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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More accessible than you might expect...
Great cookbook full of interesting recipes and nowhere near as difficult for a half competant cook to source & make as some reviews would have you believe. Aside from some of the errors mentioned elsewhere it's a cut above a large number of cookbooks but without requiring a huge amount of kitchen machinery or specialised gear...
Published 7 months ago by AbsoluteSpirit

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297 of 316 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "As-salt-ed" by Tom's lack of proof reading!
Tom, have you actually tried cooking any of your recipes from this book using the weights and measures you have written down?

a 25% brine for salt beef is far too high and will make for an unpalatable cure, assuming you survive the dangerously high concentration of saltpetre!! 50g is enough for 2 gals of brine and way over the EC limits for curing meats...
Published 17 months ago by Mc Blades


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297 of 316 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "As-salt-ed" by Tom's lack of proof reading!, 19 Oct. 2013
Tom, have you actually tried cooking any of your recipes from this book using the weights and measures you have written down?

a 25% brine for salt beef is far too high and will make for an unpalatable cure, assuming you survive the dangerously high concentration of saltpetre!! 50g is enough for 2 gals of brine and way over the EC limits for curing meats.

The book is littered with proofing errors, most notably in the amount of salt used in the cures. Both the pork belly and chicken in a basket recipes use a 50% brine. This is not only far too salty for a brine but also impossible to dissolve (salt saturates at about 35% w/v in boiling water!!!

I am a big fan of Tom Kerridge's style of food but with recipes like these he will disappoint a lot of people which is a shame.

One last tip, assuming you survived your salt beef sandwich, if you make the shoulder of lamb on pomme boulangere use a leg instead. I tried with shoulder that I boned out and removed as much fat from as possible. The potatos were still swimming in grease when the lamb was cooked. Leg is a lot les fatty and should work just as well for a slow cooked joint (I prefer it butterflied on a BBQ).

In short Tom, you MUST check your work, especially when potentially toxic nitrates are used (use safer nitrites instead bought as an all in one cure or get 1g accurate scales and make sure you use a recipe from a reliable source!!).

Update - 12/11/2013

Absolute Press, the publishers of this book, have now published an errata relating to the salt and saltpetre quantities used in the salt-beef, belly pork and fried chicken recipes (essentially reducing the salt quantities from 500g to 200g). The publisher also state that later editions of the book will incorporate these changes. This is good news for those who have yet to try the recipes. For my tastes (and I like salty foods) I would reduce the salt level in the brines to no more than 10% (ie 100g/l) but his is just my opinion.
The level of saltpetre has also been reduced to a less toxic level. However, these days, saltpetre is really only needed for long slow cured meats like salami that will be held in a cool, dry environment (<10C) where the microbes required for the nitrate/nitrite conversion can do their job). In the fridge, this conversion is less certain. If making saltbeef (or bacon etc.) Do yourself a favour and use prague powder #1 (a widely available safer mixture of sodium nitrite and salt) in the cure instead of the saltpetre, along with Toms herbs, sugar etc. You'll get The same flavour in less time and without the uncertainty of the nitrate levels.

There are still errors to be found in the book (eg the batter recipe for the fish and chips) but none that are likely to completely ruin the dish so effectively as the salting errors.

[...]
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More accessible than you might expect..., 11 Aug. 2014
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Great cookbook full of interesting recipes and nowhere near as difficult for a half competant cook to source & make as some reviews would have you believe. Aside from some of the errors mentioned elsewhere it's a cut above a large number of cookbooks but without requiring a huge amount of kitchen machinery or specialised gear...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Enough is enough, 1 Mar. 2015
By 
Mr. S. D. Coy (Cambridge) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a great book...until you actually try the recipes. The book has good photography: If you're the type of person who buys a recipe book, leafs through it, looking at the pictures, then puts it on your shelf, intending to one day doing some of the recipes, but never getting round to it, then this is a good book for you. The myriad of typographical errors in the recipes have been much discussed, such as the insanely-salty pork and chicken, the toxic salt beef, the fish batter that doesn't work, etc., so I will not discuss them further, suffice to say it is simply not good enough. But, even when using the correct amounts of, e.g. salt and sugar, I still have found the resulting dishes to be barely edible. I tried the trout with orange and thyme. It was revolting. Half a tablespoon each of lemon thyme and fennel seeds per person? Really? Only by scraping off all of the dressing was I able to eat the fish. I tried the pollack with chickpeas and chorizo. The resulting dish was so salty, as to be barely edible. And yes, I did thoroughly wash the salt off the fish before cooking it. You see, I always thought that the purpose of a recipe book was to print recipes of dishes that were actually palatable. I tried the pork belly, deftly using the correct brine (200g salt and 150g sugar in 1 litre of water). It was okay. Following the recipe to the letter, the resulting dish was at least edible. It was poor, though - still a bit too salty, a bit sweet, a bit chewy. Not tender at all. Probably the worst pork dish I've ever cooked.
Many recipes ask for expensive or hard to find ingredients, as other reviews have mentioned. I wasn't prepared to use an entire bottle of red wine for the shin of beef, but I did try the carrots. You cook them in water, butter and sugar. I found the resulting carrots no longer tasted of carrots, but just had a nondescript, sugary flavour. So, enough is enough, really. The book will now go for recycling. I'm a bit dismayed by the number of positive reviews for this book. If you read them carefully, it seems that mostly the reviewers haven't even cooked any of the recipes. I think that people give positive reviews because it has nice pictures and Tom Kerridge is a nice guy. Goodnight. (I love you all.)
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars complicated, 5 Nov. 2013
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whilst the book lis full of nice meals etc it is not written for everyday use or simple using the sort of ingredients kept in the home, it was sold on the claim that it is good pub food kept simple!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dearie me, 11 Jan. 2014
Few too many errors. Poor proof reading such a shame! Loved the the series but the book a bit disappointing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Proper pub food???, 2 Jan. 2014
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Brought this as a present for my husband who wants to get into doing a bit of cooking and had watched Tom Kerridge on a cookery programme before he went on to win it and then made his own programme. These are my opinions and not my husbands who has yet to make a recipe from the book so I may come back and change my comment once he has, but I think some of the recipes look a bit complicated and overworked and include a lot of ingredients that you would probably not find at your local Tesco or Sainsburys. I would not have thought that some of the recipes should be included on a boom called Pub Food but more suitable for Fine Dining.
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149 of 178 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A stunningly good cookery book, 24 Aug. 2013
By 
R de Bulat (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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Tom Kerridge is one of the regular chefs on of the Great British Menu, he has two Michelin stars and runs a pub restaurant where you can buy a set piece lunch for under 20 quid. I like his food and his attitude to cooking, especially the way he has managed to elevate pub-grub to such a level yet still make the food accessible to people who enjoy cooking and wish to reproduce his recipes. This book contains 130 recipes and I could easily eat every one of them, including crispy pigs ears; the recipes are clearly explained and relatively straightforward to follow. The book is divided into 6 main sections, Breakfasts, Soups and Salads, Starters and Snacks, Fish, Meat and puddings with a section on basics for sauces, curry powder mix, pickle mix, Soda Bread and Mulled Cider. The photography is good, although not every recipe has its own photograph, you still get enough to show you what the dishes should look like on the plate. The recipes are interesting and tempting and Tom wastes very little, making good use of all the ingredients especially from pork. Some of the recipes are close to the up-market street food that is currently popular and he has managed, with expertise and panache, to make pub food something special without taking away its essential element of earthiness and popularity, but improving on what is already good. A fantastic cookery book, in my opinion.
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291 of 351 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars slightly disappointed really..., 10 Sept. 2013
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I ordered this book months ago on pre order as a enjoy Tom's appearances on tv and and always drool over the food he produces so when I saw he was about to release his cookbook and it was called proper pub grub I was delighted as it would be filled with new twists on classics and also future classics with tips from a 2 Michelin star chef, BUT although the photograpy is good and Toms introductions are written in a friendly style there are remarkably few things I want to cook from either as the ingredients are tricky to get or they sound a bit too complicated or they just don't sound nice eg Jacobs ladder and bone marrow bread pudding,pigs trotters and bacon on toast, eggy bread with chocolate and orange sauce ( a breakfast dish? really?...)it maybe I'm not as adventurous as I think I am or maybe I don't fancy going to a pub and eating flaked skate,dandelion leaves,charred lemon and anchovies.If you are the sort of person who will make this kind of food at home then hats off to you and I'm sure you will absolutely love this book but its just not for me I prefer gastro pub classics by trish hilferty or the eagle cookbook.if you found this review helpful then please click yes at the bottom
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 18 Sept. 2014
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Fantastic recipes,only tried a few, but pleased with the results so far.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing, 1 Jan. 2014
Many recipes had ingredients that had to be sourced with difficulty and seemed to be very time consuming in preparation. Not many pubs serve his 'typical' pub food.
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