How to Bind Meat

I am admittedly a bit of a tourist in the kitchen. I wander around with my camera and take pictures of all the pretty sights but usually leave for more familiar terrain pretty quickly. My counterpart over at Very Chefy is a full-time resident and probably the Grand Marshall. He is responsible for the majority of food seen here and on my Facebook page.

With the acquisition of the mighty Canon 7D and my excitement to get familiar with it, we embarked on a joint venture this evening. We picked up a couple of Porterhouse steaks during last night's grocery shopping and decided to work on our meat binding and photography skills together.

Mis en Place

First, Gareth made a filling out of leek, shallot, blue cheese, and butter. The idea is that as the meat roasts, the filling melts and provides additional flavor to the meat. He used a rubber spatula to cream everything together in a large mixing bowl.

Then he cut the steak off the bones, taking care to ensure he had several large pieces of meat.

He layered the meat and the filling together until he had a pile of meaty-shalloty-cheesy goodness.

Then, using kitchen twine, he very carefully bound it all together for cooking. If this process looks a bit like macrame or crochet, it is similar. The trick is to create loops and to loop back on yourself, creating a large-weave, custom-knit netting around your meat.

Once bound, he seasoned it with a little salt and pepper.

With a nice pan-searing in olive oil, it was ready for a quick 10-minute roast in a hot oven. He placed the meat on a small rack inside a heavy pan for the roasting as with the rabbit and Frenched rack of lamb.

When the meat was roasted to his satisfaction, he removed it from the oven and transferred it to a ceramic plate to cool for a few minutes. Using kitchen shears and tongs, he carefully cut and removed the twine.

The meat was sliced and served with mashed potatoes seasoned with goat butter, leek, and shallot.

During this whole process, I took about a jillion photos. I'll post a gallery of my favorites in my Picasa gallery. Look for the link on my Facebook page.