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Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork Hardcover – November 16, 2011


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Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork + Sausage Making: The Definitive Guide with Recipes + Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing (Revised and Updated)
Price for all three: $70.17

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (November 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452100594
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452100593
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,640 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Ryan has given us a thorough master class in how to choose, prepare, and utilize whole animals in this practical and instructive exploration into the craft of the butcher. Start with sourcing local, sustainably raised meat beyond the supermarket; this book shows you how to make the most of it.
-Chad Robertson, chef-owner of Tartine and Bar Tartine and author of Tartine Bread

In an era when more cooks want to take control of their food, eat humanely raised meat more responsibly, and enjoy it more, Ryan Farr's book is essential for its superb photography and clear, concise information on the craft of butchery. It's an invaluable resource for chefs and home cooks who want to make use of all parts of the animals we eat.
-Michael Ruhlman, author of Ruhlman's Twenty and Charcuterie

Having trained under a great butcher, I don't hand out praise lightly but Ryan Farr has blown me away with his passion for his craft. This book will be an indispensable resource for aspiring chefs and butchers and a valued book in my library as well.
-Michael Tusk, chef-owner of Quince and Cotogna

Both in restaurants and at home, interest in eating well-raised animals is resurgent for reasons of quality and health. In hundreds of pictures and clear, easy-to-understand text, Ryan Farr demystifies the lost art of whole animal butchery. Whole Beast will be an essential reference for a generation of young cooks.
-Daniel Patterson, chef-owner of Coi

Ryan's butchery techniques and recipes are spot on.
-David Chang, chef/owner of Momofuku

About the Author

Brigit Binns is the author or co-author of 23 cookbooks.

Ryan Farr is the owner and founder of 4505 Meats, where he makes artisanal sausages and his patented chicharrones, and teaches sell-out butchery classes for home and professional cooks. He lives in San Francisco.

Ed Anderson is a photographer specializing in food and the people who make it. He lives in Petaluma, California.

More About the Author

Ryan Farr is a chef, entrepreneur, butcher, author, and educator. As a classically trained chef who once headed a Michelin Star restaurant, Ryan honed his artisan butchery techniques and developed his own meat-cutting style. Ryan has been indulging his passion for artisanal, whole-beast butchery and whole animal utilization for years. In 2009, Ryan and his wife Cesalee founded 4505 Meats on their signature chicharrones and the foundation of teaching intensive butchery classes for home cooks to encourage a change in the way meat is consumed. Today 4505 Meats has grown to encompass a full-service Butcher Shop in San Francisco's Mission District, a strong Farmers' Market presence, a line of artisanal sausages sold all over the region, a revolutionary hot dog, and education that leads to a distinct change in how the public buys, eats, and thinks about, meat. Ryan can still be found working at the Butcher Shop, leading educational movements, and creating some of the best smoked meats in the world.

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Customer Reviews

Ryan Farr knows his meat and cuts and shows you how it's done.
mateo acosta jr
Very informative, conversational, easy to understand and follow along with the author.
LynchU
If I ever went back in time this would be one book I gave to myself 8 years ago.
Curtis Dickson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Philip Vogelzang on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone who began raising and butchering his own livestock several years ago, I've developed quite a library of "how to butcher" books. Most of them are quite useful and I've usually been able to take home a least a couple of "pearls" that I find useful in my private on-the-farm butchershop. Needless to say it's been quite a journey and I still have a long way to go, so it was definitely a sense of relief when I opened Mr. Farr's new instructional manual and found to my surprise loads of useful tips and ideas.

The book is divided into three main parts - beef, lamb and pork. Each section begins with a clear schematic the various parts of each animal. Each schematic is then reproduced in miniature at the top of each ensuing page, keeping the reader oriented as to where in the animal the current photos originate. I for one, found this extremely useful

And what photos! Each one is clear, detailed and nicely laid out, accompanied by short and concise notes. It's harder than you might think to describe in words accurately how to break down an animal carcass. Believe me, I've read some other texts that leave you so confused, you don't know which end is up. Not here. Farrs descriptions are smart, pithy and to the point. Not to mention plentiful.

One aspect that this book doesn't cover (nor does it claim to) is the livestock side of things. Farr assumes you will be picking up your carcass from a local butcher. He offers no advise or instruction on how to slaughter a live animal, something many of us small scale livestock farmers need. But there are other good texts for that such as The Complete Book of Butchering, Smoking, Curing, and Sausage Making: How to Harvest Your Livestock & Wild Game by Philip Hasheider. Together with Whole Beast Butchery, these two texts are all an amateur butcher needs to get started. Thanks Ryan! Great job!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By EAM on November 11, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a comprehensive and very well written butchery book. Perfect for both beginner and more advanced home butchers! The step by step photos are extremely helpful. And Farr's personality is present throughout the book, making it seem both familiar and fun. His simple recipes will give you a great building block from which to grow your skills. Really excited to have this book in my cookbook collection.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By dutch on January 31, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Recently home-slaughtered two 10 months old pigs and bought this book to further help me with cutting up. I have some rudimentary butchering skills and thought from the review that this would be a clear step by step guide.
The guide is confusing for several reasons
- The pigs used in the book is killed at a young age and hence smaller than normal kill outs and therefore some of the cuts suggested end up as enormous joints on a normal pig.
- The pigs is whole rather than split in half which means a lot of flicking through pages to get to the correct stage.
- It is not always clear when two different methods of cutting up are performed on the corresponding halves of the pig.
- Quite a few of the instructions end half way and do not describe what to do next or use unclear instructions (i.e. remove the featherbone probably clear to a butcher but not to a relative novice).

So overal not quite the guide I had expected from the description. Not useful for someone with basic butchering skills and probably midly informative for someone who understands what is going on in the different pictures.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mostly photos of meat with brief description of cuts. Lacks adequately detailed desciptions. A good butcher should not need the book but would likely say it's informative. Most meat cutting novices such as myself will be likely to want more detailed instructions.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Hostess with the Mostest on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
It's great that more people are moving away from the nasty plastic-wrapped meat in the supermarket and hitting up farmers' markets and old-school butchers. You can take it one step further by learning how to actually butcher your own meat. You want a true farm to table experience? Pick up Whole Beast Butchery, source a whole pig or a lamb or go in with a group of friends on a steer and go to town! Ryan Farr shows how, with hundreds of very cool-looking step-by-step photos, breaking down everything you'd ever want to know about breaking down beef, lamb or pork. And even if you don't feel up to the task, the book is worth it for the recipes alone -- Spice-Cured Beef Brisket, Merguez Sausage, Crispy Pork Shoulder...
This man knows his meat.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 18, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was searching for some book that will help me to understand some cuts of meat in USA, finaly I got it! It show it and explain it, in Europe, Croatia we dont have butchers that do meat that way and now all recepies make sense!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Autrey on December 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I recently finished my first look thru WBB. So much information presented in an understandable way. I recommended this book to several friends, one has a son who wants to be a chef. The attention to detail and advise about tools is invaluable for both professional chefs and serious home chefs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Don L. on March 19, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book was OK. There are several books on the subject that are better. The images were very small on the kindle making it difficult to see the detail.
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