is download a picture of Nicole Ritchie, that would work fine. Thereís nothing left of me and I still have over a week to go. Herein lies the problem. Not only am I not experimenting with wonderful cuts of meat and delicious entrees with all the trimmings for this column but Iím not even looking at anything good until Iíve finished with this nightmare of a diet. So how am I going to come up with something fun to talk about? Well my wife Vickie and my friend George Smith came to my rescue. George has been bragging on his bacon roasted chicken to Vickie and she thought it would be a good idea to give it a try. So we did. Actually Vickie did. I didnít want anything to do with any long slender slips of smoky tantalizing goodness that is known as bacon. So Vickie washed three nice fat fryers, shook a little garlic and onion powder and a little black pepper over them and placed them in our large roasting pan. Next she laid about a pound of thinly sliced bacon over the fryers. Then she sliced up a couple of medium sized onions and placed them all over the bacon covered chickens. Then she put about a half cup of water in the pan to keep the bottom from burning. With such a large pan we have to put it at the very bottom of our oven so it will fit and sometimes we get burnt bottoms if we arenít careful. We left the chicken in the oven as we went to church at 275F and when we got home about 3 1/2 hours later the meat was falling off the bone. The chicken turned out great. George was right. I ate my share, skinless of course and without bacon and the family woofed down their share as well. A very nice and relatively easy way to fix a fryer or three. A couple of the kids whipped out some delectable rolls which I totally resented and some salad and the easy but tasty Sunday meal was complete. Now I just want to reassure you that as soon as this diet period is over I will be back to experimenting with all sorts of meat dishes. In fact I may have an occasional healthy suggestion or two since I am committed to living a few more years, but I can not and will not abandon all that is tasty simply for good health. Moderation is the key right? Like I said Iím planning my after the diet dinner right now and it will be a doozy. Iíll keep you posted. John

The Ultimate Cheeseburger

Well I finally finished up on my cleansing diet. If you missed my last column I was struggling with a three week diet prescribed by my doctor who I believe has some sort of sick sense of humor. All I could eat for three weeks were fresh veggies some lean meat and as many Twinkies as I could get down when no one was looking. Anyhow I survived and I lost about fifteen pounds. But the important thing is Iím back with my appetite intact and a list of all my favorite foods, that I wrote while on my diet. If you read my last column you may recall that I would keep you posted as to what my first meal would be once the diet was over. It wasnít as easy as I thought to just pick out something delicious and whip out a batch. I couldnít make up my mind. My first choice during the early part of my diet and the meal I most craved was hash browns, sausage and eggs with a large stack of buttermilk pancakes. That still sounds pretty good except further into the diet I was lusting for something Italian or Mexican, like some nice veal parmesan and pizza or a mess of enchiladas with piles of rice and beans. By the time the diet was over however I didnít have the energy to make anything to complicated. I just wanted to eat something substantial and I wanted it now. My grill had just given up the ghost and the wife graciously agreed to getting a new one. So my first meal had to be something I could cook on my new shiny grill and in my weakened condition it would have to be fast. Hamburgers, the perfect choice. There is nothing as good as a big juicy cheese burger when your hungry and it doesn't take a lot of work either. It just so happened that the day my diet ended we had boneless chuck roasts on sale for $1.99 a pound. Boneless chuck roasts in my humble opinion make the best hamburger. You can get some nice round meat, from rump roast or top round London broils when the are on sale, for about the same price as the chuck roasts and it will make outstanding lean hamburger but it wonít be as tasty as hamburger form the chuck. You see the chuck has a real nice texture and there is just enough fat to keep it juicy and flavorful. Anyhow I ground up a couple of large boneless chuck roasts and brought it home for hamburgers. If you would like to do the same just pick out a chuck roast or three (preferably when they are on sale) from the meat case of your favorite supermarket and ask the butcher to grind them up for you. Not only will you save money but you will get high quality hamburger instead of that stuff in the meat case that just may have been someone's pet milk cow with a name like Betsy or Betty Lou or something. No one really wants to eat anything that has a name, right? So I took home the ground chuck meat and began making cheese burgers for me and the family. Of course not any old ordinary cheese burger was going to do. This cheese burger had to be the best cheeseburger I every ate. I called the wife and let her know I was coming home with a bunch of ground chuck meat and asked her to whip up a batch of her outstanding French bread but only make hamburger buns with it instead. We synchronized our watches. It would take me and my girls (three of my girls are working at the store with me over the summer) an hour and a half to get home and I wanted those buns to be going into the oven just as we were walking through the door. I also asked my wife to start frying the bacon as soon as the buns went into the oven and the kids would slice and chop veggies and set the table. We walked through the door I made patties and fired up the new grill and about 12 minutes later the patties were done as were the buns and veggies and the table was set complete with condiments, cooked bacon and sautťed mushrooms. I took one of my wife's luscious hamburger buns and piled on the hot juicy ground chuck patty, cheddar cheese, mushrooms sautťed in bacon grease, crisp slices of bacon, tomato, onion, lettuce and lots of mayo and ketchup. Iíll tell you what, I was in heaven. That was one good cheese burger.John

Ask the Butcher

I recently moved to a new area and canít find round steaks. I got minute steaks but they werenít cheap. What are my options?

Here in the West full cut round steaks are a regular item in most meat cases. I used to cut meat with a guy from New York City and he said that they replaced the full cut round with top round steaks years ago. Perhaps that is the case in your area as well. Top round steaks are an excellent substitute for the full cut round steak especially since the nice solid half of the full cut round is the top round. The full cut round is made up of the bottom round, the eye of round and the top round round so any of those individual cuts will make nice round steaks. They will not be a large steak like the full cut round but the meat will be the same. The price may not be however. Top round steaks can be quite expensive as are the eye of rounds and even the bottom round steaks unless they are on sale. For cheap round steaks buy rump roasts or top round London broils on sale and have the butcher cut them into steaks for you. Around here they can be had for $1.99 a pound or even cheaper. The minute steaks that you mentioned I believe is what we call breakfast steaks and are not cheap here either. Wait for any of the nice steaks like top sirloin (not petite sirloin) New York steaks or rib eyes to be on sale at a price that is cheaper than what you pay for your minute steaks then have the butcher cut some thin for you and use them for your minute steaks. You may not save much if any money but you will get a lot better quality. John

Tips from the Butcher's Wife

Well it looks like I'll be using my second SBI site(Christmas time they have a buy one get one free deal) for revamping my blog(currently only a blog) plus use it to motivate me to finally really make some progress on getting my book written. I've promised myself to get this mailed out today but the flu keeps slowing me way down.....Here's just a couple of tips to save you some extra money.

The other day I ran out of ground pork for making sausage. I'd seen that our little tourist grocery store in town had a sale on sausage in their frozen section. I grabbed one tube to go with the tube I already had in the freezer- cost was $2.50 for 12 oz. and I didn't have to drive very far to get it. The next time I was in the very same store I noticed they had fresh tubes of pork sausage for about $1.50. Moral of the story: always make the rounds before just grabbing something off the shelf and the bigger your hurry the less frugal you'll be. If I'd planned ahead better I'd have paid $1.00 a lb :(

The other day we got a last minute birthday invitation. Our quick gift was a package of $1 off movie coupons, a liter of pop and we tied a balloon to it. He could choose 5 kid movies for a dollar a piece or a new release and a couple of kid movies. This is my new standard boy and/or teen gift.

Check the blog for updates and I'll let you know when the full blown website is up and running with over a year's worth of blog entries. Take care, Vickie

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