A Q&A with Authors Q&A with Joshua and Jessica Applestone What inspired you to write this book?
Josh: My goal is for the book to act as a guide and to help people ease their minds when buying and cooking meat. We don’t encourage people to eat more meat but we want them to have the freedom to make informed choices and eat better meat.
Jessica: I like the idea of busting myths like those surrounding wet aging, portion sizes and the idea that organic HAS to be expensive. How would you describe what you do?
We run an old-fashioned butcher shop offering meat sourced locally, free of hormones or antibiotics, and full of real farm flavor. You were both vegetarians, what caused you to become omnivores?
Josh: After about 6months of running Fleisher’s it was our bacon that put me back on a meat eating track. My vegan/vegetarianism was an out growth of my beliefs about how horrible the factory-farmed meat industry is. Once I really knew where my meat was coming from and how these animals were treated and slaughtered I could feel comfortable eating meat again.
Jessica: I wanted to start eating meat again--just not the stuff that supermarkets were selling, and it was too much for me to buy a side of beef. Farmer’s Markets were only open in the summer so it was out of my own desires that we opened Fleisher’s so that I could get one perfect fresh lamb chop and the butcher could tell me how to cook it. Favorite cut of meat?
Josh: Faux Hanger/Sirloin Flap
Jessica: Lamb Sirloin Most under-rated cut?
Josh: Teres Major
Jessica: Lamb neck Favorite preparation:
Jessica: Cooked Favorite recipe in the book:
Josh: Pig Cheeks
Jessica: The Perfect Steak What is your favorite type of customer/reader?
Joshua: a smart one
Jessica: an intrepid cook A knife should...
Josh: Cut, hold an edge and be easy to sharpen with a hand steel and be comfortable in your hand in a number of different positions.
Jessica: Not be too expensive and NEVER be put in the dishwasher. Favorite ingredient aside from meat:
Jessica: Garlic Favorite side dish:
Josh: Potatoes any style as long as there’s salt involved
Jessica: Noodles--pasta any type, any kind, any ethnicity--Obviously we are both carb freaks though we usually eat salad as a side dish. Best offal:
Jessica: Sweetbreads The best part of a pig is...
Josh: the cheeks
Jessica: the belly A hamburger should...
Josh: be fatty and rare
Jessica: and covered in cheese (Jessica) You can never have too many...
Josh: loyal customers
Jessica: Turkeys at Thanksgiving The thing most people don’t realize is...
Josh: The amount of hanger steak per animal is only one.
Jessica: that dry-aging is a form of controlled rot and that even “natural” nitrites like sea salt and celery juice are still nitrites.
“By learning about meat and where it comes from, we become more competent and responsible cooks and carnivores. In this tribute to farmers and animals, the Applestones and Ms. Zissu have put together a compelling guide to local and sustainable meat and poultry. In an honest, irreverent, and funny primer, we learn which are the best cuts for a given dish, how to cook (and serve) a perfect steak, and what to expect when buying a turkey. This charming and informative reference is sure to influence irreversibly the way we buy, prepare, and appreciate meat.”
--James Peterson, author of Meat and Cooking
“If you like eating meat but want to eat ethically, this is the book for you. From the hard-headed, clear-eyed, and sympathetic perspective of butchers who care deeply about the animals whose parts they sell, the customers who buy their meats, and the pleasures of eating, this book has much to teach. It’s an instant classic, making it clear why meat is part of the food revolution. I see it as the new Bible of meat aficionados and worth reading by all food lovers, meat-eating and not.”
--Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, NYU, and author of What to Eat
“I love the way The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat explains the world of meat in straightforward, no-nonsense language by folks who learned from trial and error. It is great to see a perspective from butchers selling meat raised in a non-industrial manner. It is clear that the Applestones are folks who care about how the animals are raised for the meat they sell and are willing to explain why doing so is very important to them. There are hard-to-find recipes for making your own prosciutto, bacon, and bresaola.”
--Bruce Aidells, author of The Complete Meat Cookbook
“…clear, useful instruction on dealing with cuts of beef, lamb, pork, and poultry, interesting meditations on sustainable dining, and a dozen or so recipes thrown in for good measure.”
“The new bible for conscious carnivores.” – Bon Appétit