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Book Review: Secrets of the Butcher

December 2018/January 2019 Issue
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Secrets of the Butcher: How to Select, Cut, Prepare, and Cook Every Type of Meat
By Arthur Le Caisne
(Black Dog & Leventhal; $27.99)

Anyone who loves to cook or eat meat deserves a copy of this hardcover. On page after inviting page, Arthur Le Caisne details everything you need to know (and much that you didn’t know you needed to know but will be glad to) about beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and game. Roughly organized into three parts, the book begins with an overview of the animals that give us meat, along with masterful color illustrations by Jean Grosson, covering more than 20 breeds of each animal from Black Angus cows to Iberico pigs to Rhode Island Red chickens.

The next section of the book delves into the secrets of the butcher: the equipment, ingredients, preparation, and cooking techniques that will let you give meat the love it deserves. You’ll also learn what types of cooking oil to use; how to make meat juicier; what types of salts, peppers, and other spices to use; and even how to butcher every type of meat. Twenty-six classic recipes—from Beef Bourguignon to Pulled Pork to Roast Chicken with the Crispiest Skin in the World—round out this must-have volume for meat lovers.

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