Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
on 30 April 2011
This is a good book, and why can be seen from the many previous reviews. The book well deserves three amazon stars. In response to the 5 star inflation (admittedly biased towards the negative):
Even though full of valuable information and thoughts, some seem a bit dated in 2011. This is not only true for the general background, but also modern cooking methods such sous vide are underrepresented. Science of meat cooking doesn't go deep enough for my liking. The presentation is very lengthy, and the tongue-in-cheek style - condescending at times- a bit tiresome after a while. As usual in cooking books originating from British TV series there is an abundance of pictures, including many of the author and his TV farm (admittedly, they are not as silly as the pictures in Jam. Oliver books). Showing dead animals is laudable, but more pictures of meat cuts than of eating people would have been helpful. The author is a strong proponent of buying British meat, and doesn't see much point of buying meat of other countries (for example NZ lamb). This opinion is not unusual and shared by many people of other countries, all praising their own produce. Of note, one of his first comments on BSE is pointing out the French government's use of the moment to ban British beef import. Unusual for a cooking book 'Meat' has several references to other authors, however, unfortunately mostly to authors which are not suited to advance one's cooking skills. Grip of the British media cook mafia?
Even though often introduced with useful background, the recipies itself I found somewhat uninspiring. Using uncommon cuts is laudable but clearly not enough. Over- and underseasoning are occurring, see cinnamon, apple and citrus sauces for various dishes. Sauces in general, not unimportant for meat cooking, are neglected. There is more possible than scratching the pan. Preparing schnitzels in olive-oil-butter is not a good idea, neither is preparing a stew with stout only (at least the author admits the latter in brackets), for example. Side-dishes are a bit dull.
A good advice is, however, to eat more mutton because the sheep then can enjoy jumping around longer.