Chris Cosentino's 5 Kitchen Essentials
Get the most out of any cut with these five recommendations from the Top Chef Masters champ.
At his restaurant Cockscomb in San Francisco, chef Chris Cosentino has garnered widespread acclaim for his head-to-tail dining, which uses every part of the animal for a variety of meaty dishes. Last week, he stopped by the Food & Wine test kitchen to share one: an Iberico pork tartare that packs (totally safe!) raw pork with a ton of flavor.
If you're curious about the meat road less traveled, Cosentino's new book, Offal Good: Cooking from the Heart, with Guts, will show you how to work with offal cuts—the organs, entrails, and other meats most dismiss out of hand. To get you started, he's shared five of his favorite ingredients to help you get the most out of any cut of meat:
Cosentino recommends sprinkling smoked salt on a variety of dishes, whether it's his tartare, which uses the smoky flavor to impart the raw meet with the feel of being cooked, or something as simple as a salad.
"Fish sauce is a must," Cosentino says, "because it's an umami bomb." His favorite is Red Boat, which seems like a good place to start.
When it comes to pepper, Cosentino is "fresh pepper only," which makes a good pepper grinder key. This model has been a perennial fave since it was introduced all the way back in 1874.
And while you're at it, Cosentino says, "you can put in any color peppercorn," for a unique, fresh flavor—or even other things like chili flakes, which you can make fresh again.
"There's tons of different olive oils to play with," Cosentino says, but he recommends a varietal called Coretina. Just be ready for impact, because it's "super bracing and acidic, and super bright."