The Cook and the Butcher (Williams-Sonoma): Juicy Recipes, Butcher's Wisdom, and Expert Tips


Geared towards meat-loving home cooks looking for expert advice and inspiration, here are 100 delicious recipes for using the most popular cuts of meat, plus loads of practice tips from America's favorite butchers.

This friendly and accessible cookbook offers over 100 recipes for delicious meals using a wide range of popular beef, pork, lamb, and veal cuts and aims to help the home cook get the most out of meat for dinner. Each chapter begins with quick-cooking cuts and easy ...

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Geared towards meat-loving home cooks looking for expert advice and inspiration, here are 100 delicious recipes for using the most popular cuts of meat, plus loads of practice tips from America's favorite butchers.

This friendly and accessible cookbook offers over 100 recipes for delicious meals using a wide range of popular beef, pork, lamb, and veal cuts and aims to help the home cook get the most out of meat for dinner. Each chapter begins with quick-cooking cuts and easy methods, like stir-frying, and progresses from there, offering recipes for grilling and pan-frying, and ending with recipes for more time-consuming cooking methods, such as roasting and braising. The recipes use a range of meat cuts that are easy to find at the butcher counter, and the flavors of the dishes, though varied and modern, are crowd-pleasing and familiar. The text is informative and comprehensive, but not too daunting or technical. Most of the recipes are accompanied by useful tips written by more than twenty butchers from across America.

In this innovative look at a favorite subject, author Brigit Binns draws on tips and tricks learned from renowned butchers and expert steak-house chefs to show you the best­—and most delicious—ways to cook beef, pork, lamb, and veal at home. Meat is the star in this collection of over 100 modern recipes, which use fresh, seasonal ingredients and a wide range of cooking methods—stir-frying, sautéing, panfrying, grilling, roasting, braising, smoking—to create irresistible dishes. Binns introduces us to such flavor-boosting cooking practices as residual-heat roasting, which slowly cooks large cuts to perfection in the lingering heat of a turned-off oven; double-searing steaks and chops on both ends of a long resting period to develop a tempting crust and melt-in-your-mouth texture; and seasoning meat before and during cooking. She also demystifies both the everyday and the novel techniques you’ve always wondered about, like how to make jerky; how to grind meat at home for sausages and burgers; how to butterfly, stuff, and tie meat; and how to pound, bread, and cook various cuts for the best results.

In a FAQ column that opens each chapter, “rock-star butcher” Tom Mylan, owner of The Meat Hook in Brooklyn, New York, answers many of the most common questions asked by his customers. Plus, more than twenty butchers from across the country chime in with both practical and offbeat “Notes from the Butcher” for the many of the recipes, offering everything from savvy shortcuts and suggestions for alternative cuts to tips on how to talk to your local butcher. Among the other practical tools you’ll find are chalk-drawn meat charts that illustrate where specific cuts are found on each animal and easy-to-reference guides to doneness temperatures and cues.

Packed with flavor, personality, and inspiring full-color photographs, this book promises to turn any home cook and meat aficionado into a seasoned professional.

Sample tips from butchers:

"Meat on the bone yields the juiciest results when cooking steaks, not to mention the best value. The closer to the bone, the sweeter the meat! — Dave Zier, Zier’s Prime Meats

"If your preferred cooking method is quick, hot, and dry, choose a cut with generous marbling for moist and flavorful results."— Ryan Farr, 4505 Meats

"Here’s a tip to always keep in mind: Cook it slow and soft or fast and rare. Whether you choose pork shoulder to braise, or flap meat or skirt steak to grill, let this be your guide for mouthwatering dishes."— Tia Harrison, Avedano’s

Featured Butchers:

4505 Meats (San Francisco, CA)

Alexander’s Prime Meats and Catering (San Gabriel, CA)

Avedano’s Holly Park Market (San Francisco, CA)

Belmont Butchery (Richmond, VA)

Bryan’s Fine Foods (Corte Madera, CA)

Clancey’s Meats and Fish (Minneapolis, MN)

Don and Joe’s Meats (Seattle, WA)

Fleisher’s Grass-fed & Organic Meats (Kingston, NY)

Gepperth’s Meat Market (Chicago, IL)

Harvey’s Guss Meat Co. (Los Angeles, CA)

Huntington Meats (Los Angeles, CA)

Laurelhurst Market (Portland, OR)

Lindy and Grundy’s Meats (Los Angeles, CA)

Marczyk Fine Foods (Denver, CO)

The Meat Hook (Brooklyn, NY)

The Meat Shop (Phoenix, AZ)

Nelson’s Meat Market (Cedar Rapids, IA)

O. Ottomanelli & Sons Prime Meat Market (New York, NY)

Ottomanelli Brothers (New York, NY)

Savenor’s Market (Boston, MA)

Union Meat Company (Washington, D.C.)

Zier’s Prime Meats and Poultry (Wilmette, IL)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616281137
  • Publisher: Weldon Owen Reference, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/6/2011
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Brigit Binns has authored or co-authored twenty-five cookbooks, many of them for Williams-Sonoma. She’s also helped many of this country’s most respected chefs—like New York’s Michael Psilakis (How to Roast a Lamb, Little Brown, 2009) and Los Angeles’ Joachim Splichal (Patina: Spuds, Truffles, and Wild Gnocchi, Collins, 1995)—turn their cookbook dreams into reality.

The Cook & The Butcher, her eleventh book for Williams-Sonoma, has won wide praise. Her book collaboration with the “rock-star” butcher Ryan Farr—San Francisco’s “King of Meats,”—Whole Beast Butchery (Chronicle, 2011) was nominated for a 2012 IACP award.

Her husband, actor Casey Biggs, has gained fame as the “Paso Wine Man,” via a viral video spot that was awarded the Wine Spectator Video of the Year, and won several Addys.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Simply delectable

    Have you ever prepared what you hoped would be a wonderful steak (or pork, lamb, veal) dish only to find that the meat was overcooked/undercooked, tasteless, fatty, or gristly? Was it your cooking or did you select the wrong piece of meat? This wonderful new cookbook will answer (and solve!) that question for you because it blends great recipes with sage advice from some of the country's top butchers. This cookbook with a twist is broken into four main sections. There is a chapter on beef, pork, lamb, and veal, as well as a short segment devoted to salads, sides and toppings. A brief overview - "about meat" - at the start gets the ball rolling and a butcher directory, listing butchers included in the book, along with their contact information, specialties, favorite cut, as well as a brief paragraph about their shops, nicely rounds out the book. We like to test several recipes from each cookbook that comes in for review and with this book it was hard to decide what to make. The photographs were lovely and made the meat look absolutely mouth watering. Would the real-deal be as tasty as those photos made the meals look? Happily, yes, everything I prepared came out tasting great. However, I took the time to carefully read through the selection/preparation tips spread throughout the book before I got started. Did you know that most hams sold are either a "butt-end" ham or a "shank-end" ham? What's the difference, how do you know which one you're buying, and which will produce a juicier meal? How about choosing a flank steak? Which recipes would this steak be best for? You'll be able to answer these questions after reading The Cook and the Butcher. How many of us overcook pork to avoid any risk of trichinosis? Then the pork is tasteless so we never cook it again (or maybe it's just me?). The section on pork discusses this fear, what is/isn't true, and how to deal with it and still enjoy juicy pork dishes. The butcher tips, "a note from the Butcher," as well as "FAQS for the Butcher," are numerous and provide a wealth of helpful information for meat preparation. They go far beyond a few tips here and there from a cookbook author that many books offer. I found these suggestions quite helpful and interesting. This is not the sort of cookbook to use when in a rush to prepare a quick meal at the end of a busy work day for screaming kids. While most of the prep times weren't terribly long, you can't rush meat preparation. With instructions such as "remove the meat from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for two hours," and "let ham rest for 20-45 minutes," most of these recipes are best saved for a wonderful weekend meal with family and friends. Or perhaps a late-night, romantic meal with someone special. Quill says: Delectable recipes and a primer on meat selection and preparation make this cookbook a winner!

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