EuroChomp SausageFest 2009: Schweinshaxe

Posted in Eisbein, EUROCHOMP, KNOW YOUR PIG on June 22, 2009 by chomposaurus

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At the Hofbräuhaus – the American Embassy in Munich – my companion and I both purchased a hearty plate of Schweinshaxe, roast pork knuckle. It’s basically the rotisserie chicken of pigs. Think of the juicy, delicate meat in a rotisserie chicken, then add the salty goodness of pork, and you can see why we ate these down to the bone. We even neglected our massive steins of dunkel for a few minutes to do so. In Bavaria, the pork knuckle is always cooked “knusprig” – crispy. And indeed the skin was flaky and crisp, a thin barricade between me and the tender pork awaiting within.

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Other parts of germany call this cut of meat Eisbein, but that usually refers to a more boring, traditional roast that resembles a deformed pork loin. Go Schweinshaxe or go home, is what I say.

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EuroChomp SausageFest 2009: Maxi Doner, the Pork Sundae of Munich

Posted in EUROCHOMP, Pork Sundae, Restaurant BBQ, REVIEWS [Restaurants] with tags , on June 10, 2009 by chomposaurus

Doner is a Turkish specialty, and since Germany has a lot of Turkish communities, it is now a German specialty as well, so much so that while in Italy later in the trip, we found Doner signs in German. Normally, ordering straight up “doner” (just say that one magic word) will get you a pita or gyro-wrap filled to the brim with shaved lamb meat, tomato, lettuce or cabbage, and yogurt sauce. But at one magical Munich doner hut, blissfully open late after many pints of dunkel, Doner was taken to the next level. For there, on the sign, was the Maxi Doner.

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It was, quite simply, the pork sundae of the continent. Atop a layer of shaved doner chicken lay fresh-fried greasy fries, doused in garlicky yogurt goodness. It’s great food for the well-lubricated mind: greasy, hot, meaty and easy to eat and transport. Mushing all three primary ingredients together created the perfect blend of potato grease, grilled meat grease, and yogurt grease, ready to do battle with whatever you’ve drank that evening. So even though we’d eaten dinner 3 hours ago, and some spaghetti ice two hours ago, we both finished our Maxi’s without a second thought.

If someone were to open up a stand selling these next to a state school football stadium, they would become millionaires in a fortnight.

EuroChomp SausageFest 2009: Wollwürste

Posted in EUROCHOMP, KNOW YOUR SAUSAGE, Wollwürste on June 9, 2009 by chomposaurus

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Munich’s first wheat beer was brewed at the appropriately named Weisses Bräuhaus. A frequent meeting spot for politicians, including the National Socialists in the run up to WWII, it was heavily damaged by allied bombing But now restored, it still serves up plenty of pilsner and home-brewed weissbrau (both pictured), along with hefty amounts of meat. After a long day inspecting mining equipment and zeppelins at the Deutschmuseum, we stopped in for one of Munich’s many specialties, the wollwürste.

Bud Light and Blue Moon, you are not worthy.

Bud Light and Blue Moon, you are not worthy.

Not sure exactly how wollwürste translates; most of the information on the web seems to be in german. I found one decent page of information here. From what I can gather, it’s typical Munichen Weisswurst that’s cooked in a particular way (dipped in milk, fried briefly) to give it a very fresh flavor. In the case of the ones we basically absorbed along with our beers, the taste was noticeably fruity, and the texture was incredibly moist. In short, a perfect, light sausage for eating lunch outdoors. I guess there’s a reason everyone else around us was eating them too. As usual the potato salad and spicy mustard complimented them well, as did the sea of meat juice encompassing it all.

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EuroChomp SausageFest 2009: Zurich Bratwurst

Posted in Bratwurst, EUROCHOMP, KNOW YOUR SAUSAGE with tags , on June 8, 2009 by chomposaurus

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It’s no secret that I’ll go anywhere for a good hot beef injection. So it should be no surprise that a couple weeks ago I loaded up the camera and my ravenous belly into an American Airlines 767 and headed over the pond to Europe for some truly old-school feasting. I met in Zurich with my longtime friend and meat-mate, P. Sundae, who has reported on delicious treats around the globe for Chomposaurus. Over the next 8 days we traveled to Munich, Vaduz, Milan and the Swiss Alps in search of some of the tastiest sausage, loaves and roasts Europe had to offer.

After I arrived, our crew wasted no time. After a stop off in church to pray for the intestinal and circulatory fortitude needed to survive our quest, we ended up at the grill at Vorderer Sternen, downtown Zurich’s number one summer stop for freshly grilled sausage and chicken. We each ordered a Bratwurst, which came with a slug of mustard and chunk of rock-hard fresh bread.

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The sausage was delightfully charred on the outside, lending it a superb, flaky texture without impeding taste. For the inside was soft and juicy. For the first time in my life, I can say it tasted like chicken in a good way: light and tender with just the right amount of salt. Of course, the addition of gobs of ridiculously spicy mustard helped. Throughout the entire sausage-inhaling process, it cleared my sinuses with every bite. Fortunately we had the summer drink of choice in Zurich, the Panache – a mixture of fizzy lemon lime soda with a light beer.

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Kind of wish I tried Swiss Chicken Nuggets.

Kind of wish I had tried the Swiss Chicken Nuggets.


Jet-lagged and delirious, and now packed full of meat, I managed to make it through my first day in Zurich without collapsing. And a good thing, too, because we were heading to Munich the very next morning. Devilish things awaited us there… just as they await you, dear reader, over the next couple weeks.
Best coke machine ever.

Best coke machine ever.

The Best Wikipedia Article Ever and the Holy Doner Grail

Posted in STUFF ABOUT MEAT with tags , , on June 4, 2009 by chomposaurus

Take my breath away...

Take my breath away...


Two things that speak for themselves.

Wikipedia:
Article – List of kebabs around the world.

Google image search:
Kebabpizza.

Review: Lava Lake Lamb – Ground Lamb

Posted in Burgers, Organic Mail Order Meat with tags on May 15, 2009 by chomposaurus

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This month, Lava Lake Lamb, purveyors of fine organic baby sheep, were kind enough to not only kill and butcher some sweet little delicious sheep for me, they even agreed to send them to my house for free. I got a one pound packet of ground organic lamb, and did what any good American would do: I made me some burgers.

One of the best things about lamb is that it’s far more forgiving than beef for the amateur cook – it cooks more slowly and more evenly, and it does not lose nearly as much flavor between medium-rare and medium as a piece of steak will. That’s not to say you should burn it, of course. I cooked these burgers in the broiler – following Mark Bittman’s recipe for lamb burgers with cumin and onion. After 11 minutes they came out just right, pink in the middle but not red.

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The taste? Well that was divine. Lamb does indeed have a gamier flavor than beef, but it has a finer texture. This lamb was extremely juicy and it was enhanced by but not lost to the spices and onions. Generous portions of ketchup and mustard also aided the cause. But most remarkable is the sheer quantity of taste packed into each bite. With high quality meat, more flavor almost always means better flavor, and Lava Lake’s ground lamb is no exception. I suggest heading over to their site and ordering a pound or two today to try for yourself.

Next we’ll be attempting to roast one of their boneless legs of lamb. Wish us luck!

Shady Meat Review: Armour Treet Luncheon Loaf

Posted in Armour Treet, KNOW YOUR SHADY MEAT with tags , on May 14, 2009 by chomposaurus

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My local hipster bodega in Williamsburg, Brooklyn has a small section catering to old polish ladies and truly starving artists that sells meat product-in-a-can. Of course, SPAM is well-represented, but I noticed several other varieties, some distinctly foreign in origin. I’ve decided to try a few over the course of the summer, hoping that my disgust will lead to your entertainment. And who knows, I may find a bargain delight! Actually I do know. There is no way any of these will be good. Example one is Armour Treet, a SPAM rip-off in both concept and marketing.

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Why is the Treet at the edge of the plate in the picture? Well, you see, as soon as I squirted the loaf from the can, it began to sweat a translucent mucous. Within seconds the pool was big enough that the meat was sliding around the plate at the slightest of touches, and settled at the edge. Honestly trying to get it to sit still in the middle was too creepy and too much trouble.

I sliced it off and boldly put a bit in my mouth. The taste… tuna fish in prison is the best I could come up with. The salted-heavy-metal taste barrels you over, truly raw and stinking. There is no way that this is made up anything but the worst part of the animals. The added smoke flavor doesn’t help, because who wants to eat smoked ass? They could at least work on making it smell nice.

I fried it, too. So then the Treet was hot… and nasty. Somehow the heat made it seem more “fresh,” and not in the good way – “fresh” the way the floor of a horse barn is fresh. I guess if you put enough American cheese in your sandwich you might be able to mask the flavor, but honestly, just spend the extra 30 cents and get some bologna. There’s absolutely no reason to buy Armour Treet, unless you’re running a grease-and-shovel racket.

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