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The Cook and the Butcher: A Cookbook Review

The Cook And The Butcher Cookbook

The Cook and the Butcher: Juicy Recipes, Butcher’s Wisdom, and Expert Tips by 

Weldonowen for Williams Sonoma, 223 pages, more than 100 recipes, many beautiful color photos of the dishes.

Four chapters: Beef, Pork, Lamb, Veal. A lifetime of incredible recipes for cooks who are bored with the same old same old.

Brigit Binns is simply amazing. She is the author of more than two dozen cookbooks, many of them for Williams-Sonoma, including this one. She knows so much and is so inventive.

Binns shares more than 100 recipes and, on almost every page, weaves through the book tips and quotes from butchers across the nation. An example from Frank Castrogiovanni of Ottomanelli Brothers in NYC “Select a flank steak that is short and thick with some of the white fat remaining. The longer flank steaks are usually chewy”. I didn’t know that!

The recipes are a mix of indoor and outdoor, and they are beautifully photographed by Kate Sears. What stands out is the creativity. For example, Steak Au Poivre. As Binns explains “This classic French preparation is a luxurious combination: the cooked meat, as tender as butter, is finished with a bracingly piquant and creamy pan sauce. While some recipes call for the peppercorns to be ground and pressed into the meat before cooking, I prefer to season the steaks simply, with a sprinkling of salt and black pepper, and to feature the green peppercorns in the easy pan sauce.” Well every recipe I’ve ever seen says to coarsely crack the peppercorns, smask them into the meat, and then panfry. The problem is that you end up with serious pepper overload, you can barely taste the meat, and it is almost impossible to get a good flavorful sear with all those huge chunks of pepper holding he meat above the hot pan surface. That’s one reason I quit making this dish. Until now. Binns’ approach, which boils green peppercorns and uses them in a pan sauce of shallots, butter, Cognac, heavy cream, and beef consommé, is so much more sensible and elegant. Just like the lady herself.

Then, on the next page, she turns Philly Cheese Steaks from caterpillar to butterfly. Other recipes include Oven Browned Spareribs with Lemongrass, Honey, And Soy; Roasted Flank Steak Stuffed with Olives and Pecorino; Maple Brined Pork Chops With Pear Chutney; Pork Shoulder Braised in Milk; Double Cut Lamb Chops Stuffed with Prunes and Pine Nuts; Grilled Veal Chops with mustard Tarragon Aioli. Among the salads, sides, and toppings are Mango Salsa; Sun Dried Tomato Jam; Lime, Cabbage, and Jalapeño Slaw; and Onion Rings.

The menu sounds like a 4-star restaurant, but the recipes are easily managed with the help of a good butcher, a well stocked kitchen, and the guidance of a great cook, like Binns.

Buy The Cook and the Butcher from Amazon

Published On: 6/21/2018 Last Modified: 12/21/2021

 

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The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

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Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

Click here for our article on this exciting cooker


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Green Mountain Grills Trek smoker

Green Mountain Grills Trek smoker

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Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


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GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone


GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips, pellets, or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke.

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Click here to read our detailed review of the PK 360

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