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Cookbook Review: Lobel's Meat Bible

Must-Read: Lobel's Meat Bible

I have a confession to make. Although a good number of you are vegetarians, and even more of you eat less meat now that we're in a recession, I still crave meat on a regular basis — whether it's a lamb chop, slice of jamon Iberico, or charcuterie. So when I received a copy of Lobel's Meat Bible ($40), a new book by revered New York butcher brothers Stanley, Evan, Mark, and David Lobel, I couldn't wait to check it out. See what I thought of it when you read more. Pros:

  • Durable hardcover binding and easy-to-read format.
  • Numbered steps make recipes simple to navigate.
  • Book organizes various meats (beef, veal, pork, lamb) into focused chapters.
  • Helpful primer on game and game birds, such as grouse, partridge, quail, and squab.

Cons:

  • Cuts of meat that are described don't include photos for reference.
  • Recipes are listed by chapter, with no master list of them at the front of the book.
  • Chapters seldom provide pointers on butchering or cutting meat.
  • Certain items, such as brains, get a mention, but seemingly don't warrant accompanying recipes.

Recipes: The cookbook's 135 recipes span a wide range of cuisines, preparations, and cuts of meat. Note that the majority of the book's recipes yield servings for two or four people only. They include:

  • Steak tartare
  • Chicken-fried steak
  • Tripe and red chile stew
  • French-style potted pork spread
  • Roast lamb with romesco sauce
  • Rack of lamb with fresh fava beans

Imagery: Although the book includes a disappointing number of pictures (only about one-fifth of the recipes have corresponding images), the food photographs are nonetheless beautifully shot and enticing to the eyes and stomach.

Overall Rating: For a self-proclaimed "meat bible," this book, which lacks photos of meat cuts or extensive butchering tips, reads more like a meat-centric recipe compendium that rings in at a pricey $40. But if you're already a pro at working with various meats, you'll enjoy preparing them in ravishing and diverse ways with this read.

Lobel's Meat Bible

Lobel's Meat Bible

Lobel's Meat Bible

Lobel's Meat Bible

Lobel's Meat Bible

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