Johnny Monis's Guide to Lean Meats
At Washington, DC’s Greek-inspired Komi and the northern Thai spot Little Serow, Johnny Monis (an F&W Best New Chef 2007) champions lesser-known meats. If you’ve never had a goat stir-fry, he provides a compelling reason to try it.
Lean Meats Pantry
“Wild boar is lean and gamey; it’s a super stand-in for farmed pork. Slow cooking really brings out its rich, mellow flavor. Street carts in northern Thailand sell grilled boar-neck satay.”
“Properly cooked guinea hen is so delicious, it makes you completely forget the comparisons to chicken. I like marinating it in yogurt with tandoori spices, then roasting or grilling it.”
“Goat is one of the world’s most widely consumed meats and a great alternative to beef. It’s naturally lean and significantly lower in fat than either beef or chicken. It’s also a personal favorite of mine. At Komi, we roast goat until the meat falls off the bone, then serve it with pita, pickles, tzatziki and a smoked-eggplant puree. Goat is also terrific in tacos—by far our most popular staff meal.”
“Bison is especially lean and has a musky sweetness. Grill it over really high heat, just as you would a steak. In Chiang Mai, we came across a vendor selling little bags of sun-dried buffalo that he’d finish off by grilling or frying.”
“Rabbit is one of the leanest forms of protein there is. It’s subtle in flavor and takes to marinades very well. When I was a kid, my Greek grandmother always had a rabbit dish waiting for us when we landed in Chios.”