Winter on the Farm Hardcover – 3 Oct 2011
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About the Author
Now starring in Australia in the second series of SBS' 'The Gourmet Farmer', Matthew Evans is the author of several books, the most successful being The Real Food Companion, his highly acclaimed and successful complete kitchen resource. A former restaurant critic and chef who ate out about 500 times a year just for work, Matthew has long been passionate about what we put in our mouths. These days Matthew lives the life most of us can only dream about, rearing old breed pigs and chooks and baking in a woodfired cooker on a small farmlet in Tasmania's beautiful Huon Valley.
Top customer reviews
With regards to the recipes - eighty five in total - Evans has put together a collection to satisfy every occasion and every level of cooking competence. From gutsy soups to stick-to-the-ribs casseroles, guilt-laden puddings to the hottest of toddies these are tried and tested recipes which are guaranteed to keep the chills at bay and hopefully banish those winter blues.
As an ex chef myself I buy and read a great many cookery books but this is the first time I have ever prepared two recipes from a book on the same day I have bought/received it - pork chops baked with stout and mustard and spazzacamino, a dessert of Italian origin which combines vanilla ice cream, ground coffee beans and malt whisky. Even on a fairly mild evening in September they were superb and with at least another thirty of the remaining eighty three earmarked for the future I intend to have a very interesting, hopefully pleasant winter. Thank you, Matthew Evans.
Evans' recipes are focused on home cooking, and all of his dishes would be achievable given the range of a mid-size supermarket. Essentially, they're breakfast, lunches, dinners, desserts and drinks (not cocktails but hot chocolates or warmed alcoholic tipples to soothe the coldest Sunday afternoon). However, they're presented in a slyly effective way: Sleep-in Food (rather than breakfasts), Rib-sticking meals (as opposed to dinners) and Puddings & Things to Eat while Drinking Tea (as opposed to desserts), and so on.
If I said there's something reassuringly down to Earth about his food, I'd mean that as a serious compliment. Because Evans' recipes are far from bland; in fact they're full of big, robust flavours. Quite rich without being overpowering: think Saturdays or Sundays, rather than mid-week evening. Imagine Jamie Oliver serving up winter food, but without the fussy edges.
Furthermore, his range of desserts are some of the best I've seen.
In terms of the book itself: Winter on the Farm is a beautifully built book. The photography and printing is very strong, making use of high contrasts and digital cameras; the detail achieved is striking. Think a less in-your-face, slightly more ambient version of (to use the comparison again) a Jamie Oliver book, but with less celebrity. The recipes themselves are clear, easy to follow and I've yet to come across anything overly fiddly.
In short: Well worth a punt; Winter on the Farm is evocative, inspiring (insomuch that, if the mark of a good cookbook is one that makes you want to go make something, then this is right on-the-money) and near enough down to Earth to add at least two or three dishes to anyone's repertoire. Yes, it's a book that works best for, as the title would suggest, Winter. But if you can imagine a great Saturday or Sunday supplement recipe feature on Winter food, only spread out across a whole book (and without any dip in quality from top to tail), then that'll be Winter on the Farm.
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Most recent customer reviews
I had not heard of the writer before although I believe he is quite well known.Read more
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