“Grass-fed.” “Organic.” “Natural.” “Pastured.” “Raised Without Antibiotics.” “Heirloom Breed.” Meat has never been better, but the vast array of labels at today’s meat counter can overwhelm even the savviest shopper. Which are worth the price? Which are meaningless? Bruce Aidells, America’s foremost meat expert and the founder of Aidells Sausage Company, makes sense of the confusion and helps you choose the best steaks, chops, roasts, and ribs and match them to the right preparation method.
The definitive book for our time, The Great Meat Cookbook includes
• hundreds of extraordinary recipes, from such “Great Meat Dishes of the World” as Whole Beef Fillet Stuffed with Prosciutto and Parmigiano-Reggiano to economical dishes that use small amounts of meat, like Thai Pork Salad, to American classics like Steak House Grilled Rib Eye
• handy recipe tags like “Fit for Company,” “In a Hurry,” and “Great Leftovers” that help you match each dish to the occasion
• at-a-glance guides to all the major cuts, with a full-color photo of each
• recipes for handcrafted sausages, pâtés, confits, and hams
• recipes for newly popular meats like bison, goat, heirloom pork, and grass-fed beef, veal, and lamb
• recipes for underappreciated parts that make delicious dishes without breaking the bank
With straight talk and an affable voice, Aidells provides every single bit of information you need to get comfortable in the kitchen, from which thermometers are the most reliable, to instructions for thawing frozen meat from the farmers’ market, to tips that will make you a grill and barbecue pro.
“Frankly, we love meat.” Thus spake Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly, their first words in The Complete Meat Cookbook. “This book,” these well-informed authors tell us, “is written for those who share this carnivorous inclination.” As the authors of Hot Links and Country Flavors, Real Beer and Good Eats, and Flying Sausages, these guys know meat. And their mission in life is to share what they know. With gusto.
The divisions are obvious: beef, pork, lamb, veal. But packed into each chapter is more information than any single reader might think possible. There’s history and anthropology; there’s anatomy and kitchen chemistry. And all of it is aimed at what the authors call the “new meat.” It’s a leaner product–less fat than ever before. So to get the succulence and the flavor that resides in memory (coming from a time of fattier cuts) sliced and onto the plate, today’s cook has to use a different, more informed approach. You will find that guidance in this book. How to select and buy, how to prep, how to intensify the flavor, how to cook, how to store: it’s all here. There is no other book like it.
Heavily illustrated, The Complete Meat Cookbook opens with a section on meat basics, including a little meat eating history and a terrific doneness chart. Then there’s a long section covering all the basic cooking techniques and which cuts of which meat work best with each technique. Once the book breaks out into sections by kind of meat–beef, pork, lamb, veal–the depth of information focuses and intensifies, and the recipes roll right along for more than 600 pages.
Myth busting (like, don’t salt meat before cooking, it will dry it out: wrong) is highlighted throughout the book. And each recipe is labeled for ease, speed, budget consciousness, serve to company, etc. The recipes take into account the world of meat eating. This is no Eurocentric text–it is, as the title proclaims, complete. If you are going to eat meat, do it right. This is the book to show you how. No cookbook bookshelf is complete without a copy of The Complete Meat Cookbook. –Schuyler Ingle
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