Lamb shanks are rich in flavor even if they’re not very large. Chef Ryan Farr, from San Francisco’s 4505 Burgers and BBQ, loves the classic French technique of braising with mirepoix and red wine in order to make a delicious hearty winter dish. A mirepoix is a mix of diced vegetables such as celery, onion, and carrots, cooked gently for a long period of time to make a savory base for a dish.
If you like making stews or sausages, try using lamb neck. “This cut is comprised of a few small muscles with great texture surrounded by hard fat,” says Farr. This fat is full of flavor and absorbs the seasonings that you pair with it instead of melting away like pork fat would.
Like with pork belly, lamb belly contains a lot of flavorful fat, but the majority of people just don’t realize what they can do with it. Lamb belly can be used a substitute for pork belly in many recipes. Farr likes to take the whole belly and roll it up like a pancetta, which he then grills whole or cuts crosswise to make medallions, which can be roasted or grilled tender.
Pig Feet (Trotters)
Pig feet are another fantastic option for sausages, and if you’re feeling extra fancy, they also make great terrine. All you have to do is salt them for a couple of days, and then braise them. Once they have been cooled to room temperature, the cooked meat can be pulled off and placed in your recipe.
Farr suggests frying pork skin to make pork rinds, also called chicharrones. This process can be somewhat time-consuming, but once you perfect your recipe, the resulting crispy clouds of pork are delicious and full of protein.
This particular piece of meat comes from the cheeks of a pig, and it’s similar to bacon in terms of texture and flavor when cured and smoked. Roasted pork jowl and steamed clams is one of Farr’s favorite dishes. When pork jowls are roasted over high heat, the fat renders out and the skin turns crispy. The fat is a great complement to the acidic flavor you get when you steam clams with some white wine.
Many people might be disgusted at the thought of eating cow tongue, but this piece of meat has a good texture and nice marbling when it has been cooked for long enough. Instead of tossing the tongue in the trash, you can make beef tongue pastrami by curing the tongue and then smoking it.
This is a delicious and rich part of the animal that has a meaty depth of flavor by itself, and really shines when mixed with a few simple seasonings. Beef tendons can be used in stews or Asian soups such as Pho. Thanks to its rich flavor, you don’t need to use a lot of it.
Thanks to its meat-to-fat ratio, oxtail is full of body and flavor. You can braise oxtail and serve over some polenta for a rich main dish. Whenever you serve meat on the bone, you’ll get maximum flavor out of the meat.
A turkey tail can be slow-roasted or slowly simmered in a broth until the meat starts to pull away from the bone. Farr says that “roasted turkey tail is kind of a secret little snack that I like to steal as I’m carving a turkey. It’s actually my favorite part of the turkey that would otherwise be discarded.”