The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat: How to Buy, Cut, and Cook Great Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, and More

Overview

There is a food revolution sweeping the nation, changing the way Americans think and eat, and meat is at the heart of it. The butcher has reemerged in American culture as an essential guide in avoiding the evils of industrial meat?which not only tastes bad, but is also bad for one?s health and for the environment. Joshua and Jessica Applestone, a former vegan and vegetarian, are trailblazers in this arena. They run Fleisher?s, an old-school butcher shop with a modern-day mission?sourcing and selling only ...

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The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat: How to Buy, Cut, and Cook Great Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, and More

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Overview

There is a food revolution sweeping the nation, changing the way Americans think and eat, and meat is at the heart of it. The butcher has reemerged in American culture as an essential guide in avoiding the evils of industrial meat—which not only tastes bad, but is also bad for one’s health and for the environment. Joshua and Jessica Applestone, a former vegan and vegetarian, are trailblazers in this arena. They run Fleisher’s, an old-school butcher shop with a modern-day mission—sourcing and selling only grass-fed and organic meat. The Applestones’ return to the nearly lost tradition of the buying and nose-to-tail carving of whole animals—all humanely raised close to their shop in New York’s Hudson Valley—has helped to make them rising stars in the food world.
           
The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat is a compendium of their firsthand knowledge. This unique book—a guide, memoir, manifesto, and reference in one—shares everything one needs to know about well-raised meat, including why pastured meats are so much better than conventional ones and how to perfectly butcher and cook them at home. Readers will learn which cut of steak to look for as an alternative to the popular hanger (of which each steer has only one), how to host a driveway pig roast, and even how to break down an entire lamb (or just butterfly the shoulder)—all with accompanying step-by-step photographs. Differences among breeds and ideal cooking methods for various cuts and offal are covered, and the Applestones’ decoding of misleading industry terminology and practices will help consumers make smarter, healthier purchases that can also help change what’s wrong with meat in America today.
           
Complete with color and black-and-white photographs, illustrations, and more than a dozen recipes, The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat is the definitive guide to eating great meat—responsibly. 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Joshua was a vegan and Jessica a vegetarian until they came upon the idea of opening an ethically correct butcher shop. Located in New York's Hudson Valley, Fleisher's Grass-Fed and Organic Meats is their temple to locally raised animals that are hormone-free, and, once properly slaughtered, utilized from nose to tail. When not promoting their business, their first book provides clear, useful instruction on dealing with cuts of beef, lamb, pork, and poultry, interesting meditations on sustainable dining, and a dozen or so recipes thrown in for good measure. The literature of butchery is hard to resist, and the Applestones with Zissu (The Conscious Kitchen) manage to wield both a skillful pen and clever cleaver. Who could not be drawn into an inspection process where they "look for livers the color of oxblood that are rich, smooth and heavy with blood"? Who could not draw back when learning "We also check the eyes of the pigs (whose severed heads come in boxes)"? Handy carving instructions include how to butterfly a leg of lamb and best practices in cutting up a chicken. Short essays reflect upon the benefits of eating a steak proffered from organic cows and the beauty of offal, such as kidneys when they are "glistening' and "firm to the touch." Recipes range from chicken liver pâté for humans to beef liver treats for dogs. (June)
From the Publisher
“By learning about meat and where it comes from, we become more competent and responsible cooks and carnivores. In this tribute to farmers and animals, the Applestones and Ms. Zissu have put together a compelling guide to local and sustainable meat and poultry. In an honest, irreverent, and funny primer, we learn which are the best cuts for a given dish, how to cook (and serve) a perfect steak, and what to expect when buying a turkey. This charming and informative reference is sure to influence irreversibly the way we buy, prepare, and appreciate meat.”
—James Peterson, author of Meat and Cooking

“If you like eating meat but want to eat ethically, this is the book for you. From the hard-headed, clear-eyed, and sympathetic perspective of butchers who care deeply about the animals whose parts they sell, the customers who buy their meats, and the pleasures of eating, this book has much to teach. It’s an instant classic, making it clear why meat is part of the food revolution. I see it as the new Bible of meat aficionados and worth reading by all food lovers, meat-eating and not.”
—Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, NYU, and author of What to Eat 

“I love the way The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat explains the world of meat in straightforward, no-nonsense language by folks who learned from trial and error. It is great to see a perspective from butchers selling meat raised in a non-industrial manner. It is clear that the Applestones are folks who care about how the animals are raised for the meat they sell and are willing to explain why doing so is very important to them. There are hard-to-find recipes for making your own prosciutto, bacon, and bresaola.” 
—Bruce Aidells, author of The Complete Meat Cookbook

“…clear, useful instruction on dealing with cuts of beef, lamb, pork, and poultry, interesting meditations on sustainable dining, and a dozen or so recipes thrown in for good measure.”
—Publishers Weekly 

“The new bible for conscious carnivores.” – Bon Appétit 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307716620
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/7/2011
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 259,155
  • Product dimensions: 9.02 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

JOSHUA and JESSICA APPLESTONE are the owners of Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats in Kingston, New York. Fleisher’s sells to some of the finest restaurants in New York City and the Hudson Valley and offers a butcher-training program. Their website is www.fleishers.com.
 
ALEXANDRA ZISSU is a green living expert and author of The Conscious Kitchen and coauthor of Planet Home and The Complete Organic Pregnancy. Her website is www.alexandrazissu.com. 

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Recipe

Quick Lamb Meatballs
Serves 4

1 pound ground lamb (shoulder or stew meat)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
2 teaspoons harissa (see Note)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Yogurt Sauce (recipe follows)

Note: Harissa, a North African spice paste,
varies from region to region, so there is no definitive
recipe, but a mixture of 1 teaspoon
ground cumin, ½ teaspoon ground chile, and
1 teaspoon smoked paprika is a good substitute.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine the lamb, garlic, cilantro if using, harissa, salt, and pepper. Roll 1-tablespoon balls between your palms and place on a rimmed baking sheet.

Set a large ovenproof pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the meatballs and sear on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes total. Transfer to the oven and cook the meatballs for 4 to 6 minutes,
until the insides are pink and the outsides are golden brown. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle yogurt sauce over the top, and serve.

Yogurt Sauce
Makes about 1 cup
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or mint (optional)
1 teaspoon harissa
A squeeze of lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt, cilantro if using, harissa, and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Whisk until the yogurt is thin and creamy. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
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