Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Cook Today’s Meat
by Bruce Aidells with Anne-Marie Ramo
Photography by Luca Trovato
If you are familiar with Bruce Aidells’ first cookbook, The Complete Meat Cookbook, you are going to love The Great Meat Cookbook - Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Cook Today’s Meat. If you don’t know his first book, you’re still going to enjoy this new one.
It really is a cookbook with hundreds of recipes that are labeled with “handy recipe tags like ‘Fit for Company,’ ‘Great Leftovers,’ and ‘In a Hurry”. But it also gets into the various cuts of meat, how to cook them and what to serve with them. Not only do they offer recipes for beef (including grass-fed beef), pork, lamb, veal and some different meats like bison and goat.
If you don’t know Mr Aidells from one of his 11 cookbooks, you may be familiar with his sausages from Aidells Sausage Company, a company he founded over 30 years ago when Chef Bruce produced his first chicken apple sausage. The Aidells Sausage Company now offers a wide range of dinner sausages including Artichoke & Garlic, Cajun Style Andouille, Pineapple & Bacon just to name a few.
More Than Just a Cookbook
I love cookbooks for recipe ideas and inspiration but I especially like cookbooks that offer tips and techniques on how to cook those recipes. The Great Meat Cookbook is just that. It provides a ton of useful information to help home cooks be better cooks. Direct grilling, indirect grilling, barbecue, salting, what thermometer to use, and resting meat are just a few of the topics Mr Aidells discusses.
I just opened the book and landed on page 62. Here’s some of the information discussed on pages 62 and 63:
Grilling Steak Cuts - Flat-Iron Steak, Culotte Steak, Chuck Steak
Grilling Thin Steak Tips
Marinades, Spice Rubs, and Spice Pastes for Steaks - there’s a recipe for Mushroom Marinade for beef steak.
There’s also Cooks Notes about marinades.
So besides a great recipe, there’s a ton of informative information. Let’s try this again. I’ll flip through the book and pick a random two pages.
Ok, pages 272 and 273:
Recipe: Baked Pork Chops with Bacon, Pomegranate, and Pine Nut Relish
Aleppo Pepper Spice Rub
Alternative Cuts: the recipe calls for bone-in pork rib chops but offers substitutes like rib, T-bone loin, sirloin or blade-end pork chops.
Cook’s Notes: talks about Aleppo pepper, how to toast pine nuts
Baking Pork Chops - tips for cooking pork chops properly so they don’t overcook.
Some Pretty Awesome Reviews
Here are some reviews I grabbed from Amazon by some well know chefs and food writers:
“The Great Meat Cookbook is loaded with recipes for tasty but less-understood cuts, and Aidells covers the globe in search of recipes that will bring delight and good eating for many years’ worth of meals." —Rick Bayless, chef/owner of Frontera Grill, Topolobampo and XOCO, Chicago
“Thankfully, people are paying more attention to what happens to meat before it reaches their table. Bruce Aidells has now put together an invaluable resource to be their guide and inspiration.” —Bill Niman, rancher and founder, Niman Ranch and B N Ranch
“Bruce Aidell’s The Great Meat Cookbook is an amazing reflection of the author’s depth of knowledge. From the pictures and recipes, to the cooking techniques and definitions of local, sustainable, and organic meat, you will find an answer to any question you might have.” —Nell Newman, president, Newman’s Own Organics
If you are looking for a cookbook with lots of great recipes for all your favorite cuts of meat and offers tips on how to choose and cook those meats, The Great Meat Cookbook is for you.