The Cuts Less Traveled
If you haven’t tried cooking with the less popular cuts of meat…neck, knuckles, feet…you are missing out. Not only are they cheap, they are delicious and very nutritious. These uncommon cuts are full of collagen, marrow, and cartilage. These are necessary for our own healthy joints, brain function, nerve conduction, healthy skin and hair. It’s where supplement companies take their raw materials. Then they dry them out, mix them with other chemicals and desiccants and turn them into expensive pills and powders. You can skip the middle men.
This hearty recipe is also great for the cold (sometimes cold?) winter months. This is when we warm and build our reserves for the budding of spring, and then the high activity of summer. This dish is straight from my favorite TV chef, Jacques Pepin, off his show Heart and Soul in the Kitchen that ran on PBS.
Since there is a copyright associated, I’m gonna give you the link here. Make this recipe, it’s more than fabulous.
In addition to the western perspective on the nutrition of this recipe, Eastern medicine also has an interesting take on how food affects your health. Below are some Chinese medical nutrition facts for this recipe. Foods are classified just as medicinal herbs are in Chinese Medicine. Each item has a temperature and an action on a body system or systems. We use these qualities to counter any imbalances causing disease processes in the body. This recipe is actually quite balanced, with cool and warm quality foods together. This is a more energetic perspective, vs. the material perspective which is more western.
Slightly cooling, acts on the Middle Burner (Stomach, Spleen, Liver, Gallbladder), moistens dryness in the organs, tonifies qi
Pork neck/vertebrae/cartilage treats your neck/vertebrae/cartilage.
Warm, strengthens qi, blood and essence, goes to the Stomach, Spleen, Liver and Kidney. Warms the blood.
Neutral temperature, white color nourishes the lungs and large intestine, drains dampness
Warm, pungent. Goes to the Liver and Lung, clears blood stagnation and Stomach fire
Warm and pungent, warms the middle jiao, strengthens qi and yang, circulates blood. Kills worms
Cold, nourish liver yin, cool the blood.
Neutral temperature, cools dry heat of the lungs
Cooling, cools stomach fire
Warm, strengthen Lungs and Spleen, expel cold mucus
Warm/hot, expels mucus, warms the middle
Cold, dissolves mucus.