"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
From Publishers Weekly
The leaner cuts of meat now on the market require extra attention to ensure they don't toughen and dry during preparation, and with that in mind Aidells?owner of Aidells Sausage Company?and Kelly (both coauthored Hot Links & Country Flavors and Flying Sausages) offer more than 230 recipes certain to attract meat-fanciers. They address how to buy meat, flavor it and cook it; specify the temperatures at which various meats should be cooked; and advise using a digital instant-read thermometer to check degrees. Recipes are identified as Fit for Company, In a Hurry, Cooking on a Budget, Great Leftovers and other categories, and they range from familiar?Philly Cheese Steaks, the Classic Hamburger and Grilled Lamb Chops?to nicely inventive: Braised Beef Shanks with Coconut Milk, Ginger and Cumin shows a Pacific Rim influence, while Sauteed Pork Chops with White Wine and Vanilla Sauce adds an even more unusual twist. Master recipes are followed by variations, as in the basic Roast Rack of Lamb and one flavored with Black Bean-Mustard Coating or a Fresh Herb Crust. Complete is a fit adjective for this highly recommended book. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC main selection.
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