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First published in the United Kingdom, THE RIVER COTTAGE MEAT BOOK quickly became an underground hit among food cognoscenti around the world. Now tailored for American cooks, this loving, authoritative, and galvanizing ode to good meat is one part manifesto on high-quality, local, and sustainable meat production; two parts guide to choosing and storing meats and fowl; and First published in the United Kingdom, THE RIVER COTTAGE MEAT BOOK quickly became an underground hit among food cognoscenti around the world. Now tailored for American cooks, this loving, authoritative, and galvanizing ode to good meat is one part manifesto on high-quality, local, and sustainable meat production; two parts guide to choosing and storing meats and fowl; and three parts techniques and recipes for roasting, cooking, barbecuing, preserving, and processing meats and getting the most out of leftovers. With this thought-provoking and practical guide, meat eaters can knowledgeably buy and prepare meat for better health and better living, while supporting the environment, vibrant local economies, and respectful treatment of animals.    • Already a sensation in the United Kingdom, this groundbreaking treatise on choosing and preparing meat is now available in the United States for the first time.    • Includes more than 100 recipes and more than 200 full-color photographs.    • Thoughtfully Americanized, with complete information about assorted cuts (including illustrations), production standards, and sources for buying and learning about meats in the United States.    • British edition has sold 150,000 copies.


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First published in the United Kingdom, THE RIVER COTTAGE MEAT BOOK quickly became an underground hit among food cognoscenti around the world. Now tailored for American cooks, this loving, authoritative, and galvanizing ode to good meat is one part manifesto on high-quality, local, and sustainable meat production; two parts guide to choosing and storing meats and fowl; and First published in the United Kingdom, THE RIVER COTTAGE MEAT BOOK quickly became an underground hit among food cognoscenti around the world. Now tailored for American cooks, this loving, authoritative, and galvanizing ode to good meat is one part manifesto on high-quality, local, and sustainable meat production; two parts guide to choosing and storing meats and fowl; and three parts techniques and recipes for roasting, cooking, barbecuing, preserving, and processing meats and getting the most out of leftovers. With this thought-provoking and practical guide, meat eaters can knowledgeably buy and prepare meat for better health and better living, while supporting the environment, vibrant local economies, and respectful treatment of animals.    • Already a sensation in the United Kingdom, this groundbreaking treatise on choosing and preparing meat is now available in the United States for the first time.    • Includes more than 100 recipes and more than 200 full-color photographs.    • Thoughtfully Americanized, with complete information about assorted cuts (including illustrations), production standards, and sources for buying and learning about meats in the United States.    • British edition has sold 150,000 copies.

30 review for The River Cottage Meat Book

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lee Broderick

    It's fair to say that this book marks a watershed moment in my life and, for that, I'll always have a soft-spot for Hugh. I'd grown up on a farm and had moved back to the countryside about six months prior to this book coming out. About that time, too, I read Not on the Label: What Really Goes Into the Food on Your Plate . I was already, then, thinking about how the human food-chain had changed in recent years and how I could alter my habits to something I felt better about - for myself and t It's fair to say that this book marks a watershed moment in my life and, for that, I'll always have a soft-spot for Hugh. I'd grown up on a farm and had moved back to the countryside about six months prior to this book coming out. About that time, too, I read Not on the Label: What Really Goes Into the Food on Your Plate . I was already, then, thinking about how the human food-chain had changed in recent years and how I could alter my habits to something I felt better about - for myself and the environment. In fact, when this came out, I was already beginning to shop regularly at a local farm shop and less frequently at the supermarket. In light of all that, it's fair to say that this book was not so much surprising as exactly what I was looking for at the time. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall writes a polemic about meat consumption: contrary to the beliefs of some (whom I can only assume have not actually read the book) he does not promote meat consumption. In fact, he openly admires vegans (whilst, comfortingly, pointing out the inherent hypocrisy of vegetarians) but acknowledges that this is not an idea that is likely to gain traction with many - himself included. What he preaches instead is responsibility. If we're to eat meat, we have to take responsibility for the fact that we have contributed to the death of that animal. This means buying the best meat you can from animals that have had the most natural lives - wild, organic or free-range. It also means eating all (or most) of that animal. Beyond the polemic the author displays thorough research and an encyclopaedic knowledge of his subject. A variety of excellent recipes are included in the second half of the book which are easy to follow and cover a variety of different types of meat. The first half, though, covers every type and cut of meat you are likely to come across in a European Kitchen: what to look for when buying it and what to do with it in the kitchen. This remains my go-to guide for any cut of meat I'm unfamiliar with and it probably always will be. After reading this, cookbooks were never the same for me again - a selection of recipes alone is simply not enough. Cookbooks can inform, guide and inspire: this one does all three.

  2. 5 out of 5

    6655321

    Ok saying i have "read" this does not mean "i have individually cooked every thing in this book" since 1) my primary interest is theory stuff and 2) i don't live in an area with a particularly robust butchers practice (at least without me borrowing a car). The thing is a devoured this book (terrible pun) because like "the Ethical Butcher" it is a no nonesense guide to eating well and a sort of virtue ethics around the slaughter of other living things for food that doesn't shy away from what butc Ok saying i have "read" this does not mean "i have individually cooked every thing in this book" since 1) my primary interest is theory stuff and 2) i don't live in an area with a particularly robust butchers practice (at least without me borrowing a car). The thing is a devoured this book (terrible pun) because like "the Ethical Butcher" it is a no nonesense guide to eating well and a sort of virtue ethics around the slaughter of other living things for food that doesn't shy away from what butchery is (killing a sentient being) but also refuses certain idiotic strains of this argument (generally the internet trolls favorite standby of "for every animal you don't eat i'll eat 3 or whatever). I think what is important to this (and other books like it) is the conception of holistically eating well (which means giving up or at least doing your best to mitigate contact with ecologically and morally indefensible farming practices). Which, Fearnley-Wittingstall covers really well in terms of the necessity of moral consistency (that is he has more, in his own mind, in common with vegans than individuals slurping down as many mass produced burgers as they can accumulate).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Brooklyn

    This is such a beautiful book. A seriously fantastic book. It's got everything you ever wanted to know about (sustainable) meat: butchery charts, pictures of various organs, step-by-step guidelines on how to break down a chicken, how to preserve meat...and so much more. And Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's "Meat Manifesto" is one of the most important bits of food writing in a long time, me thinks. An excerpt from the manifesto: "Think about the meat that you eat. Is it good enough? Are you among t This is such a beautiful book. A seriously fantastic book. It's got everything you ever wanted to know about (sustainable) meat: butchery charts, pictures of various organs, step-by-step guidelines on how to break down a chicken, how to preserve meat...and so much more. And Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's "Meat Manifesto" is one of the most important bits of food writing in a long time, me thinks. An excerpt from the manifesto: "Think about the meat that you eat. Is it good enough? Are you among the millions of consumers putting pressure on farmers to produce mountains of cheap meat of dubious quality, by dubious means?" (That's just the first bullet. It gets better from there.) Oh, and I've had my eye on the pork pie recipe for a long time. I'll make it soon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    I think I first stumbled across this book via a vague recommendation of James Peterson's Meat: a kitchen education. The big text: Meat, plus a picture of a piece of meat... got me to this wonderful book. Hugh's intentions are partly culinary but also strongly moral. A big chunk of the text is devoted to discussions of animal husbandry, good and bad, and why to seek the good (because it's good of course!). The recipes are not many, but the chapters on roasting, fast cooking, slow cooking, etc. pr I think I first stumbled across this book via a vague recommendation of James Peterson's Meat: a kitchen education. The big text: Meat, plus a picture of a piece of meat... got me to this wonderful book. Hugh's intentions are partly culinary but also strongly moral. A big chunk of the text is devoted to discussions of animal husbandry, good and bad, and why to seek the good (because it's good of course!). The recipes are not many, but the chapters on roasting, fast cooking, slow cooking, etc. provide most information necessary to create your own dishes without needing the strictures of a printed recipe. Hugh's style is informative and engaging, funny in a very British sort of way. Also recommended are his other books.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    Title says it all. Think about the word "meat". Start with "mmmm" and ends with "eat". Not really a cookbook (though recipies are abundant), Fearnley-Whittingstall does a masterful job of raising awareness of where our meat comes from, and how it should be respectfully treated from animal husbandry all the way through to our dinner plate. And how we can change our perceptions and upgrade our quality of eating in small steps. A thorough study of all types of meat and poultry. This is on my purchase Title says it all. Think about the word "meat". Start with "mmmm" and ends with "eat". Not really a cookbook (though recipies are abundant), Fearnley-Whittingstall does a masterful job of raising awareness of where our meat comes from, and how it should be respectfully treated from animal husbandry all the way through to our dinner plate. And how we can change our perceptions and upgrade our quality of eating in small steps. A thorough study of all types of meat and poultry. This is on my purchase list.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joey

    The section on preserving meat is rife with references to the River Cottage cookbook. Rarely does the rest of the book refer to it (only in a few pointers to recipes in it). But this section consists of a few introductory paragraphs on each subject, and then a reference to the cookbook for the details, over and over. I counted 3 references to it on two facing pages alone. Infuriating! I suspect that he got near the end of the book and they realized this behemoth was going to outgrow the binding, The section on preserving meat is rife with references to the River Cottage cookbook. Rarely does the rest of the book refer to it (only in a few pointers to recipes in it). But this section consists of a few introductory paragraphs on each subject, and then a reference to the cookbook for the details, over and over. I counted 3 references to it on two facing pages alone. Infuriating! I suspect that he got near the end of the book and they realized this behemoth was going to outgrow the binding, and cut it. Although less charitable thoughts could be thought.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    Hugh is the best. Every book he does deserves 5 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Eric Lopez

    I just finished reading this book. I MUST say, it was very informative. Some of the information is a bit dated, however, due to its publication of course. But overall good information and Hugh is an outstanding author. He not only gives good information but makes it enjoyable to read with the occasional laugh.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dean

    A classic for any kitchen. If you are a Carnivore, you owe it to yourself to get this. I would not make all of the recipes in this book, but it's a great work about Meat and will help anyone who like me wants to learn more about preparing it. A classic for any kitchen. If you are a Carnivore, you owe it to yourself to get this. I would not make all of the recipes in this book, but it's a great work about Meat and will help anyone who like me wants to learn more about preparing it.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    GREAT book - more than you ever wanted to know about meat....thoughtful, informative. This is not just a cookbook. Read his Meat Manifesto and you will be hooked, I swear - it's all about quality, not quantity.... GREAT book - more than you ever wanted to know about meat....thoughtful, informative. This is not just a cookbook. Read his Meat Manifesto and you will be hooked, I swear - it's all about quality, not quantity....

  11. 5 out of 5

    Brian Blackwell

    Changed the way I think about meat. In a good way. Hugh is the bomb.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mishary

    Indispensable. I was gifted a copy while on stage. I moved into a different career, but the River Cottage is superb and remains a regular reference in my home kitchen.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    A carnivore's dream come true, this book combines equal parts philosophy, science, and culinary instruction into a thoroughly entertaining read. The first section of the book talks about the philosophy of meat eating and takes a hard look at the ethical choices we make when deciding to enjoy that steak or chop. I liked this section because it was not as predictable as I thought it would be, and the author presents some truly thoughtful perspective on the question. The second section talks about A carnivore's dream come true, this book combines equal parts philosophy, science, and culinary instruction into a thoroughly entertaining read. The first section of the book talks about the philosophy of meat eating and takes a hard look at the ethical choices we make when deciding to enjoy that steak or chop. I liked this section because it was not as predictable as I thought it would be, and the author presents some truly thoughtful perspective on the question. The second section talks about where meat comes from and how to find and identify good meat. There was a lot of very useful information in this section, and it made me really REALLY want to find myself a good butcher (I'm still looking, by the way - any suggestions?). The last section includes many recipes for preparing and enjoying good meat, and the ones I've tried so far have all been well worth the effort. While it freaked my wife out to see me reading this book in bed, it was well worth it!

  14. 4 out of 5

    De

    Yes I am reading a book about meat. All about meat. A meat obsession. We've started eating organic and HFW is one of my heroes. Quit a job and started a farm and now raises all his family's food himself, my dream personified. (I know my friends are laughing.) But this book covers all meats, including the parts we've thrown away for years. Mmmm, beef tongue, beef cheeks, and oxtail. Tried and loved them all. Delicious. Had beef liver last night with sage and onions, one of the recipes from the bo Yes I am reading a book about meat. All about meat. A meat obsession. We've started eating organic and HFW is one of my heroes. Quit a job and started a farm and now raises all his family's food himself, my dream personified. (I know my friends are laughing.) But this book covers all meats, including the parts we've thrown away for years. Mmmm, beef tongue, beef cheeks, and oxtail. Tried and loved them all. Delicious. Had beef liver last night with sage and onions, one of the recipes from the book. Looking forward to the pig section when my friend Patrice gets her pork production up and running. Will be getting some pig's trotters and God willing a pig's head. It will be an interesting fall in our house. Even tried organic rabbit (tastes like chicken, really!) And looking forward to game birds come fall.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pete

    It is massive and beautiful and my edition has an enormous piece of red meat on the cover in place of Hugh at the cottage egress. It starts where I needed it to: "Meat and Right". I grew up in a hunting culture, but there are times when I wonder if we humans aren't to step beyond our "natural" path and jettison the meat intake and the implication that we must kill the sentient (at least what we currently percceive to be sentient). Fearnley-Whittingstall dispenses a candid and personal discussion It is massive and beautiful and my edition has an enormous piece of red meat on the cover in place of Hugh at the cottage egress. It starts where I needed it to: "Meat and Right". I grew up in a hunting culture, but there are times when I wonder if we humans aren't to step beyond our "natural" path and jettison the meat intake and the implication that we must kill the sentient (at least what we currently percceive to be sentient). Fearnley-Whittingstall dispenses a candid and personal discussion of the morality of meat eating, that came to me right at a time when I was in a moral malaise over the issue. I still eat meat. Buying and assessing good meat -- also thorough but accessible discussions. Now on to the cuts and cooking...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Junio

    Hugh fearnley-Whittenstall is a nose-to-tail chef and tv host who has become a very accomplished gentleman farmer. He values the animals that he puts to death for meat and has a pretty good argument for eating veal (as long as it's pink veal which hasn't been confined like white veal). This is more than a cookbook, It's a tome all about every step of the process from raising or hunting animals for meat, to finding a good butcher, to showing the food you care. Then come the recipes, and there are Hugh fearnley-Whittenstall is a nose-to-tail chef and tv host who has become a very accomplished gentleman farmer. He values the animals that he puts to death for meat and has a pretty good argument for eating veal (as long as it's pink veal which hasn't been confined like white veal). This is more than a cookbook, It's a tome all about every step of the process from raising or hunting animals for meat, to finding a good butcher, to showing the food you care. Then come the recipes, and there are a lot - one I'm excited about is sausage and gamefoul baked in a deep dish with batter! Oh the english. I was hoping that this book would have a lot of good charcuterie stuff, but he apparently put most of that in his previous book the River Cottage Cookbook.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    I spent summers as a youth on my Uncles farm and this book too me back to those days gone by. In this world of processed foods, where people are making decisions out of the justified fear of not knowing what is in their food; this book is a giant step in the right direction. The author talks about everything from the care of our food animals all the way to how to choose the places we get our meats from and then provides us with mouth watering recipes. The other thing that makes this book great is I spent summers as a youth on my Uncles farm and this book too me back to those days gone by. In this world of processed foods, where people are making decisions out of the justified fear of not knowing what is in their food; this book is a giant step in the right direction. The author talks about everything from the care of our food animals all the way to how to choose the places we get our meats from and then provides us with mouth watering recipes. The other thing that makes this book great is he goes into the concept of food stretching. Just because we buy that large cut of meat does not mean we have to eat it all in one sitting. There is a reverence when he talks about the care and usage of the meat that borders on religious and it is a welcome thing to read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anne Brockhoff

    Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall reminds me of other favorite Brits (Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Delia Smith) in that he's an enabler. He so clearly wants you to eat well, using excellent ingredients, with a minimum of fuss and expense. Meat is an education in how beef, pork, lamb and poultry should, in his view at least, be produced, and he doesn't pull any punches with the photos. If you don't want visuals on how an animal goes from hoof to plate, in all its honesty, then this book isn't for you. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall reminds me of other favorite Brits (Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Delia Smith) in that he's an enabler. He so clearly wants you to eat well, using excellent ingredients, with a minimum of fuss and expense. Meat is an education in how beef, pork, lamb and poultry should, in his view at least, be produced, and he doesn't pull any punches with the photos. If you don't want visuals on how an animal goes from hoof to plate, in all its honesty, then this book isn't for you. Likewise, F-W embraces hunting and offers guidance for game birds and animals as well. The recipes are distinctly British, as is the language, but delicious all the same. Buy or borrow? Buy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Thehusbandsrule Reed

    I seriously recommend this book for anyone concerned with the morality and consequences of eating animals for food. It's about traditions of husbandry, butchery, and meat preparation. The introduction is a thorough evaluation of the arguments for and against eating meat and the industrialization of the meat industry. I haven't read the recipe section yet but I know it focuses on not only how to prepare popular cuts of meat but also game animals and the weird parts that people usually don't bothe I seriously recommend this book for anyone concerned with the morality and consequences of eating animals for food. It's about traditions of husbandry, butchery, and meat preparation. The introduction is a thorough evaluation of the arguments for and against eating meat and the industrialization of the meat industry. I haven't read the recipe section yet but I know it focuses on not only how to prepare popular cuts of meat but also game animals and the weird parts that people usually don't bother with.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    For an ex-vegetarian this is a must-read and allways-by-your-side-book-in-the-kitchen. Love it. I buy my meat direct now from the farmers and Hugh is great help with understanding the bits of animals. He also illustrates all the issues of current meat production in a fun way (believe me, just read it!). Easy to read, great recepies. ps. when I told my husband I will start eating organic meat and game, he presented me with this book with a happy smile. If this book weren't such a brilliant thing, For an ex-vegetarian this is a must-read and allways-by-your-side-book-in-the-kitchen. Love it. I buy my meat direct now from the farmers and Hugh is great help with understanding the bits of animals. He also illustrates all the issues of current meat production in a fun way (believe me, just read it!). Easy to read, great recepies. ps. when I told my husband I will start eating organic meat and game, he presented me with this book with a happy smile. If this book weren't such a brilliant thing, I would have felt offended for my tofu lasagne! :D

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dayna

    This is everything a meat cookbook should be. It talks about how to buy and prepare meat, and also discusses the moral implications of killing animals for food. As there are a slew of recipes on how to cook meat, he (obviously) comes down on the side of "Yes, it is moral". This is going to become a cooking Bible for me, I can tell. It is also leading to me wanting to abandon my city ways so that I can raise some cattle and pigs myself. Mmmmmmm This is everything a meat cookbook should be. It talks about how to buy and prepare meat, and also discusses the moral implications of killing animals for food. As there are a slew of recipes on how to cook meat, he (obviously) comes down on the side of "Yes, it is moral". This is going to become a cooking Bible for me, I can tell. It is also leading to me wanting to abandon my city ways so that I can raise some cattle and pigs myself. Mmmmmmm

  22. 5 out of 5

    Nathanael Coyne

    When I picked up a copy of this book in a store and flipped through it I almost decided not to buy it - all I saw was talk of offal and text that I didn't find particularly interesting at the time - but so glad I bought The River Cottage Meat Book. Now I am literally reading it from cover to cover and pull it out all the time. Hugh's simple guidelines on roasting have changed my roasts forever - they're now a billion times nicer. When I picked up a copy of this book in a store and flipped through it I almost decided not to buy it - all I saw was talk of offal and text that I didn't find particularly interesting at the time - but so glad I bought The River Cottage Meat Book. Now I am literally reading it from cover to cover and pull it out all the time. Hugh's simple guidelines on roasting have changed my roasts forever - they're now a billion times nicer.

  23. 4 out of 5

    David G Anderson

    This bloke nurtures, rears, slaughters, butchers, prepares, cooks and eats his own animals. Get you right into the eternal perpetual logic of the true carnivore. Get a chunk from your local farm-raised purveyor and thrill to the new natural flavour of an old-fashioned joint of meat. His formula for slow-roast shoulder of pork is the ultimate. Unpack your Dutch oven and start reclaiming your culinary past.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Delight

    This is a book along the lines of The Omnivore's Dilemma--only the author is extremely clear in his conviction about what it means to ethically raise and eat meat. It made me happy to plunk down $20 for a chicken--if I could be assured that it was able to live the life of a chicken while it was alive. There are also some really tasty recipes, too. This is a book along the lines of The Omnivore's Dilemma--only the author is extremely clear in his conviction about what it means to ethically raise and eat meat. It made me happy to plunk down $20 for a chicken--if I could be assured that it was able to live the life of a chicken while it was alive. There are also some really tasty recipes, too.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Neal Barbour

    Where does our food come from? Is it ethical to eat other animals? How do you make the perfect mole sauce for pork? Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall knows this and more. Thoroughly comprehensive and extremely well written, meat examines "the proper way" to raise, slaughter, and eat meat. I couldn't get enough. Equally balanced between philosophically sound and mouthwatering food porn. Where does our food come from? Is it ethical to eat other animals? How do you make the perfect mole sauce for pork? Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall knows this and more. Thoroughly comprehensive and extremely well written, meat examines "the proper way" to raise, slaughter, and eat meat. I couldn't get enough. Equally balanced between philosophically sound and mouthwatering food porn.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Excellent and VERY detailed. So detailed that you might want to turn the pages without your glasses on -you never know when the next page might hold a dead rabbit or chicken feet or a pig head staring right at you... Ug. Other than that: LOTS of good information about buying meat, about different cuts, and about cooking every kind of meat any kind of way.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    As a former fish-a-tarian, this book has become my meat bible. Hugh F-W makes an interesting case for meat eating, pondering the moral dilemmas of eating animals, a must read for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Very informative, with everything from sourcing meat and understanding cuts, to the best way to cook your meat. I am putting his Fish book on my wish list.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    An excellent book that makes you think about the meat that you eat, from the common (beef) to less so (offal and game birds). Raises a lot of ethical questions about the quality of meat that you eat. It is UK-centric (as that's where the author is at), but his views are equally applicable no matter where you are. Oh yeah, lots of recipes too! :D An excellent book that makes you think about the meat that you eat, from the common (beef) to less so (offal and game birds). Raises a lot of ethical questions about the quality of meat that you eat. It is UK-centric (as that's where the author is at), but his views are equally applicable no matter where you are. Oh yeah, lots of recipes too! :D

  29. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Woodman

    The author is quite a chearacter, who is clearly very passionate about what he does and what he beleives, and I do sympthize with his contention that we need to stop factory farming, and pay twice as much for meat and eat half as much of it. He is nowhere near as likable as Michael Pollard, but along the same lines.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    A modern classic to stand by the Fish book as a must have for both professional, student and amateur cook. I only found out by accident that it was sold in altered form in the US presumably to take into account different cuts and tastes. A pity some US authors don't have the courtesy of doing the same for the UK! But perhaps I should blame the publishers and accountants. A modern classic to stand by the Fish book as a must have for both professional, student and amateur cook. I only found out by accident that it was sold in altered form in the US presumably to take into account different cuts and tastes. A pity some US authors don't have the courtesy of doing the same for the UK! But perhaps I should blame the publishers and accountants.

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