John Torode's Beef and other Bovine Matters Hardcover – Illustrated, 19 Sep 2008
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"Few chef's know and love their beef like John Torode... he's written a book that cuts through the bull and give home cooks the confidence to find the best beef and do it justice in the kitchen. A rare book and very well done!" --Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Chef.<br /> --Sainsburys Magazine, 1st September 2008
"Each section is accompanied with a cartoon section of a quirly cow... a nice way to help you understand why certain cuts are suited to particular ways of cooking." --BBC Good Food Magazine, 1st October 2008
"Everything you need to know about cooking with beef, from spagehetti with meatballs, to cote de boef with caramelised shallots or grilled veal chops with peas, artichokes and bacon. Let the MasterChef show you how." --Olive Magazine, 1st December 2008
"John Torode's Beef...is fiercley anti-elitist, showing everything from how to cook the finest steak to how to feed eight people with three quid of shin meat."See all Product description
Top customer reviews
To give this chunky tome its full title, 'John Torode's BEEF and other bovine matters', is a great book with the extra bonus of the dustcover doubling up as an informative poster measuring around 50 cm x 75 cm detailing the various beef cuts and which part of the animal they come from.
Measuring in around 25.25 cm x 19.25 cm, the durable hardboard cover opens to 256 high quality shiny pages in a predominantly red, black and beige theme spilt over main chapters:
♦ Stocks, Soups & Gravy (pg 22-33)
♦ Carpaccio (pg 36 -49)
♦ Salads & Snacks (pg 52-77)
♦ Pasta & Rice (pg 80-95)
♦ Pies, Stews & Braises (pg 98-123)
♦ Steaks & Big Hunks (pg 126-163)
♦ Salt Beef: Bresaola & Pastrami (pg 166-185)
♦ Veal (pg 188-211)
* Offal (pg 214-233)
* Sweet (pg 236-249)
sandwiched between an introduction, a short list of recommended butchers and a full index.
The introduction includes snippets of information including a note about John's restaurant at the heart of London's, Smithfield meat market, called, simply - 'Smiths'.
His aim is to bring beef home...put simply - 'any cut to anyone'.
And he delivers.
Overall, it is a passionate and well-written book with some Aussie influences, which you can pick up and dip into any time and have the confidence to tweak if so desired. Of course, if you are familiar with his TV appearances, his voice is there as you read along, offering that little bit more encouragement to try something you might not otherwise try!
John, of course, is not one to mince his words, if you'll pardon the pun!
He often says exactly what he thinks in his familiar banter e.g.:
From 'Mushroom Soup with Mushroom Toast', on page 30.
'I really (bleep) hate thin, tasteless soups that are for diet purposes only and not for taste. This soup has few calories, but has true beefy mushroom flavour from the dried mushrooms and beef stock...
From 'Carpaccio' intro:
'...The beef fillet you use for carpaccio should be fresh, fresh, fresh and not hung for a long period. Unlike most cuts, fillet benefits very little from time on the bone (with one exception - read on!) and it shrinks so it costs a (bleep) fortune. Other things to remember: don't buy fillet in a plastic wrap or it will taste gross - and don't freeze it, or it will turn to mush.
Each chapter opens with a double page with the title in white and relevant narrative all on the right-hand page.
Each recipe has the title, a relevant opening comment, the amount of servings, the list of ingredients and a clearly laid out method. Some are contained on one page, some spill over on to a second, sometimes eight appear across a double page spread. Peppered throughout is photography at its very best, as usual, by Jason Lowe, with a few of the recipes or ingredients and some 'on location' shots.
Some recipes carry 'Tips' and/or 'Variation' boxes.
'How to cook a Great Steak' is a feature of the chapter entitled 'Steaks & Big Hunks' with advice to use fillet and young sirloin for frying and grilling the 'bigger, tastier, fattier ones like the rump, rib or naything on the bone'.
The following 8 recipe spread covers the most popular accompaniments, including good old 'Onion Rings' and 'Béarnaise Sauce'. Later on in the same chapter, twixt pages 144 & 145, is a double page fold out entitled 'Beef for 100' (spit-roasting).
A small taste of the other recipes contained within:
* Beef Stock (Shin bone based and a basic for other recipes)
* Truffle soup with Pastry Tops
* Rich Beef and Barley Broth
* Basic Recipe for Carpaccio
* Grilled Radicchio
* Cold Beef Salad with Horseradish, Beetroot and Watercress
* Fresh Goats' Cheese & Beetroot
* Nam Jim
* Fragrant Satay with Peanut & Coconut Sauce
* Oxtail Ravioli with Soy & Ginger Broth
* Risotto with Wild Garlic
* Potato-topped Beef Pie
* Cornish Pasties
* Braised Oxtail & Celeriac Mash
* Daube à la JDT
* Bollito misto
* Beef Stroganoff
* Cote de Boeuf with Caramelised Shallots
* Surf & Turf
* Gratin Dauphinoise
* Classic Châteaubriand
* The Roast (inc Yorkshire Puddings)
* Beef Wellington
* Salt Beef Sandwich, Pickles & Mustard Mayonnaise
* John's Big Tasty Pastrami Sandwich
* Ginger Spiced Chickpeas
* Crumbed Veal Escalopes
* Ox Tongue
* Tripe Roman Style
* Baked Apples & Custard
* Jam Roly Poly
...and...with Christmas just around the corner (at the time of writing):
* Christmas Roast Beef with Mustard Crust
* Mincemeat & Mince Pies
* Christmas Pudding & Clootie Pudding
My favourite recipes to date are already mentioned but the one I have cooked the most times is:
'Spaghetti and Meatballs', from pages 90/91. I have also used the variation tip of 'Veal & Spinach Meatballs'. Either way the dish does need to:
'slop,drip and splatter. It has to be piping hot and soaked with sauce, and sprinkled with fresh parmesan...a 500g pack of spaghetti will be fine for 4-6 people as long as you have lots of meatballs. Now look: everybody loves meatballs so make LOADS. That is my best advice, my friend.'
And that is the overwhelming feeling left at the end of the book - a gem of a book written by a good friend.
Of course the other main ingredient you really need is a butcher you can trust!
A pleasure to read and use - it will be going to the majority of my family for Christmas this year.
Can't wait for Fowl to come out next year!
This books goes through everything to make with beef, and even astonishingly puddings. Which are made from suet, apparently. Plus the jacket folds out to a poster, which is really fun. It shows a cow with all the different types of bits on it, so to speak.
This is a really special book and if anyone wants a really good book for their fathers for Christmas, I would say this is perfect and a little bit different.
We love the way the book is written (it's very John!), and the wealth of info in it. I've already made a list of over 20 other meals that I am keen to make as soon as possible. I have loads of recipe books but this one really stands out from the rest.
Not as much on the rearing of animals and the husbandry as the River Cottage Meat book, yet still has a conscience.
Looking forward to cooking more from this!
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