I post a lot about cooking with boned chicken and fish. It’s great presentation and easier to eat (why else would markets sell filets and breasts?). It’s also the way cooking used to be done, because bones have all the goodness of marrow and texture of gelatin, and who wants the yummy firm stuff going to waste? So use the bones for stock.
at the heart of most things savory
Making stock requires a bit more organization in the kitchen. After a few times it becomes habit. And there’s no comparison between the tepid stuff you bring home from the market and a quart of fresh stock waiting in the back of the fridge. This is a basic recipe, so add whatever herbs you like, or a full bouquet garni if you want to get fancy.
What is it about meat, heat and knives? Is it a guy thing that we take home cuts from the market and then make them into smaller bits before delivering to a stove, oven or grill? A compelling question. In the meantime, here’s a post about filleting flank steak.
filleted and quartered
This method works best with flank steak because of its tough quality but it can be used on any lean meat.
Butterfly the flank steak using 3 steps:
This seems a bit beyond the basics but, when broken down, it’s really quite simple. And elegant. Total cooking time is less than one and a half hours, but the end product looks like so much more. The technique covered in this recipe is boning round fish through the back.
So break it down into three parts: preparing the puree, boning the fish, and assembling the final product….
Fluffy dumplings contrasted with a vegetable sauce. The sauce is tomato-based for this recipe. You can also use an alfredo sauce or some other dairy variant.
simple & elegant
This technique is great for presenting a whole fish at the table. I like to leave the head on. For the squeamish, you can take off the head and tail, use this technique to remove the backbone and ribs, and then close the head opening with skewers and twine.
When buying the fish, ask for it to be scaled only. Not gutted or fileted. You’ll probably have to say it twice.
You'll surprise yourself
This is a bit beyond the basics and the first time it may be like shaving a ferret. The only utensil is a paring knife. Go slow because it’s done as much by feel as sight. And don’t worry about mistakes–it only means cooking with boned parts. Once you get the technique down this can be done in less than 5 minutes. It’ll be a wonder to behold.
See the post on roasting boneless chicken to for an example of how this can be cooked.