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Falling Off the Bone Hardcover – October 19, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fall into Cooking Featured Recipe: Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collards and Ham Hocks from Jean Anderson’s Falling off the Bone

As easy as it is economical, this hearty soup takes the chill off those first frosty days of autumn, and once everything’s in the pot, virtually cooks itself. Best of all it can be made in advance and is even better after a night in the fridge. So when friends come over to watch football, serve steaming bowls of Black-Eyed Pea Soup with Collards and Ham Hocks along with chewy chunks of country bread. Nothing more is needed. Note: I use country ham hocks for this soup because of their deep smoky flavor, but "packing house" ham hocks are perfectly good. Whichever you choose, make sure there's "plenty of meat on them bones." --Jean Anderson

Serves 6-8


1 pound dried black-eyed peas, washed, sorted, and soaked overnight in enough cold water to cover
1/4 cup bacon drippings or vegetable oil
3 large yellow onions, coarsely chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1 large bunch fresh collards (about 1 1/2 pounds), washed, trimmed, and sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 1/2 pounds meaty smoked ham hocks (see headnote)
1 quart (4 cups) beef or chicken broth
1 quart (4 cups) cold water
12 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce, or to taste
Salt, if needed to taste

Drain black-eyed peas, rinse well, drain again, and set aside.

Heat drippings in a large heavy Dutch oven over moderately high heat until ripples appear on pan bottom—1 1/2 to 2 minutes.

Add onions and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until limp and lightly browned—about 10 minutes. Add collards and cook, stirring now and then, until wilted—about 5 minutes. Mix in black-eyed peas.

Anchor ham hocks in vegetables, add broth, water, and peppercorns, and bring to a boil over high heat. Adjust so liquid bubbles gently, cover, and simmer, stirring now and then, until black-eyed peas are tender and ham all but falls from bones—1½ to 2 hours.

Note: Check pot now and then and if soup threatens to scorch, reduce burner heat to lowest point and slide a diffuser underneath pot.

Lift ham hocks to a cutting board and strip meat from bones. Add to soup along with hot pepper sauce to taste, and salt, if needed. Discard bones.

Ladle into heated soup plates and accompany with freshly baked corn bread or chunks of good country bread. Better yet, cool soup, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Next day, reheat and serve.

Product Description
From trusted cookbook author and food writer Jean Anderson comes Falling Off the Bone, a collection of recipes for simple, delicious meat dishes just like grandma used to make, but updated for contemporary kitchens and tastes. With beautiful color photographs throughout, this cookbook shows just how mouthwateringly delicious simple home cooking can be.

Falling Off the Bone dishes up quintessential comfort food—recipes that are ideal for virtually any tough cut of beef, pork, lamb, or veal. Anderson shows you how to use slow cooking methods like braising, pot- roasting, and simmering to coax amazing flavors out of the most common and affordable cuts.

    • Features sumptuously photographed recipes for such soul-satisfying dishes as Beef Catalan, Ossobuco, Hassle-Free Oven Stew of Lamb with Peppers and Prosciutto, and Glazed Sweet-Sour Spareribs
    • Perfect for cooks on a budget, these recipes make the most of affordable cuts of meat
    • Written by one of America's most respected food writers and cookbook authors

For anyone who wants to eat like a king on a penny-pincher’s budget, Falling Off the Bone leads the way. It brims with nourishing comfort foods that are simple, delicious, and more tender than you ever dreamed possible.

Recipe Excerpts from Falling Off the Bone

Ragout of Beef with Cranberries and Wild Mushrooms

Baltic Lamb and Kale Soup

Pork Shoulder Steaks Creole

From Publishers Weekly

Striking a recessionary tone, Anderson (New Doubleday Cookbook) explores not just beef, veal, lamb, and pork, but focuses specifically upon their less expensive, "bony and/or sinewy cuts." The handy preface provides tips on tenderization, and there are charts illustrating from where upon each animal the tough cuts are carved. Judging from the 163 recipes, there appear to be three essential solutions for dealing with the likes of chuck, rump, riblets, and pig's feet. One can throw them in a soup, cook them low and slow, or surround them with intense flavors. Jade soup with pork and veal dumpling balls, for example, uses ground shoulder, bread crumbs, and cheese for the dumplings, with a buttermilk soup full of chopped spinach. Carbonnade flamande, a Belgian stew, is one of many dishes designed for the slow cooker. Boneless chuck, onions, garlic, and beer are simmered for four hours, then served with boiled potatoes. There are high heat options such as green chili with pinto beans, or spicy braised pork belly, as well as tepid on the tongue choices such as cold sliced veal with tuna mayonnaise, or good ole corned beef and cabbage.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1 edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470467134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470467138
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.9 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #755,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
"Falling Off the Bone" is a fabulous book if what you want are over 160 recipes for the kind of home-cooked dinners your mother used to make (or you wish she had). For me, these soups, stews, meat loaves and other slow-cooked beef, lamb, veal and pork dishes offer up comfort three ways.

Comfort #1: The aroma that fills the house feels like love itself. And since I've already put everything in the pot and walked away to do other things it seems like someone else is making me dinner.
Comfort #2: Dishing up and diving into a luscious beef bourguignon or a succulent lamb stew or a tasty plate of glazed spareribs. Wonderful!
Comfort #3: These recipes make enough food for a family, and since I live alone I get several more meals out of one effort! How great is that? Usually I treat myself to another serving later in the week and freeze the rest in portion sizes.

Jean Anderson really knows how to cook, and in this book she makes it easy and affordable for anyone old enough to turn on a stove.
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Format: Hardcover
What's more comforting than sitting down to a plate adorned with slow-cooked, flavor-packed meat so tender, that often no knife is needed? As the weather begins to cool and fall takes over, the stockpots get dusted off and slow cookers plugged in. Jean Anderson talks you through each and every step, in very clear terms, to making your table a respite from the cold. As with any of her books, you can trust the recipes and they taste like home.
Each chapter opens with information to educate even experienced cooks on cuts of meat and where they come from. Jean has taken affordable, and often overlooked, cuts of meat and turned them into magnificent meals. With these recipes warming up your kitchen, no one will guess the economy is still storming outside.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm an average cook so all the help Jean Anderson provides: the wonderful ingredient combinations, variety, and easy to understand step by step instructions are just what I need. I made Taverna Lamb and Kalamata Stew for my family and it was WOW!! Ms. Anderson is with you all the way and gives you the confidence to keep trying. This cookbook is an absolute must for everyone.
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It is disappointing to me how very shallow this book is in general--or basic--information on the different slow cooking techniques for the large variety of tougher cuts of meat. I was hoping for (pardon me) more "meaty" information--tips, rules, personal experience--on the different slow cooking processes. To the point, I was hoping to be taught and I was not. I was hoping for more information on the different tougher cuts of meat and how best to cook them, (or how not to cook them). For instance, what cuts can be substituted for others? What best size "large" dutch oven to use for cubes, slabs, roasts? Why use one temperature in this recipe and a different temperature in the next recipe? How do I adapt my recipe to work with a thinner or thicker cut, or a roast that weighs a pound more than called for? How high up the side of my dutch oven should the liquid come to--knowing that my "large" pot might not be the size of your "large" pot?

The book has plenty of "tips", but why give tips on how to boil an egg or cook rice, or why to use time-saving sliced mushrooms or bagged baby carrots, when Ms. Anderson could have really zoned in on more pertinent tips on slow cooking or tough meat cuts?

I was hoping to see some recipes for some of the more unusual cuts of meat like beef cheeks, beef neck, tripe, tongue, etc. There are a lot of recipes for cubed beef chuck and cubed pork, but not so much for chuck roasts or pork shoulder roasts. Why not?

And, I want to point out that while the book is full of recipes for inexpensive cuts of beef and pork, it is also full of very expensive veal and somewhat less expensive lamb. In other words, not all the recipes in ths book are economical.
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Gorgeous pictures. Great recipe ideas for my highly carnivorous household.

The only thing is, I would highly recommend just using your judgement with regard to some of the cooking times. I know the title is "falling off the bone" so you're thinking "I'm going to be cooking for 6-8 hours". But, for example, the oxtail soup recipe:

The recipe said to cook 3 lbs of oxtail for 5 hours, however 3 hours was JUST FINE. Then it said to add the carrots/potatoes and cook for 45 mins and then add (canned) tomatoes and cook for another 20 mins (?). This would mean you've been simmering potatoes and carrots for over an hour, which would equal mush (bad).

Regardless, the flavors were phenomenal, my boyfriend is and "industry" lifer, and I was a cook for over a decade, and we've both raved about many of the recipes like maniacs. I would just say to use your judgement with regard to the cooking times.

I'll definitely be referencing this book a lot in the future.
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Format: Hardcover
I love roasts, soups, stews, and meat pies. How about you? Not only do they taste great, they can be very nutritious, and always stretch our food dollars a bit further. Because we can take our time cooking these dishes, they can use cheaper and tougher cuts of meat that will be especially flavorful and tender when cooked properly. And properly does NOT mean complicated. Most of the dishes in this book are drop dead simple to cook. But you have to select the ingredients properly, prepare them simply, but correctly for the cooking time involved, and you have to get the heat right for the time you want to cook them. For example, a simmering braise results in tender meat. A boiling braise results in tough meat.

Jean Anderson has put together a really nice collection of recipes on how to cook these tough but cheaper cuts of meat so they are wonderful. She has a section each on beef, veal, lamb, and pork. She explains why veal isn't beef and why baby beef isn't veal or beef and you probably don't want to use it anyway.

You simply must read the first chapter in the book before diving into the recipes. It is simply called "How to use this book". She takes you through the basics of tenderizing meat, how to select ingredients and why getting the just right is critical to the deliciousness of the outcome of your efforts, a tour of common seasonings and spices, measuring tips, and a few short cuts. She also talks a bit about the vessels, the neat toys you can use to save yourself time and make the work a bit easier. A useful few pages of information you can use for this book and your other cooking, as well.
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