MEAT: Everything You Need to Know
I loved absolutely everything about this book. Pat LaFrieda, a third-generation Italian-American butcher, shares his intimate and extensive knowledge about all kinds of meat: lamb, veal, pork, poultry, beef and chopped (ground) meats. A diagram of each animal shows the various cuts, each discussed for its flavor and use. Full-color recipes are included in each section, many of them from the author’s family heritage; others are from exclusive restaurants the LaFrieda family supplies. As a cookbook, it is lovely, with unique and exciting recipes written for the home cook; many are complex, but the instructions are clear and ingredients are everyday. As a reference book, it is illuminating and educational, and one readers will turn to often. However, beyond these (which are reason enough to love the book), Pat LaFrieda has written a beautiful memoir about his experiences in the meat business, from his first jobs as a child working with his father, to his growing the company as an adult to the celebrated success it is today. Themes of integrity, quality, family and hard work run through it all, and the story seamlessly combines with the reference material and recipes. It is an amazing combination, perfectly executed, and absolutely delicious.
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