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on 12 January 2015
Over all I like this book a lot and Tom is a legend, BUT, some serious errors have been made. The salt content in the brine for the fried chicken is absurd as the liquid becomes concentrated with salt before even half has been dissolved. The 4tsp of salt specified in the spice mix makes the coating inedible. I notice that the brine recipe in the follow up book doubles the amount of water and reduces the salt to 400g from 500g. This was his first book, so hopefully better checks will be made in the future. I wasted nearly £20 on ingredients.
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on 19 October 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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on 5 November 2013
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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on 11 January 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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on 11 August 2014
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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on 3 January 2014
My defenition of Pub food is rustic, filling, no frills, hearty food using easily available ingredients and I was expecting the recipies to follow this idea (and to an extent, the theme of the TV show) - pub food with a twist.

The recipies in this book are far too complicated, use awkward to source ingredients and require too much faffing about. In some cases the recipies don't even follow the same one in the show - for example on TV a recipie was made using bought-in ice cream - the same recipe in the book requires making your own! I appreciate you could shortcut this, but wht put it in the book at all?

Of the 130 odd recipies, I would say there are perhaps a dozen or so that I would call "proper pub food" - things like pigs trotters, cheeks, and ears just don't appeal to me at all and not things I've ever seen in a pub - more common in dog food!

If the book didn't associate itself with Pub food, it might be more appealing to the more adventurous cooks, but as it stands its description is misleading and therefore I can't recommend this book
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on 1 January 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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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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on 10 September 2013
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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on 18 September 2014
Fantastic recipes,only tried a few, but pleased with the results so far.
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