When I first started cooking I was exposed to large roasts carved on a Sunday buffet. The roast was an enormous beast. As my first summer of cooking continued, I was the one thinly slicing the meat for guests as they walked by. The carving station can be a place to mindlessly slice and serve meat. Or it can be the point in the process where we add an additional layer of flavor. When we have the opportunity we prepare thick cut steaks rather than chops. It allows for more browned bits and an overall faster cooking time. It allows us to carve, slice, trim and chop smaller manageable pieces of meat on the cutting board and dress them. We add herbs, flavored oil and roasted garlic cloves to the board. We slice the meat and mix it with these flavorings and its own rendered juices, creating, as Adam Perry Lang calls it, a board dressing. We add a generous dose of coarse salt and the meat is served. We serve smaller and manageable pieces of meat dripping with goodness. For the guests it removes the awkward nature of trimming meat on a smaller plate. As cooks it allows us to serve the best possible bites.
January 24, 2005