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Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog Hardcover – July 2, 2013
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This brilliant book brings the do it yourself mantra to pork. The art and skill of healthy eating can be regained by marrying the ecologically-sound farm to the delightful tastes and textures of delectable dining. -Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms
At our house we have a love affair with pork and Beyond Bacon was exactly the book we needed to be better educated as to how to order our pastured pigs, and prepare them to make the most of every last delicious bite. Our plates of pastured pork have never tasted so perfect! -Mira and Jayson Calton, PhD, authors of Rich Food, Poor Food and Naked Calories
A jam-packed resource for fans of sustainable whole beast feasting, Beyond Bacon educates and inspires home cooks with gorgeous photography and eye-popping recipes. Head-to-tail eating has never looked so good. - Michelle Tam and Henry Fong of Nom Nom Paleo
If you have yet to experience the true pleasure of nose to tail cooking, or you have just been too intimidated to tackle the venture, this is the book to expand your horizons. - George Bryant of Civlized Caveman Cooking and author of Caveman Feast
Eating from "nose-to-tail" is not only good for your wallet, it's good for your health. In Beyond Bacon, Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry apply this important but lost art to eating the whole hog. They provide practical tips on everything from finding affordable pastured pork, to working with lard, sausages and cured meat, to making flaky and delicious Paleo pie crusts. If you're tired of the standard Paleo fare, or you're looking for ways to save money without skimping on flavor, Beyond Bacon should find a place on your shelf (as it has on mine!). - Chris Kresser, M.S., L.Ac
With the strong farm-to-table and Paleo lifestyle movements on the rise, we are becoming more in-touch and connected to the source of the food we're eating - and this means we're buying more whole animals directly from our local farmers. This is a fantastic effort, but what's a home cook to do with parts unknown? That's where Beyond Bacon comes to the rescue. This stunning book takes the guesswork out of how to make the best use of every part of the pig. It's a must-have in any nose-to-tail diner's home. Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites, author of Practical Paleo and The 21 Day Sugar Detox
Beyond Bacon takes the questioning out of how to create gorgeous meals from every piece of the pig. The pictures create a story and make you feel comfortable trying a different cut of meat or a new cooking technique in the comfort of your own kitchen. -Juli Bauer of PaleOMG and author of OMG That's Paleo?
Beyond Bacon will clearly and accurately explain the science behind the health benefits of pork, especially from sustainably-farmed, healthy pigs. Yes, eating pasture-raised pork will make you healthier! - Sarah Ballantyne, PhD of The Paleo Mom and author of The Paleo Approach
From the Author
Some of our most frequently asked questions are answered on our blog (PaleoParents), including:
Wait, is that CORN DOGS on the cover? How is that even possible?!
I am not a "great cook" or very adventurous, will I still like Beyond Bacon? I need simple!
I can't find pork bones or I have another stock on hand, can I use an alternative animal stock for your recipes? Can I buy lard at the store? What kind of almond flour did you use?
My family has food sensitivities beyond Paleo, how much of Beyond Bacon includes eggs and nuts? Is it Autoimmune-protocol friendly?
What about recommendation to avoid pork?
The book recommends cooking some cuts of meat until they are medium rare, isn't that going to kill me?
It is almost impossible to find good quality pork where I live. I can't find a farmer that doesn't feed their pigs GMO supplemental feed.
Isn't all that saturated fat dangerous?!
Top customer reviews
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The great: As many reviewers before me have said, the photography is top notch. Everything is printed on solid, glossy paper and the book's actual construction is nice and sturdy. I love how Stacy and Matt go through the whole hog ordering process. Although it's something I've been doing for years, I appreciate that I have a reference resource for the people around me who are jumping on to the "bulk ordering" bandwagon. My biggest love are the recipes that utilize some of the lesser known cuts. Everyone knows how to cook a pork chop, yes? (well, maybe not everyone-it took me until I was married to start cooking pork, for no reason other than my parents rarely made it at home) But who knows how to braise a whole ham hock or make and stuff their own sausage? I do now!
The good: The dessert recipes are what get me. As someone with autoimmune issues, I can't eat most of them. Makes me sad, but it's not the author's fault. They put together some amazing spreads and through those, opened my cooking repertoire to integrate lard into more than savory applications.
The erroneous: The bacon recipe and the other ones that are cured and smoked call for "pink Himalayan salt" or "pink salt" (curing salt). This leads the reader to believe that they are the same and can be used the same way. This is 100% incorrect. Anyone who has ever researched making their own charcuterie known that the nitrates found in pink salt are there to protect the meat from developing botulism spores during the curing and smoking process. Pink Himalayan salt offers no such protection.
Bottom line: love the book, love the recipes, love the pictures, but use a different resource for bacon and sausage.
First off, Beyond Bacon is the most visually stunning Paleo cookbook I have seen, with an absolutely beautiful design. I have really high standards in this department, and I have to say I am seriously impressed with the photographer Aimee Buxton's skills and the way the book was put together. Every recipe has a photo, and represents the food accurately and beautifully. My first test of a cookbook is always how much it makes me want to cook after flipping through it, and in this case I ran straight to the farmer's market to see what pastured pork was available so I could start cooking ASAP.
Another thing that I love about this book, is that it is so much more than a recipe book. In the first section, Matt and Stacy have gone into the details about why it is important to get pastured pork, where to find it, how to buy a whole animal, butchering options, the history of raising pork, the science behind the healthfulness of eating pork, and how to safely prepare it. This section is sprinkled with beautiful photos of happy pigs roaming in green pastures. I think it is extremely important to consider not only what we are eating, but how that food has been produced, and Matt and Stacy really do that justice. They have written this from the perspective that most people's experience with pork has been bacon, ham and pork chops, without considering that there are the other parts of the animal to be considered. They make a great argument for using the whole animal, and tell readers what they need to know about buying one.
Even if the book is beautiful and inspiring, it doesn't mean much if the recipes aren't good. In this book Matt and Stacy present us with a wide variety of fare, from staples to exotic foods, easy to difficult, all including pork in some way. They include how to make staples like bone broth, lard, cured meat and sausages, as well as a section on how to grill and smoke meat. In the week that I have been cooking out of the book, I rendered lard and built a smoker using their instructions, made the citrus-infused pork burgers, smoked pork shoulder, crispy lardons, bacon chicken, maple sage butternut squash, and the best brownies. I found every recipe unique and delicious, with easy to follow instructions.
As far as how well the book follows the autoimmune protocol, it is definitely not a strictly AIP book. I counted over 40 recipes that were already AIP or could be easily made AIP with simple modifications (like omitting things like paprika, pepper or cayenne). Of all of the excluded AIP foods, nightshades are pretty well represented, although in the recipes I made I found that they were easily be substituted with other ingredients, like garlic or ginger. Although I believe someone who was strictly AIP would still enjoy the book, it would be better for those who have been successful in some reintroductions, like nuts, seeds or eggs. I am to the point where I can tolerate some of these things in moderation, so I will be making some of the recipes that include these ingredients on occasion.
All in all, Matt and Stacy have really raised the bar for Paleo cookbooks. This book should be in everyone's collection!