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Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat Hardcover – September 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang; 8.2.2010 edition (September 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1584798637
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584798637
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Deborah Krasner is a writer and food professional living in Vermont. She hosts culinary vacations in Italy and Vermont, which have been featured in GQ, Bon Appétit, and the Boston Globe. Krasner won a James Beard Award in 2003 for her cookbook The Flavors of Olive Oil. She appears regularly on NPR’s The Splendid Table and contributes to Bon Appétit and Real Simple, among other publications.

More About the Author

My newest book GOOD MEAT comes directly out of the life I lead in rural Vermont. I live in a converted barn on a dirt road with my husband, two cats and a dog. Until very recently we also cared for a dozen laying hens, a couple of Icelandic sheep, and a mixed flock of meat birds including ducks, geese, turkeys, guinea fowl and chickens. All of them are pictured in the book, which was photographed in and around my home.

GOOD MEAT is about finding and cooking grass-fed and pastured meat. Such meat is the opposite of industrial meat -- it is sustainable because it nourishes the earth, is in balance with the land's ability to absorb nutrients and support grazing animals, and supports diverse ecosystems. Grass-fed and pastured meat is increasingly shown to be better for human health, both in terms of nutrients and in terms of fat content. While it's lower in fat than industrial meat, what fat there is turns out to be "good" fat. However, leaner meat can be tricky to cook well, so GOOD MEAT is devoted to showing cooks how to cook it to advantage, using every part of the animal from nose to tail.

In addition, GOOD MEAT is designed to support those who may want to buy their meat directly from farmers in whole, half or quarter animal quantities. Such frozen meat is substantially less expensive than buying grass-fed and pastured meat by the piece fresh at retail, but requires that a consumer fill out a cut sheet detailing how they want their meat cut and packaged. With the help of butcher Adam Tiberio, GOOD MEAT offers a "decision tree" for each animal, showing how to choose the best cuts for you and your cooking style. The book is organized by animal, by primal and sub-primal, and by retail cuts, so that anyone can find a recipe for any part, including offal, fat and odd bits.

Each of my books have been an investigation, detailing the process of my own understanding. From a feminist re-vision of kitchen design to olive oil, I love figuring out what about accepted wisdom makes sense, and what can be replaced with a more logical or sensible perspective. While GOOD MEAT is the most personal book I've written, it is also very much in line with my six previous books on design and food. I loved every minute I worked on it!

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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The book is beautifully illustrated and laid out, and the recipes are very interesting.
C. Staples
For those that are interested in sustainable meat for environmental reasons or because it tastes better, this book is a good choice.
I know Deborah Krasner and was a recipe tester for this book, so I have already had a chance to make many of the recipes.
Valerie Wright

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 44 people found the following review helpful By cookbookworm on September 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When my roommate decided to buy a side of grass-fed beef from a co-worker 10 years ago, she came home with a single sheet of paper in her hand.
"What is it?" I asked, holding the sparsely typed page gingerly, noting where we were to indicate our preference for steaks or roasts or ground beef.
"The farmer says it's a cut sheet." she shrugged, "I guess we fill it out." She pulled down the old Joy of Cooking from above the fridge, saying, "This book has some diagrams in it, maybe it will help."
We struggled with the cut sheet for a few hours before coming to any decisions. We also bought a second-hand freezer as well, because we thought it might be a good idea to have some extra room for all of that beef. It was a very good idea. We didn't know what we were doing, but after tasting the quality of the grass-fed meat, we were hooked.
Ten years of buying sides and shares of beef and lamb, CSA shares of pork and whole chickens, turkeys, geese and ducks have passed since then. I'm married now, with a growing family to feed, a second freezer and yet I still struggle with filling out a cut sheet.
Thrilled I am, indeed, to find Deborah Krasner's recent book, "Good Meat: The Complete Guide to Sourcing and Cooking Sustainable Meat". In this book, what was perennially intimidating has been laid out for me, in one book, clearly and with lots of diagrams - just the way I like it.
Ms. Krasner has organized her book into sections dealing with each animal, how to source them, what cuts come from which primal, how to ask for what you want, and how to cook the cuts you get to the best advantage. Diagrams, color photos and clear instructions lead each chapter, even before the recipes begin.
The recipes I tried were delicious.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Danna Seevers on March 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whether you're already consuming sustainable meats like grass-fed beef, or you're heading in that direction, it's important to understand that meat raised on grass cannot always be prepared in the same way as conventional meat. Grass-fed beef is much leaner so there is little to insulate it from the heat source, making it important to cook with lower temperatures. Also because of the lack of insulation, the meat will cook about 30-50% faster! I'm embarrassed to admit how many grass-fed roasts and steaks I've ruined because I didn't know how to properly cook them!

As someone who knew very little about cooking until 10 years ago, I tend to depend a lot on cookbooks (truth be told, I'm a "cookbook junkie") for guidance and instruction. That's why I am so thrilled about a new cookbook designed specifically for sustainably raised meats. This is not just a 400 page cook book with over 200 recipes (weighing in at 5 pounds)! It's a complete educational resource. My favorite part is the section on "Cow Anatomy" where she breaks down where each cut of meat comes from and how to communicate a cutting order to the butcher. When I first started buying meat directly from the farmer, nothing was more intimidating than getting that call to say "Your beef is ready, time to get your cutting order to the butcher!" Yikes! I had no clue what was I doing.

Krasner's cookbook not only does this for beef, but offers the same great information on lamb, pork, rabbit and poultry! If you're like I was and the only thing stopping you from buying a whole side of beef, pork or lamb is not understanding how to find it and order it, this is for you. The book is packed with beautiful full-color photographs, thorough explanations of cooking techniques and, for those of you blessed with a little acreage, she even discusses the economics of raising meat in your own backyard.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Deborah A. Vargo on August 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I know Deborah from having spent one amazing Autumn week at her cooking school in Vermont. From the terrific food we made then, I knew this book would be amazing. It is. The Salt-Seared Burger with Red Wine Reduction Sauce provides a new way to really amplify burgers. Pig Candy has become a family and friend favorite, creating a smile before even tasting! Deborah's thoughtful writing brings you very close to the animal -- from living being to the meal on your plate. I am delighted to see a huge range of recipes, from beef to lamb, rabbit, pig and poultry. The two that are tempting me next are: Marinated Lamb Shanks with Pomegranate Molasses, Tomatoes and Fresh Mint and Char Siu Bao, tiny pork stuffed buns. That picture alone just make my mouth water! Also included are many recipes for homemade spice blends. We used some of these at the school and we smelled all of them while perusing the spice drawer at Deborah's!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jodi-Hummingbird TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The book has more than 200 recipes for pork, beef, lamb, poultry, and game. The book is almost all recipes. Readers should know however that most of these recipes are far more in the theme of gourmet eating rather than a strictly-health-based Paleo approach. (Many recipes have grains and things like white pasta in.) Lots of the recipes looked very tasty though.

For those that are interested in sustainable meat for environmental reasons or because it tastes better, this book is a good choice.

For those that are interested in those things but are also very driven by health, and using diet to treat disease, and have chosen to eat a Paleo diet, then a better choice would probably be the excellent Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals: Delicious, Primal-approved meals you can make in under 30 minutes (Primal Blueprint Series) by Mark Sisson.

All the best health books such as Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats, Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life, The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series) and
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