The Kosher Car­ni­vore: The Ulti­mate Meat and Poul­try Cookbook

  • Review
By – October 31, 2011

For the kosher cook look­ing for fresh, con­tem­po­rary recipes, The Kosher Car­ni­vore presents a host of appeal­ing meat and poul­try dish­es for both fam­i­ly and com­pa­ny meals. Rec­og­niz­ing that kashrut dic­tates cer­tain lim­i­ta­tions on cuts of meat and on fla­vor com­bi­na­tions, June Hersh, an accom­plished cook and for­mer teacher, con­sult­ed with sev­er­al lead­ing pro­fes­sion­als, includ­ing eco-kosher experts, to sug­gest the cuts of meats and tech­niques that will max­i­mize the fla­vor of any giv­en dish. 

Dish­es range from Argen­tinean-fla­vored Grilled Steak Chimichur­ri, accom­pa­nied by a brac­ing san­gria, to Pesto-crust­ed Roast­ed Lamb Shoul­der, to Clas­sic Pot Roast. Poul­try dish­es include Chick­en and Sausage Gum­bo and Breast of Duck Sal­ad as well as Chick­en in Let­tuce Cups, a Chi­nese-inspired fif­teen-minute meal. In addi­tion to beef, lamb, veal, chick­en, and turkey, Hersh sug­gests try­ing bison and veni­son, espe­cial­ly if lean meat is a con­sid­er­a­tion; she also has a good selec­tion of hearty soups. 

Through­out, Hersh’s tone is friend­ly and sup­port­ive, and in keep­ing with this, she has added sev­er­al help­ful asides to enhance prepa­ra­tion and pre­sen­ta­tion. Behind the Counter pro­vides infor­ma­tion the cook needs when buy­ing the meat cuts used in the recipes; Side Dish is cross-ref­er­enced to a well-cho­sen group of accom­pa­ni­ments to round out any meal; Feed­back pro­vides tips and vari­a­tions. Intro­duc­to­ry chap­ters give brief but excel­lent instruc­tions on meat prepa­ra­tions and equip­ment and on build­ing fla­vor. All in all, The Kosher Car­ni­vore is a fine addi­tion to any well-round­ed cook­book shelf. Col­or insert, index.

Recipe: Cof­fee Crust­ed Hang­er Steak

From The Kosher Car­ni­vore by June Hersh (St. Martin’s Press; 2011)

Why not save time and have your cof­fee with your din­ner rather than after. Fresh­ly ground espres­so beans and lots of com­pan­ion spices com­bine to give a lit­tle jolt to the seared crust of this full-fla­vored steak.

Side Note: For the com­plete steak­house expe­ri­ence, try whip­ping up a batch of creamed spinach to serve on the side.

Behind the Counter: Have your butch­er cut hang­er steak, remove the sinewy vein and present two halves, each half makes one per­fect serv­ing.
Alter­nate cuts: rib eye, rib steak (+$) or a Lon­don broil” cut from the shoulder (-$).

About 2 servings

Start to fin­ish Under 30 minutes

1 (1- to — 1 ¼ — pound) hang­er steak, halved
2 table­spoons espres­so or strong cof­fee beans, ground
1 tea­spoon ground cumin
1 tea­spoon ground ancho chili pep­per
1 tea­spoon smoked papri­ka
Kosher salt and fresh­ly ground black pep­per
Canola oil

Pre­heat the grill or a stove­top grill pan. Grind the cof­fee and spices in a spice or cof­fee grinder and pour that out onto a large plate. Let the steaks come to room temp, coat them in oil and then roll in the ground cof­fee and spice mix­ture. Grill, about 15 min­utes for rare — medium/​rare turn­ing the steaks to brown all sides. After a 10 min­utes’ rest, cut into large slices on the diagonal.

Read June Her­sh’s Posts for the Vis­it­ing Scribe

My Culi­nary Journey

Unrav­el­ing the Mys­tery of Jew­ish Food

A Pic­ture Per­fect Day

Set­tling a Debate in an NYC Cab

Maron L. Wax­man, retired edi­to­r­i­al direc­tor, spe­cial projects, at the Amer­i­can Muse­um of Nat­ur­al His­to­ry, was also an edi­to­r­i­al direc­tor at Harper­Collins and Book-of-the-Month Club.

Discussion Questions