The Carnivore’s Polemic

carnivore
How often does a guy get a book deal based on his nickname? That’s pretty much the story for Greenpoint’s Scott Gold. His friends call him “Steakbomb” and his first work—The Shameless Carnivore (Broadway)—arrived in bookstores this spring.

Gold was working in publishing when a friend lunching with a book editor ordered the rabbit, leading to a discussion about the need for a polemic on eating meat.

Gold was her pick to write it, and so he did, eventually spending much of a year—minus one week spent as a vegetarian, thanks to a losing bet—ruminating on what he eats.

“I don’t do anything half-assed,” boasts Gold, a native New Orleanian who moved to Brooklyn nearly eight years ago, and, indeed, the bulk of the book chronicles his deepening relationship with his butcher and his attempts to cook or eat 31 different animals in as many days. (Those include buffalo, squab, sweetbreads, squirrel he shot himself, venison, llama, goose, goat, guinea pig, caribou, kangaroo, elk, antelope, rattlesnake and rabbit, the last cooked up like a roaster in his Crock-Pot.)

part of the book’s pull is the author’s chronicle of his culinary antics as a beginner cook: he makes “buffaloaf” and “quailsadillas,” gets burned by chiles, roasts a rotten chicken and makes a tequila-laced chili with a plastic tub of snake meat. Plus he has to complete most of his cooking for friends in their own borrowed kitchens, as his Norman Street studio apartment boasts only that Crock-Pot, a toaster oven, a two-burner hot plate and a Weber grill in the courtyard.

But there’s also charm in his research. Beyond glorifying the joy Gold finds in animal proteins—mostly, he likes them all—the book serves a larger purpose, too. He hunts, helps slaughter a cow, speaks to Buddhists about their beliefs, researches modern burgers and the perils of factory farms.

“For me it was an exploration of my ignorance,” says Gold. “I take meat a lot more seriously now.”

Crock-Pot Rabbit

Serves 3–4
From The Shameless Carnivore by Scott Gold

1 rabbit (fryer) cut into serving pieces
salt and pepper
1⁄2 c. coarsely chopped celery
1⁄2 c. peeled and coarsely cut carrots
1 large onion coarsely chopped
2 c. sliced white button mushrooms
2 c. chicken stock
1⁄4 c. Marsala wine
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. butter

 

Lightly season the rabbit with salt and pepper. Place all ingredients except Marsala, cornstarch and butter in a Crock-Pot and cook on low for 6 hours. While it cooks, go out and do something fun…a nice afternoon shopping, perhaps? Remove the rabbit from the pot. In a separate bowl, combine the Marsala and cornstarch. Pour the mixture into the Crock-Pot to thicken the sauce; add butter and stir. Return the rabbit to the Crock-Pot and coat with the sauce.

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.