Top food stylist and food writer Jennifer McLagan has a bone to pick: too often, people opt for boneless chicken breasts, fish fillets, and cutlets, when good cooks know that anything cooked on the bone has more flavor — from chicken or spareribs to a rib roast or a whole fish. In Bones, Jennifer offers a collection of recipes for cooking beef, veal, pork, lamb, poultry, fish, and game on their bones.
Chicken, steak, and fish all taste better when cooked on the bone, but we’ve sacrificed flavor for speed and convenience, forgetting how bones can enhance the taste, texture, and presentation of good food — think of rack of lamb, T-bone steak, chicken noodle soup, and baked ham. In her simple, bare-bones style, Jennifer teaches home cooks the secrets to cooking with bones.
Each chapter of Bones includes stocks, soups, ribs, legs, and extremities (except for whole fish — they don’t have any). Many of the recipes are simple, with the inherent flavors of the bones doing most of the work. There are traditional, elegant dishes, such as Roasted Marrow Bones with Parsley Salad, Olive-Crusted Lamb Racks, and Crown Roast of Pork, as well as new takes on homestyle favorites, such as Maple Tomato Glazed Ribs, Coconut Chicken Curry, and Halibut Steaks with Orange Cream Sauce. Stunning, full-color photographs of dishes like Rabbit in Saffron Sauce with Spring Vegetables; Grilled Quail with Sage Butter; and Duck Legs with Cumin, Turnips, and Green Olives are sure to inspire.
In addition to the recipes, Bones includes a wealth of information on a wide range of bone-related topics, including the differences among cuts of meat, as well as the history and lore of bones.
There’s a lot more going on in Bones than the glorification of beef marrow. True, you will want to serve roasted marrow bones after even a casual reading. Jennifer McLagan, chef, food stylist, food writer, and now cookbook author says this is where it all began for her, this journey that has become a singular determination to rehabilitate bones in the family kitchen: “Scooping out the soft, warm marrow and spreading it on crisp toast is a sensual delight. A touch of salt, and all is right with the world.”
Bones is about meat on the bone, plain and simple. Beef or veal, lamb, game, poultry, fish–it matters not. If the meat is on the bone as it enters the cooking process, be that roasting, braising, steaming, baking, or grilling, it has every chance of being far superior to meat divorced of the skeleton. Think how boring skinless, boneless chicken breasts can be. But McLagan’s underlying theme is about taking time to treat a product like meat with the respect it deserves. If you demand that it morphs into some sort of time-and-labor-saving protein package you end up with chicken fingers, not food. If it is about anything, Bones is about good food, and good food takes time. And time is the most precious ingredient any cook can add to the broth. The time it takes isn’t a burden, it’s where the cook truly learns and grows and matures.
McLagan divides Bones into sections devoted to Beef and Veal, Pork, Lamb, Poultry, Fish, and Game. Each section begins with a precise description of the basic animal from the skeleton on out before moving on to stocks, concentrated stocks, and consommés. As for recipe enticements you’ll find Beer-Glazed Beef Ribs, Osso Buco with Fennel and Blood Orange Sauce, Spicy Korean Pork Soup, Roast Leg of Pork with Crackling, Olive-Crusted Lamb Racks, Lamb Shanks in Pomegranate Sauce, Poached Chicken with Seasonal Vegetables, Grilled Quail with Sage Butter, Coconut Curry Chicken, Sardines on Toast, Cantonese-style Steamed Fish, and Herb-Roasted Rabbit (one of four rabbit recipes!).
While the novice cook should not shy away from Bones, a firm foundation in basic western cooking technique is a plus. There’s a lot of learning available between these two covers. Some of it is about meat and bones, some about cooking and serving, and some is about an attitude to bring to the kitchen: If you take a little time the rewards will be far superior to any shortcuts along the way. All of which makes Jennifer McLagan something of a revolutionary in our midst. –Schuyler Ingle
List Price: $ 34.99
Price: $ 14.85
Related Meat Recipes Products