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Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating

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  • Posted February 4, 2013

    One of the best recipe book using organ meats

    What a pleasure to come across a cookbook on which bestows traditional recipes (meaning communicated from ancestors to descendants); recipes attached to old customs; old-fashioned. So, this is a delicious array of many organ recipes: warm pig’s head, ox tongue, roast bone marrow, calf’s heart, brawn (headcheese), jellied tripe, rolled pig’s spleen, duck neck terrine, duck hearts on toast, many recipes for lamb’s brain, sweet breads, blood cake (made with 1 quart of pig’s blood), pig’s cheek and tongue, gratin of tripe, haggis, deviled kidneys, lamb’s kidneys and giblet stew.

    It seems precariously easy to slip into a cycle where the choices are only chop, steak or breast. My working plan is to explore new cuts of meat and offal, also explore nose to tail eating and try to integrate it into everyday life. And so far, the liver recipes are delicious.

    The recipes a simple (I very much appreciate standard fare for Britons... or once was) and yet exotic. Here's what I mean by simple: marrowbone, parsley, shallots and capers, with a dressing of lemon juice and olive oil.

    And, I am glad to see recipes about preserving meats; even pig's liver! Even more mouth-drooling: a variety of animal parts preserved in rendered fat.

    Although Henderson does not discuss the health benefits of the foods he serves, since white sugar is used in a few dessert recipes and white bread crumbs in a few soups recipes, The Whole Beast is the quintessential food cookbook; its principles confers more beauty, strength, and happiness on mankind than the thousands of fatuous lowfat tomes that bemoan about the evils of rich diets and promise the mecca of disease-freeness on a diet of skinless chicken breasts, soy milk, lowfat milk.

    “Nearly anyone–after a few tries–can grill a fillet mignon or a sirloin steak. A trained chimp can steam a lobster. But it takes love, and time, and respect for one’s ingredients to properly deal with a pig’s ear or a kidney.”

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