Paul Foster introduces his second book with an ode to meat.
How to Cook Meat Properly is a passionate celebration of its subject matter – be it prime cuts, offal or game – and the chef speaks lovingly of the juxtaposition of fire and finesse that his favourite section of the kitchen serves up.
The introduction is also a considered and well-researched statement on responsible meat consumption in which he addresses the environmental concerns associated with the rearing of livestock and gives readers the tools to source and cook responsibly.
The chef patron of Michelin-starred Salt in Stratford-upon-Avon has written the book with Brett Connor, who runs the restaurant's cookery school, and it stays true to its title throughout.
The book is divided by types (beef, lamb, poultry, pork and game) and in the introduction to each chapter the authors provide insights into how the animal can be reared and the impact of factors such as diet, breed, ageing and butchery. The recipes are detailed in short instructions, and butchery skills in particular are carefully illustrated, which will be enormously helpful for readers not used to breaking down animals. The dishes featured span everything from the humble faggot to a beautiful beef wellington via a spicy tempura chicken wing, hare croquettes and a lamb sweetbread served with a take on coronation sauce. Foster and Connor have clearly thought carefully about producing a book that will help people of all experience levels successfully develop skills and create impressive dishes. Instructions are simple and plentiful, guiding the reader carefully through the different processes, without the assumptions of knowledge or interjections of ego that can often send readers off-course.
This combined with the authors' passion for the subject has produced a book that is not just educational but inspirational. It would surely be a well-thumbed textbook for any aspiring chef.
How to Cook Meat Properly by Paul Foster with Brett Connor (Away with Media, £40)
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