Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cooking: Bratwurst Boiled

I usually tend to keep my thoughts on cooking to myself. My reason is that I eat what I cook, not what you cook, so the shit you cook does not affect me. If you want to microwave a steak that's your own damned business. Yes, I'll secretly hate you on the inside for microwaving a steak, but if you're going to choke the fucking thing down I consider that punishment enough.

The problem with this little policy of mine is that occasionally I do have to eat what others cook. And while I'm usually happy to feign polite acceptance of the completely bizarre methods by which people prepare their food on occasion I'm confronted by such an insulting and derogatory method of preparing meat that I just have to bitch about it. What, you ask yourself, could piss me off this much?

BOILING BRATWURST IN WATER

Meat is not for boiling, ok? And if there exists a meat whose ideal cooking method is heating via boiled water? Then that meat is not food. And don't fucking talk to me about lobster. Lobsters are for grilling; you rip off their fucking tails and you grill their damn tails. I might possibly allow you to kill the lobster via boiling, maybe. But, again, we're only boiling the damn thing to kill it; we are not boiling it to cook it. NOTE THE DIFFERENCE!

But to get back to bratwursts. I don't care how mundane and stupid you are; I don't care if you think hotdogs are for boiling* and are so fucking confused about life that you think bratwursts are just fancy hotdogs. Bratwursts are not fucking hotdogs! And even if they were glorified hotdogs? HOTDOGS ARE FOR GRILLING, ASSHOLE! You don't boil MEAT! See the above paragraph!

If you want to do it right you'll grill your bratwurst, or perhaps cook it in a skillet with garlic and onions. But if you are going to boil a Bratwurst, if you just love that rubbery texture and complete abandonment of flavor? Then you boil the fucking thing in beer, with GARLIC and ONIONS! That's the only method by which boiling meat is justified: if the substance in which the meat is boiled contains alcohol and there is enough garlic included to offset the evils of boiling meat.

Cooking is not about heating food, not about killing bacteria. Cooking food, preparing food, is about the experience of preparation. Cooking is about the process moreso than the end. If you're just throwing shit into boiling water to get it hot, if you toss your food onto a grill, an oven and walk away? You're missing the fucking point. When you prepare food, cook food, part of what you're doing is engaging with that food, experiencing it on a level other than simply consumption.

If you don't agree with that, if you think me silly or moronic? Then, fine, just microwave and boil everything you eat. Enjoy gnawing on the rubbery mess you've convinced yourself is edible. Just don't fucking serve it to me. Because I'll punch you in the fucking gut. And considering that your gut is going to be full of rubbery, boiled shit? I doubt that you'll want anyone applying pressure there.

*This is leaving aside the problem of people who think that hotdogs are for eating.

71 comments:

Roscoe said...

Simmering a Brat is acceptible.

Which is.. dangerously close to boiled, but frankly, leads to a DELICIOUS brat.

Basically, you're not looking to boil it, so much as steam-cook it.

_J_ said...

Simmering is tricky. My main beef is with the mentality that one ought to immerse MEAT in heated water to cook it. That's just fundamentally wrong given the plethora of other methods by which meat can be cooked that produce far more delicious end results.

If we want to steam cook a brat then we need to focus moreso on the steam than an immersion in water, I think.

Another point one could raise is that, really, given the structure of a brat, the inside is in effect boiling in its own juices. When a brat is on a grill the skin keeps the oils inside from escaping and those heated oils are what cook the meat.

But the point there is that the oils of the meat are the liquid in which the meat is immersed. We're not just dumping a pack of brats into a pot full of tap water, we're cooking the brats in a method which emphasizes their own oils.

Roscoe said...

Agreed. What I'm getting at is simmering and braising..

Which leads one to the cheap precooked microwaveable brats.. which often times, tell the preparer to put them in a containter half full of water..

If you're not regularly cooking.. or.. if you ARE, but are preparing for something like a stadium, honestly... then it's not hard to go from there to near-boiling..

couple that with mild moronism.. and.. bob's your uncle.

Roscoe said...

I'll agree that water's really the lamest of liquids to use.

_J_ said...

It bothers me when people approach cooking as merely the means by which we make something hot and not bloody.

Roscoe said...

See... that's your first mistake.

the Not Bloody part. We likes the bloody.

beyond that, I'll agree, I think.

Except when I reheat brownies.

_J_ said...

Good people like the bloody.

The observation I'm making right now, which could very well be flawed, is that when people distance themselves from the act of cooking they're distancing themselves from the recognition of what our food is.

If the primary focus on cooking a Brat is on making it hot that's completely estranged from recognizing the components of that Brat, where they came from, and how they interract.

Which is a roundabout way of saying "people don't want to think about their eating animals".

Roscoe said...

I'd say that's pretty .. flawed.

I mean.. your issue is very much the preperation method, and it's effects upon the food..

That's not really connected to one's understanding of where food comes from.

That's Good Eats science, how heat applied in this manner, does this, but in that manner, does that.

I think your connection between that and awareness of where my raw materials come from is kinda.. specious.

_J_ said...

Probably.

Roscoe said...

Could be two seperate issues both crankifying you, though

ER/IM Doc said...

Regarding "boiling of brats". First of all, generalizations inevitably crate errors, and in this case you are in error. The erroneous assumption in boiling brats is that you think it's to "cook the meat". Get a gastronomic clue. That's the FARTHEST thing from the reason. You puncture the casing on both sides of the brats and cook them in pure beer and onions (as you mentioned). This...ok, turn off the ipod and pay attention...is so the beer and onion INFUSES into the meat. Get that? Obviously not when you ranted in generalities about brats vs. all meats. Pan-searing them doesn't give the beer enough time to infuse...you need the time and the access (the punctures) to get the effect. Again, simmering, boiling, it doesn't matter..the time for infusion into the meat is the key, for both the cooking onions and the beer being cooked in.

The grill follows, which is the actual presentation portion of the brat.

Before you bash something, learn about it at least beyond some ADD internet browsing buffoon.

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