Sorry, vegetarians and vegans. This week ain’t your week up on the mount. Actually, I’m not sorry. You did this to yourselves. If God wanted humans to live on vegetables alone, he would have made them grow on trees.
ANYWAY, inspired by a conversation at my Memorial Day Barbecue (and, yes, I get to call it a barbecue because I woke up at 4am to smoke a pork butt; if all you did was grill burgers and dogs, you had a cookout… nothing more), we’re going to talk about what meats belong on the Mount Rushmore (Meat Rushmore? Mounth Rushmeat? Meat Meatmeat? Yea… Meat Meatmeat).
Bone-in Ribeye Steak: I don’t need to specify that it’s dry-aged, do I? It’s dry-aged. Obviously. Anyway, this is America. How can we not have a steak on it? And the bone-in ribeye is the king of steaks. Hell, it’s alternative name is the cowboy steak. THE COWBOY STEAK! It is the perfect balance of taste and tenderness. Cook it rare/medium-rare, give it some salt and pepper, and you are good to go. Keep your bland filet mignons to yourself. Give me the steak named after the people who drive the cattle.
Hot Italian Sausage: Mmmmm… sausage. Maybe it is my I-talian heritage shining through, but the hot italian sausage trumps all other sausage. Chorizo? More like choriz-no! Keilbasa? Just a fancy hot dog that is only palatable slathered in kraut and mustard. Bratwursts? Not the worst, but not the best either. You’ve got to have a sausage on here. Sausage allows us to be efficient with our meats by eating parts of the animal most of us would find unpalatable. Sausage basically saved the world. And the Italian sausage is the best representation we have.
Bacon: I’m fully on board with the idea that we’ve reached peak bacon and gone too far. Not everything is better with bacon. That said, most things are indeed better with bacon. It works with breakfast. It works with lunch. It works with dinner. It can even work with dessert. It is salty and smokey and fatty and delicious. It also yields bacon grease, probably the second best cooking fat (after duck fat, which is worth its weight in gold); meaning you can import the deliciousness of bacon to a dish while still getting to enjoy the bacon all on its lonesome.
Pulled Pork: It’d be a crime to not include a traditional American barbecue dish on this mountain. And I’ve always preferred pork barbecue to beef barbecue. A pulled pork sandwich, on a soft roll with a tangy, vinegar-based slaw and some slightly hot barbecue sauce is a thing of beauty. It should be required eating for all those seeking citizenship.
There we have it. Yes, three of them come from the same animal (some kind of magical animal, no doubt). Nary a bird nor fish on the list. And I have no qualms about that. What ya got?