Ginger Pig Meat Book By Tim Wilson & Fran Warde
Mitchell Beazley, £25
This is a book for those who really care and want to know more about the provenance of their meat. Written by Tim Wilson, a farmer and butcher based on the North Yorkshire Moors, and food writer Fran Warde, it provides clear and concise information on everything you need to know about buying and preparing meat, alongside more than 100 recipes.
As far as Wilson is concerned, it makes sense that he raises the animals that he goes on to sell.
"High-quality meat starts well before it gets to the butcher: with the farmer," he says. "In order to produce the best meat it is important to farm the right breeds, as each is suited to different parts of the country and various methods of farming, and each has its own unique qualities for cooking."
It is this ethos that has chefs and food writers aplenty flocking to Wilson's group of award-winning Ginger Pig butchers, which are found at the Yorkshire farm and four outlets in London, including the original shop in Borough Market.
The Hawksmoor restaurant group in London and Observer food critic Jay Rayner are just two of Ginger Pig's biggest fans.
By arranging the recipes month by month, Wilson and Warde emphasise the importance of understanding how meat changes throughout the year and hence how to choose the appropriate cooking method and accompanying ingredients at the right time.
As a result, there are recipes for clod of beef stew with herb dumplings in January, sticky citrus-marinated pork chops in April, Ginger Pig beef bourguignon pie in May and boned and rolled summer stuffed shoulder of lamb in July.
Dishes are of the hearty variety and would go down well on a pub or brasserie menu. But this book should be bought for more than just its recipes - it's a fabulous reference for anyone who wants to understand more about livestock farming in the UK today and how that impacts upon the dishes you serve your customers.
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