8 Ways to Give Your Valentine the Gift of Meat
Candy dominates the Valentine’s Day gift-giving landscape, with roses trailing close behind. But humans cannot live on candy and flowers alone (or not for long), and some people don’t even like them. Some of us have a particular culinary love language, and that is the language of flesh.
Here are some of our favorite ways to engineer a perfect “meat cute” this Feb. 14, no matter how skilled you are in the kitchen.
Give them a bouquet of salami roses
This is more of a craft than a recipe, but it is impactful. All you need is some pliable salami (or other cured meat of your choice) and a wine glass. Build a meat bouquet, or a couple of roses, and round things out with some wine and cheese.
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Make precious little pots of chicken liver mousse
The heart isn’t the only romantic internal organ. Chicken livers, when combined with brandy, caramelized shallots, and marscapone cheese, make a decadent spread that brings a fine dining sensibility to your dining table (or couch). This is not a last-minute project, however—the mousse needs several hours to chill.
Serve up a perfectly cooked steak (without an immersion circulator)
You do not need a sous-vide circulator to cook a perfectly medium-rare filet mignon, not even a thick one. All you need is an oven, a burner, and a meat thermometer. Stir up a martini, bake a few potatoes, maybe make a shrimp cocktail, and you’ve got the classic steakhouse experience without the “special” prix fixe menu.
Ensure success with air-fried candied bacon
Making candied bacon is cheating, but all’s fair in love and capitalism. This recipe uses the air fryer and calls for two ingredients: pre-cooked bacon and maple syrup. Using pre-cooked bacon cuts the cook time down to mere minutes, making this a perfect last-minute love project for the forgetful.
Make casual, but flavorful, miso-marinated steak bites
It’s tough having filet mignon dreams with a sirloin budget, but with the power of miso, even the cheapest cut of beef can be transformed into something savory and tender. Serve these bites with potato chips and cheap caviar, and you’ve got a cost-effective, but still luxurious, Valentine’s Day spread.
Impress their pants off with a pork tenderloin
Not everyone likes beef (my valentine, for instance), and that’s okay. I rarely make a steak to impress. This pork tenderloin is what I make when I want to wow someone (my valentine’s mother, for instance). Start with a one-ingredient marinade—either miso or shio koji—then roast in a low-temp oven before finishing on the stove in a bath of browned butter.
Show your love with heartcuterie
I can’t decorate a cake to save my dumb little life, but even I can arrange a visually pleasing box of meat and cheese. To make your own heartcuterie, buy a box of chocolates, eat the chocolates, then fill the little divots with prosciutto roses, salami slices, cheese, nuts, olives, and whatever else your valentine likes to pair with cured meats.
End the evening with chocolate salami
If your valentine is someone who loves the sweet and the savory, honor both of the wolves inside of them with chocolate salami, a no-bake dessert made of crushed cookies and nuts. Just make sure to give it a healthy dusting of powdered sugar. That’s the mold, and you can’t make a good salami without mold.
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