Advice on Cooking Meat
Question: What's your method to get the perfect char? I use sugar, but want to know your way.
George Faison: The key to a good char is to start with a VERY HOT surface, whether grill or sauté pan. You must rub the exterior with oil, not a lot, but just enough to cover the surface. This allows the heat to transfer to the meat quickly and cleanly. I never use sugar; the natural sugars in the meat itself are sufficient.
Question: If a recipe calls for the addition of wine to the sauce, do you think that the flavor of the overall dish is very compromised if I use water or broth instead? Can you explain how wine works during the cooking process of certain meats? Thank you.
George Faison: The flavor and balance is definitely compromised as wine adds acidity as well as flavor components to a dish. If you're concern is residual alcohol, the key is to add the wine early and bring it to a boil and reduce the quantity of wine by 50%. You will still have the flavor and acidity, but alcohol largely burns off. Other uses for wine include marinating which helps break down the muscle fiber.
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Question: Any ideas for Super Bowl?
George Faison: What I find for a great party is to have a variety of different types of meat, cooked different ways. For example, make some sort of pork shoulder roast, like David Chang's famous Bo Ssam. Pork spareribs, smoked and cooked on the grill. Also, a good pork sausage, for a textural difference, yet all hot items. Then, a selection of dry cured pork products, like a good ham, coppa, sopressata and lardo, all easy to slice and serve just as they are. Now you've covered the whole pig. If you want to do it with beef (though I like the "pig skin" association), make a great chili, slowly smoke a brisket and make some great beef ribs, all one or two or three days ahead. Find a theme and carry it to the max!