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The River Cottage Meat Book Paperback – 18 Sep 2008

4.8 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; New Ed edition (18 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034082638X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340826386
  • Product Dimensions: 19.3 x 26.4 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 261,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

As you would expect from the quirky and strong-minded Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, The River Cottage Meat Book is a quirky and strong-minded book. This arm-straining volume (weighing in at an impressive and well illustrated 543 pages) is quite the most ambitious volume yet by an author who absolutely refuses to be categorised. Is he a cookery writer? An expert on the sociology and history of food? An eccentric TV personality? Actually, of course, he's all three (and more); and all of his various skills find expression in this, his magnum opus.

The first intriguing question that The River Cottage Meat Book inspires is: what is the author's agenda? The book has so many aims it's difficult to know where to begin. First of all, this is a definitive guide to the preparation and cooking of meat, in all its various forms. Fearnley-Whittingstall deals (in assiduous detail) with such topics as roasting, grilling and preserving everything from turkey to trotters, in a variety of recipes that he obviously knows and loves. But there is far more to the book than this--fascinating sections on the many different types of meat (lamb, pork and so on) are crammed with information on the different cuts of meat and what they should be used for.

But as someone who raises and utilises his own livestock at the River Cottage, Fearnley-Whittingstall is clearly passionate about the welfare of animals bred for food, and provides some unpalatable information on widespread misdemeanours in these areas. If nothing else, this book will persuade you that it's a good idea to buy your meat from butchers who are equally passionate about these issues, or even direct from reputable farms. The concept makes sound ideological sense, but also ensures that your meat dishes will have an unrivalled depth of flavour. --Barry Forshaw --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

The best new book of the year without a shadow of a doubt, a serious treatise, a meat cookery bible and a supremely appetising recipe collection. Fearnley-Whittingstall is our most important and eloquent food writer today. (Philippa Davenport, Financial Times)

It should be bought by every meat-eating household, as well as every butcher and supermarket manager throughout the land (Martin Koerner, Waterstones Books Quarterly)

If you eat meat, you will buy, prepare and cook it better having read this book. (Jill Dupleix, The Times)

Thumpingly enormous, extremely good, and manages to be at once a recipe collection, a series of tutorials on the principles of cooking, a directory of organic suppliers, a philosophical essay, a timely report on the state of intensive farming and a forceful polemic (Sam Leith, Daily Telegraph)

I have been unable to put it down ... I urge all meat lovers to go and buy it. It is excellent (Mervyn Hancock, Western Daily Press)

Carefully researched, revelatory and powerful (Felicity Lawrence, Guardian)

A tome as heavy as a newborn piglet ... brave and deeply challenging stuff... a refreshing and triumphant antidote to dumbed-down recipe writing... positively incendiary (Joanna Blythman, Sunday Herald)

The solitary TV regular who can write a decent cookbook ... the enthusiastic carnivore will relish all 550 pages (Christopher Hirst, The Independent)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this book as I needed to make my own bacon, ham and chorizo(nitrate/nitrites aggravating migraine). Never going back to bought products, the book taught me to make them so easily and am now enjoying branching out into what else the book offers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
comprehensive, starts with basics and principles. Read understand and youwillnot need another meat book
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book
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Format: Hardcover
It seems a little ironic that a pilgrimage to Manchester to see arch-vegetarian Morrissey's home-coming show should give me the opportunity to notice this book but a cursory flick through the pages confirmed my hope that it would take me to the next rung on the hobbyist cook ladder.
Most cookery books answer the "how?" questions with varying degrees of success but I suspect that after the third or fourth Recipe Collection Christmas Stocking-Filler, many people would like to have a few basic "why?" questions answered to satisfy the need to be able to improvise when ingredients (or even equipment) aren't available or simply to satisfy their creative urges.
The book is therefore split into two so that Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall can first deal with what you should know about meat before he deals with how you can best cook it. HF-W's combination of concise facts about the meat industry and cutting - sometimes very comedic - observations will give any reader the armoury and terminology to be more intelligent about what they buy (how many people really have more than a rudimentary knowledge about which part of an animal provides which kind of meat and what it's good for?) but as he appears to agree himself, this book is only a starting point and you'll have to establish a good relationship with a good butcher to really get the best ingredients and the best use of what you do buy.
Once you do all this, the rewards are the recipes in the second half of the book. HF-W runs through a number of well-known meat dishes and as usual, some are more adventurous than others. His easy going style and his refreshing honesty about when "the right way" is simply his own opinion makes you realise how accessible good cooking and good ingredients actually are.
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Format: Hardcover
I have to admit going into this book with a fond regard for the author, however I had not expected the book to have such a profound effect on how I view and eat meat. As a result of this wonderful book, we eat less meat a week, at a far higher quality than we ever did before. This is clearly the authors aim, and for this he should be applauded. His introduction alone is a very balanced and non-judgemental look at man as a natural carnivore, followed by a very thought provoking discussion on modern farming methods, good and bad. Don't let this put you off, what follows is a masterclass in learning more about the process of buying and choosing meat, and finally some fantastic recipes with the quirky humour you would expect. Anyone who refuses to call gravy a jus or reduction because its GRAVY gets my vote.
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Format: Hardcover
Near enough everything a cook could want to know about meat: preparation, cuts, buying, cooking... Only complaint: there aren't that many simple recipes to choose from but with the exhaustive chapters on the different cooking techniques and different types of meat, you are guaranteed to be able to improve on any other recipe in your collection. Hugh's chilli con carne got rave reviews when I cooked it for a family and friends in December, and his mincemeat-stuffed pork ternderloins even got a vegetarian cooking meat again.
As entertaining a read as it is a guide. Superb!
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By A Customer on 22 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is just an amazing resource for anyone who is serious about their meat. It gives a balanced overview of the animal rights issues surrounding the different types of meat, what to look for in a good cut of meat and how to make it go further. I found it immensely helpful.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good condition and very helpful.
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