The New York Times
Steaks, Chops, Roasts and Ribs: By the Editors of Cook's Illustrated Magazineby Cook's Illustrated Magazine, John Burgoyne
Meat May be America's Favorite Main Dish, but it still provokes plenty of questions. Are prime steaks worth the extra money? Can you make real barbecue at home? Is there a good way to keep pork chops from drying out as they cook? What's the secret to a foolproof holiday ham? If you have ever wondered about the best way to cook a particular cut of meat, then you will find Steaks, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs indispensable. Packed with more than 300 recipes, this book represents the cumulative experience and knowledge of the test cooks and editors at America's Test Kitchen. Have you ever spent $50 on prime rib only to ruin the roast at home? Have you ever made a pot roast that was tough, a steak that was charred on the outside and raw on the inside, or a beef stew that tasted no better than a can of Dinty Moore? We've tested (and retested) just about every technique, ingredient, and piece of equipment imaginable to produce reliable recipes that should work the first time -- and every time. As we like to say, we roasted 32 cuts of prime rib so you don't have to.
Detailed instructions and hundreds of step-by-step drawings will help to guarantee your success. Illustrated tutorials take you through the process of making a pan sauce, stir-frying, roasting on the grill, and more. Steaks, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs is also packed with the kind of no-nonsense ingredient tastings and equipment ratings that make the Best Recipe books so useful. We tell you which skillets, roasting pans, instant-read thermometers, and chef's knives to buy -- and which ones to avoid. You will learn whether expensive sea salts are worth the money as well as why chicken broth is a better choice than beef broth in most meat stews.
Steaks, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs begins at the market, where many people make their first mistake. Knowing what cut to buy for a given recipe and then finding that cut in your local supermarket or butcher shop can be an obstacle to success. The same cut of meat that works beautifully in a stew might fail miserably on the grill. And, to make matters worse, the labeling in most markets is either nonexistent or inconsistent. To solve these problems, we've created a 16-page illustrated (and opinionated) guide that will tell you all you need to know about buying meat. Included in this valuable guide are precise, hand-drawn illustrations that will help you identify 70 of the most popular cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal and learn their various alternate names so you can interpret the labels in the supermarket. Detailed (and honest) tasting notes describe the pros and cons of each cut, and our unique rating system ranks each cut for flavor and cost. We even tell you which cuts are not worth the money or bother -- something you'll never hear from your butcher. At America's Test Kitchen, we don't mince words and won't hesitate to pronounce a cut of meat, a cooking technique, or a piece of equipment utterly worthless.
Steaks, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs is organized into 16 chapters based on how a home cook (not a butcher) thinks about meat. "I Want to Make a Stew" (chapter 8) explains the basic cooking techniques that link all stews (no matter the cut of meat used) and shows you how to turn beef, pork, veal, and lamb into hearty meals. "I Want to Barbecue Something Smoky" (chapter 13) demystifies the art of barbecue and shows you how to produce real barbecued brisket, spareribs, and more with the help of your backyard grill. "I Want to Cook Cutlets" (chapter 6) explains how to turn pork and veal cutlets into quick weeknight meals. You know you love Southwestern fajitas, North Carolina barbecued pulled pork, New York strip steaks, and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches. But if you're going to spend the money to buy the meat and then take the time to cook it, you want good results. Steaks, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs is your no-nonsense guide to great meat cookery.
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