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

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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The Butcher's Guide to Well-Raised Meat: How to Buy, Cut, and Cook Great Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, and More by Joshua Applestone, Jessica Applestone, Alexandra Zissu

The definitive guide to buying, cutting, and cooking local and sustainable meats, from the owners of Applestone Meat Company and the founders of Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats

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 owned 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307716620
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 06/07/2011
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 1,287,815
Product dimensions: 9.02(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

JOSHUA and JESSICA APPLESTONE are the founders of Applestone Meat Company, and the previous 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.
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


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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