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on 19 October 2017
Bought as a present. It wasn't cheap, but it was very well received.
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on 17 April 2017
comprehensive, starts with basics and principles. Read understand and youwillnot need another meat book
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on 27 November 2017
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on 10 October 2017
Great book tells you everything you need to know and do
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on 5 December 2017
by far the best meat cook book ever, a must 4 the kitchen.
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on 20 November 2017
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on 24 May 2004
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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on 23 June 2017
Good book
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on 3 January 2013
This book makes me so happy. I still cant decide whether Hugh is going in or out of his shed with his delightful, well marbled full crop of beef (lol, read the book) and what hes going to do with it if hes removing it, or why hes putting it in there if he is going in. It never fails to pass a bit of time musing over what hes doing with his meat today, and whether its maybe a bit personal given the coy but slightly cheeky grin on his face and the wanton toussledness of his hair. He looks ready for action in a dashing pinny and is gripping his meat firmly like he means business, and I couldnt wait to see where the story would lead me. So onwards beyond the cover.....

This book is an absolute must for any keen cook and generally anyone who has any vague sort of interest in the different cuts of meat from various animals, and also the ethics behind various types of animal husbandry. The information concealed in this veritable tome will give you the knowledge and confidence to try new cuts of meat and to actually venture into a proper butchers and speak to them about what you want and about where the meat is sourced, and to be able to cook it correctly and do justice to the animal it came from. More and more this knowledge is being lost and a lot of the younger generation now know only the very basics about the cuts of meat. This book will inform and inspire and is my favourite cooking book I own, and I have quite a few! It will give you a most important foundation of knowledge by which to build your confidence and repertoir on.

I requested my brother buy it for me for my birthday a few years ago, and now he has his own house and is gaining in confidence in cooking he asked for it for xmas this year, and he has already read lots of it and loves it too, and is already talking about swapping from intensively reared meat to cheaper cuts of more welfare-conscious produce.

If you are lacking confident on your cuts of meat and really want to know what the crack is, you MUST buy this book. Every discerning cook should have this on their shelf, proudly displayed next to your Delia Smith Complete Cookery Course!

Buy this book, Hugh deserves your patronage for this, his grand opus!
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on 12 January 2007
I have always had a huge respect for Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. His cookery programmes have been amazing as they are more than just programmes. They are all about understanding food and its nature. He has effortlessly translated this into a beautiful and highly readable book.

I was engrossed in it from the start. His introduction about meat is amazing. By understanding the nature of meat, its production, slaughter, hanging and packaging, you can go a long way to understanding the nature of meat itself and how best to buy and raise it.

In fact, it is all about really basic details in preparation - from how to make hams to how to buy the best kidneys and why. Hugh seems to be on a mission to make popular old favourites such as tripe and liver - I don't knwo how much success he will have in that area, but his explanation on why it doesn't necessarily taste too good now is definitely indisputable.

I really enjoy his easy readable style, his disucssion on best raising techniques of pigs for instance was fascinating. He has practised what he writes about, he raises his own meat, slaughters it and then prepares it himself. It is a bit disconcerting having a dead pig head starting a chapter, but then Hugh talks about using all thebits of a beast in his chapter entitled 'thrifty'.

Fro those who don't want to raise and slaughter their own beasts, you will gain much from his other chapters - which meats make the best to fast cook (and why) and which are the best to slow cook. Both have why and how. There are chapters on slow cooking, cooking in wood fired ovens, and much more.

The recipes are delicious and the stories about them interesting reading and all provide depth of background to the recipes themselves. This is one book which will be remaining on my shelf for years to come, It is easy to use, interesting, and provides fundamental knowledge. It has my highest recommendation!
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