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Most Americans continue to demand meat for their primary source of protein intake. But carnivorism has evolved over the past decade, and today’s butchers supply sophisticated consumers with much more than basic, familiar beefsteaks and pork chops. Oaxacan chorizo and Italian cotechino now vie with the all-American hot dog for preeminence among popular sausages. Pancetta threatens to replace bacon, and long-disdained headcheese has become the most sought-after vehicle for productively using up perfectly edible and nutritious meat scraps and offal. In addition to basic information on deconstructing primal cuts of beef, pork, duck, and rabbit, the authors offer ways to prepare all parts of an animal for savory roasts, sausages, and pâtés as well as smoked and pickled meats. A few recipes for accompaniments such as pickles, sauces, and other side dishes enhance the text’s value for both home and professional cooks. Photographs supplement clearly written instructions. --Mark Knoblauch
Two earlier reviewers offer fine and informed reviews of this book; reviews that go into useful detail. Make no mistake: this is a very fine book on the craft of charcuterie. It begins with herbs and spices, goes on to talk about a range of tools and equipment--both simple items and 'nice to have' ones and clearly presents recipes from 'The Fatted Calf' and the techniques used to produce them. Reviewers have rightly praised the full-color photos in the book: they are particularly effective teaching illustrations for 'breaking down' cuts of beef, poultry, pork, rabbit and so on. These photos are the best I have seen in twenty-some years of buying books on this subject. Interested readers will know how to produce any of the items presented in the book and will be ready to add other charcuterie books to their collection.
This book and its recipes 'delivers the goods' on many specialties. I am particularly grateful for the porchetta recipes, of Italian inspiration. I ate wonderful 'street food' porchetta sandwiches in Tuscany and tried to imagine how to do this 'at home.' Now I know. You will know, too, if you can 'transpose' the seasonings from one meat to another (rabbit to pork) or can move the same seasonings on to the recipe for a 'Cuban' presented a few pages later. Francophiles will find a very fine recipe for cassoulet.
One earlier reviewer notes what I can only echo: there are a good many recipes for baking and roasting items. Readers will appreciate that, even if going so far 'downstream' from making sausages and terrines and curing meats is unexpected in a book of this type.Read more ›
Excuse me for yelling but I LOVE THIS BOOK. From the beautiful cover to the detailed recipes for so many things I want to make, it's just great. The butchery photos are detailed and instructive and the recipes are almost "curated" to fit their aesthetic. If you love eating and cooking, you will love this book. The authors go deep and narrow rather than trying to please the crowd. If you want easy crock pot recipes for a weeknight, this probably isn't your book. I've taken this book to bed everynight since it arrived and have been reading it like a novel. That may tell you more about me than the book, but there you have it!
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I am a person who is interested in the "why" as much as the "how" in cooking and In The Charcuterie goes above and beyond to satisfy this curiosity. The first 150 pages are an in depth look at how to utilize those underutilized parts of the animals such as fat, skin and bones and also feature beautifully photographed and precisely described guides to whole animal butchery. Continuing through the book you are met with original recipes that vary in levels of difficulty from the multi-day process of making headcheese to simpler but equally delicious recipes such as the pork country rib roast marinated with sherry and pimenton. My favorite part is a two page chart that outlines the spice kits, casing types and grinds of 14 different sausages which is a great reference point once you are proficient in sausage making and interested in creating your own recipes. This book is so important for anyone who is wanting to learn about meat and it is so beautiful even a vegetarian could enjoy it.
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A huge amount of work went into this 342 page text. Color photos throughout and many are dedicated to illustrating the techniques required when breaking down large meat carcasses and preparing the primals for various recipes. Much like Jacques Pepin's classic volume, La Technique, but dedicated to breaking down fowl, pig, rabbit and other less familiar carcasses including a whole beef carcass into primals using a meat saw. The first 192 pages are dedicated to everything but Sausages Salumi, Pates and Terrines. In other words, more than half the book is devoted to roasting and braising meat recipes and preparing confits and side dishes; Pork Brochettas, Harissa Marintated Lamb Kebabs, Marsha's Grilled Rabbit Spiedini, Pancetta Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, plus 8 more roast recipes are found in the roast chapter. The sausage making chapter starts with hamburger and is over in 50 pages without a single emulsified sausage recipe included but Oaxacan Chorizo, Lamb and Herb Meatballs and Duck and Lemongrass Sausage are prominent. The smoking chapter is short at 30 pages and that includes all the air cured charcuterie with classic recipes for bacon, corned beef and cooked picnic ham and and includes a neat description of the various wood types for smoking meats but I don't think the detail is sufficient for hot or cold smoked meats to be successful without additional information found in other cookbooks dedicated to the subject. I wanted to find much more detail here. I would describe the recipes as very world cuisine and not Euro centric. Charcuterie is the French way of preserving meats and this book has a much more world cuisine approach with many recipes requiring a complex spice bill.Read more ›