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

4.5 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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  • Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork
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Editorial Reviews

Review

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

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

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

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

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

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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (November 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781452100593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452100593
  • ASIN: 1452100594
  • 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 (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We have this as one of our coffee table books, and in our group of family/friends, the guys love to grill. Almost every male guest we've had has browsed through this book and talked about something they've read. It's a fun conversation starter.
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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: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
this is a good book goes into detail on cuts wrapping the meats
hanging it for ageing the meat, The proper way to freeze your meats, making sausage
just loaded with a lot of info that I enjoyed and you will also
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Using this book as reference I butchered three pigs (the first I have ever own, raised from 6 weeks of age, 90% pasture).
I like the author's mentality of even if your cut does not look like the books picture, it is not wrong! He encourages people to stretch out and provides online resources for more ideas of cuts.
Admittedly, the shoulder and hams cuts are hard to do. But after the first go around, you get the idea.
I followed the book to the letter with the first pig. Then changed up some things for the second and third pig to fit my household.
I really like the French pork chops and increasing the yield of bacon as a result of Frenching.
The pork porterhouse steaks are awesome.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
very well written butchery book. Perfect for both beginner and all home butchers! The step by step photos are extremely helpful. 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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