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Steaks, Chops, Roasts & Ribs Hardcover – May 15, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A fine whole tenderloin of beef is a great piece of meat to roast and serve on a special occasion, and is expensive enough it could give one pause at the open oven door--that great What If, as in what if I don't really know what I am doing. The editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine have settled the issue. It's all right here in Steaks, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs: Where the tenderloin can be found on the beef, whether to buy it untrimmed or not, how to roll and tie it for uniform roasting (including a sidebar on how to tie the butcher's knot), the best temperature at which to roast this cut of meat, and the length of time you can expect to wait beside the oven door. Having tested the process with 11 tenderloin roasts, these editors tell you all you need to know to get the results you want.

Steaks, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs opens with meat basics. If you know where a specific cut of meat comes from, you have a leg up on how best to cook the meat. Pork, lamb, veal, and beef are all covered. The buying information leads to a section on cooking basics. And then into the chapters. This isn't a book based so much on the kind of meat as on what you want to accomplish with any meat. The chapters cover steak (cooking outside and indoors), chops, cutlets, ground meat, ham, roasts, and more--polus there's a chapter on Rubs, Sauces, Salsa, and Gravy.

The pace is moderate and the information is thorough, both about the product, the technique, and the truth by experience about the tools you need to achieve success. There are hundreds of helpful line drawings and pages of color photos. And most important of all, 300 recipes that have been tested and retested by the people who invented the test kitchen. Steaks, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs is the meat eaters insurance policy. --Schuyler Ingle

From Publishers Weekly

Forget the spinach, forget the potatoes: many Americans dream of a dinner with a glistening, juicy, well-caramelized steak. But with high-end steaks pushing $20 a pound, there’s little room to experiment, which makes this collection of fail-proof recipes by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated (The Best Recipe; etc.) all the more valuable. Reading the volume is like taking a crash-course at the butcher’s: the first 20 pages explain and rate various different cuts of beef, veal, pork and lamb, as well as various cooking methods (grill-roasting, pan-searing, braising, etc.). Subsequent chapters are organized to satisfy all kinds of kitchen hankerings (e.g. "I Want to Cook Meat on a Stick," "I Want to Make Pot Roast") using simple and easy techniques. Ever concerned with efficiency and affordability, the C.I./America’s Test Kitchen team devised many innovations for this collection, among them a tasty Beef Goulash that doesn’t require beef stock and a method for slicing beef for Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches with a food processor. Attractive line drawings illustrate important techniques like making a pan sauce and working with supermarket puff pastry. From simple recipes like Pan-Fried Breaded Pork Cutlets (complemented by an excellent recipe for homemade Japanese Tonkatsu sauce) to more time-consuming ones like the flavor-bursting Braised Lamb Shanks with Lemon and Mint, the recipes streamline traditional dishes without loosing an ounce of flavor. Perhaps in response to complaints that Cook’s Illustrated recipes can be boring, this cookbook includes several contemporary sauce ideas-such as Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Paprika Butter for steaks and assertive wet-rubs for pork tenderloin-that would not be out-of-place in a professional kitchen. This cookbook could quickly become indispensable to any carnivore’s dinner dreams.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Series: Best Recipe
  • Hardcover: 433 pages
  • Publisher: America's Test Kitchen; First Edition edition (May 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0936184787
  • ISBN-13: 978-0936184784
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.5 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,516 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In general, this book is reliable, complete, and extremely useful to anyone who eats meat more than once in a while. It is good addition to your bookshelf and recommended highly. The primary value of this book is completeness. No matter what type of meat or cut you have, there is a relevant chapter and recipes for it; this book covers it all. Systematically developing recipes for all types of meat must have been a daunting task. Although this book is seriously flawed, if you cook based on the wonderful piece of meat you got at the supermarket or butcher rather than cooking from a cookbook from a famous celebrity chef, this book is pretty much the only game in town and rather indispensable. My main warning about this book: the recipes are focused on the proper procedure and technique, not on what is easy or convenient; some of the fussiest recipes I have ever seen come from this meat cookbook (I will refrain from complaining about the futility of Yankees trying to cook oriental food, chili, or barbecue).

The authors have focused on those wonky little details that are usually glossed over and can make or break a good meat dish: correct breading technique, meat thickness, internal temperature, proper resting method, etc. The first part of the book has a valuable catalog of meat cuts. Each cut has alternate names, a drawing, and ratings for flavor and cost. Only professional references available to butchers are more comprehensive. The chapter organization based on cut (ground, steak, etc.) rather than the usual type of meat (lamb, beef, pork, veal) is a good educational tool: it emphasizes proper preparation technique rather than animal type.
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Format: Hardcover
If you are not familiar with Cook's Illustrated magazine and their numerous cookbooks, let me introduce them to you. What they do is they take a recipe into their test kitchen, prepare it over and over again until they reach the very best way to make it, and then publish the recipe, along with a detailed report on their testing and how they arrived at their findings. This is a wonderful concept for the serious home cook and baker, because aside from their delicious (mostly) foolproof recipes, the cook is invited to learn the science behind the recipe, and this is a valuable learning tool. To me, the people behind Cook's Illustrated and their cookbooks are more than just a source of good recipes, they are EDUCATORS. And I have learned a great deal from them in the couple years that I have been exposed to them. "Steaks, Chops, Roasts and Ribs" is one of the wonderful cookbooks in the Cook's Illustrated series that I wholeheartedly recommend to the home cook who wants to learn more about the art of preparing various meats. Although some of the recipes within can be found in their much more comprehensive and all-encompassing cookbook "The New Best Recipe", this book stands apart if not solely for its wonderful and fully detailed section on the various cuts of meat. Every type and cut of meat imaginable is addressed in the beginning of the book, with a description of the cut, its alternate names, a rating of its flavor and an idea of its cost. There is also an informative section about the primal cuts of meat, what "branding" means and basic cooking methods. The information doesn't stop there, however, because scattered throughout the book are many other tidbits of information, like how to successfully make pan sauces, the best wines for cooking, product reviews, and helpful cooking illustrations.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I first encounted this book in the library, I was attracted by the title. I was a little skeptical at first, thinking it would be extremely boring since there is no fancy picture in the book, but as I started reading it, I was amazed by the info in the book, they tell you every single detail involved to make sure everything turns out perfect. And they tell you the every single little things e.g. the science behind aging your beef...

Even my husband who never cook in the kitchen enjoys reading it. One of our favourite receipe is beef kebob. My family and friends were all amazed how tasy they are, and begging for receipe. I like the book so much, so I ended up ordering if from Amazon, and since then I have also ordered a few more book published by the same published. I would strongly recommended this book to everyone.
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Format: Hardcover
I have been a cook for last 6years in Australia and working in Korea at the moment. The restaurant that I am working is very busy and always looking for new menues. Someone gave me this book and I tried to make some of dishes and rubs. The result was fantastic. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in cooking. Also it will be very helpful to professional cooks to get ideas.
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Format: Hardcover
I borrowed this book from the library, with high hopes it would be the perfect cookbook for a dyed-in-the-wool male carnivore such as myself. It came close, but ultimately fell short of the mark. The book has its good points - I found the "Meat Basics" up front very valuable. It contains sections on "How to buy..." for pork, lamb, veal, beef, beef roasts, and beef ribs. Every possible cut of meat you'd encounter at the butchers is here, along with little drawings of the cut, flavor ratings, relative cost, and alternate names you'd likely see - the perfect shopping guide to have with you in the market. Where I found the book less than desirable is its dependence on grilling as the cooking method. For example, the first five chapters are: I Want to Grill a Steak, I Want to Cook a Steak Indoors, I Want to Cook Meat on a Stick, I Want to Grill Chops, and I Want to Cook Chops Inside. As you can see, three of these five chapters are about grilling (charcoal and gas). There were other chapters involving grilling as well. Unfortunately, I live in an older high-rise apartment building. Outdoor grilling is impossible and indoor grilling is prohibited due to the fire hazard. This meant, for me at least, that about six of the sixteen chapters (about a third of the receipes) in this book had to be totally ignored.

The other disappointment of this book is the very limited color photographs of the prepared dishes. Of "more than 300 foolproof receipes" advertised on the cover, only 16 full-color photographs appeared in the center of the book. I realize adding more color photographs would raise the cover price, but I think it was a bad decision not to do that in this case.

As with other books from the Cooks Country/America's Test Kitchen franchise, this book does have useful information and tasty receipes. Just be aware this particular volume may not be ideal for apartment dwellers who cannot grill meats to their hearts' content.
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