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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?!
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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.
The first section of the cookbook is level-setting, explaining "Why we wrote this love letter to pork," and it goes into more than why and how to find pastured pork, but also practical advice on how to order a whole pig (including what a cut sheet looks like: what thickness do you want the chops? what do you want to do with the loin?).
But then it dives into the meat (heh) of the book, which is where Beyond Bacon shines. Chapters are divided into the basics (lard, stock, sausages and cured meats); grilled and smoked recipes; soups and stews; braised and roasted pork; conventional preparations (e.g. pork chops, meat loaf); fried lard goodness; veggies and sides; sauces and dressings; sweet things. Just about every recipe has pork in it (at least lard) so don't pretend you'll find anything here to feed your vegetarian friend at Thanksgiving.
In the 6 weeks I've owned the book, I've made several things. Apple ginger tenderloin was really excellent, and didn't require much more preparation than "Throw it into a pan in the oven." (I could have used 3 apples instead of 4, though.) One salad was an absolute winner, made with prosciutto and figs (well, okay, dates; I couldn't find figs at the store). The biscuits -- made with blanched almond flour, tapioca flour, and coconut flour -- were very good, and the closest I've come to scratching my "I was biscuits!" itch. Spaghetti squash alla carbonara was... just okay. (I think I keep TRYING to like spaghetti squash more than I actually do; at any rate it's the best thing I've found to do with one of them.)
Best of all, Beyond Bacon encouraged us to make lard, which turned out great. (We used a slow cooker, turned to high, which kept us from having to worry about burning anything.)
One criticism: Whoever did the book's index should be sent to bed without dinner. The index is terrible. We knew there were biscuit recipes somewhere in here... but no listing for biscuits? Oh, it's under _homestyle biscuits_ in the Hs. Italian sausages are listed between Insanely awesome meatloaf and Italian tomato pork chop. Not in the Ss.
Despite that quibble, this is an excellent cookbook. It probably would not be the first paleo cookbook I bought -- Dana Carpender's 500 Paleo Recipes still holds that honor -- but it is very, very good indeed.