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Nose to Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking Hardcover – 7 May 1999
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Fergus Henderson caused something of a sensation when he opened his restaurant St John in London in 1995. Set in a former smokehouse near Smithfield meat market, its striking, high-ceilinged white interior provides a dramatic setting for food of dazzling boldness and simplicity. As signalled by the restaurant's logo of a pig (reproduced on the cover of Nose to Tail Eating) and appropriately given the location, at St John the emphasis is firmly on meat. And not the noisettes, fillets, magrets and so forth of standard restaurant portion-control, all piled up into little towers in the middle of the plate: Henderson serves up the inner organs of beasts and fowls in big, exhilarating dishes that combine high sophistication with peasant roughness. Nose to Tail Eating is a collection of these recipes, celebrating, as the title implies, the thrifty rural British traditions of making delicious virtue out of using every part of the animal.
Henderson's wonderful signature dish, Roast Bone Marrow and Parsley Salad, is among the starters, along with Grilled, Marinated Calf's Heart and the gruesome-sounding but apparently delicious Rolled Pig's Spleen. He is a great advocate of salting and brining and tends to use saturated animals fats (duck, goose, lard) in quantities that would make a dietician blench. But when the results are dishes of the calibre of Brined Pork Belly, Roasted, Lamb's Tongues, Turnips, Bacon and Salted Duck's Legs, Green Beans, and Cornmeal Dumplings (trust me, they are astounding), who cares? Fish at St John avoids the usual fare--no monkfish or red mullet here; instead herring roes, salt cod, eel, brill and skate. Vegetables are mashed (swede, celeriac) or roasted (pumpkin, tomatoes) and he dares to serve boiled brussels sprouts. The puddings (not desserts) are a starry dream of school dinners: Treacle Tart, St John's Eccles Cakes and a "very nearly perfect" Chocolate Ice Cream. Not perhaps for the faint of heart, but for the adventurous an exciting feast of new and rediscovered flavours and textures. --Robin Davidson
'A fantastic book, wonderful stories with nostalgic and inspiring recipes -an essential book for honest cooks' Jamie Oliver 'His cooking and recipes are a joy' Nigel Slater 'A cult masterpiece' Anthony Bourdain 'Nose to Tail Eating is a book I've raided so many times as a chef. Every recipe is wonderful, and it's one of the most concisely humorous cookbooks that I've ever come across. Fergus has a sense of humour and an ability to self-edit that I'm as envious of as I am his cooking skills. And Jason Lowe is one of my favourite food photographers' Tom Norrington-Davies --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
Offal isn't so much a matter of taste as it is of texture and for people who haven't eaten offal I don't know how much this comes through.
My only criticism is the lack of additional info about offal, the different types of tripe and liver can't necessarily do the same recipe justice. I had a butcher insisting it WAS calf's liver, it was only 18 months old when it died. Aye maybe but it was well past pan searing/drizzling with fig balsamic, strictly gravy and onions.
A lovely book for those who have the guts (couldn't resist it) to try it out. Try a Chinese supermarket if you're looking for said guts, and if you find a butcher who'll play along, treasure him.
However, buyers note this book is in the smaller novel-sized format. This is not entirely clear from the product description, and I'm pretty sure this is a smaller format than the book was originally published in...
I was a little disappointed to find it was a small size, so buyer beware I guess.
Content wise, its awesome though
The book is only marred by a slight lack of clarity and occasional sloppy culinary proofreading. An example of this is Welsh Rarebit for 6 specifying four pieces of toast. This does not detract from the overall significance of the book, but may have the effect of heightening the nervousness of uncertain cooks coming to it for the first time.
I'm sure the book is perfectly fine, but I didn't keep it long enough to find out.
If an american edition is what you want, then it'll be just dandy. Otherwise the UK edition is probably what you're after.