The Great Meat Cookbook: Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Cook Today’s Meat by Bruce Aidells
Bruce Aidells has chops. Literally and figuratively.
He has been a working butcher. He founded a sausage company and I’ll bet you’ve seen Aidells Sausages on your grocery shelves. He sold the company. He married a chef. He’s had his own TV show. He’s written my favorite book on sausages Bruce Aidells’s Complete Sausage Book. His byline appears regularly in the food mags. And now this.
The Great Meat Cookbook is a thorough compendium on all things meat, 630 pages worth. Not just superb recipes, both classic and creative, but up to the moment introductory chapters explaining meat labeling and grading. He writes intelligently on the legal meanings and culinary implications of such terms as “grass fed”, “natural”, and “organic”. There are photos of all the common cuts of meat and then some.
The recipes don’t limit themselves to common cuts. He includes bison, goat, leftovers, and, no surprise, sausages and cured meats.
Here’s a quote with typical Aidells insight: “I’ve had the pleasurable (and sometimes not so pleasurable) experience of tasting grass-finished beef from all over the world. For example, I have had grass-fed beef from Uruguay and Argentine (Estancia brand) and Australia (Greg Norman brand). Ranchers have sent me samples from many parts of the United States as well, and I’ve tasted grass-fed beef raised locally here in northern California. When I haven’t enjoyed the meat, it’s usually been because it was harvested from pastures that were not in their prime, such as during the summer months in northern California, when the weather is dry and grass is sparse.”