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Large cuts of meat intimidate me a little. Throw a pound of hamburger, a whole chicken, a filet of salmon, or a chicken breast at me, and I'm a champ. But place a rack of ribs, a leg of lamb, or a brisket in front of me and I'll have to pause and think for a minute. Or, more like twenty. And I'll have to look up recipes and look at cookbooks and give myself a pep talk. Then I'll begin.
In my quest to conquer my fear of preparing anything weighing more than one pound, I'm reading books about meat and experimenting a lot in my kitchen with different cuts. I'm on a major pig kick lately and decided to explore the world of slow-cooked pork shoulder. I found a beautiful pork shoulder at the food co-op, vibrant pink meat well-marbled with pure white fat. I'm not afraid of animal fat. Quite the opposite, really. I'm learning that when a well-marbled cut of meat is cooked low and slow, the fat will melt and keep the meat tender and infuse it with yummy rich flavor. Who can argue with that? Bring on the fat.