The Cookbook Every Foodie Wants Under their Christmas Tree
Christmas shopping was super easy this year. Everyone on my list is getting the same thing! One day after ordering a case, I received my shipment of Tender Grassfed Meat—Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat by Stanley A. Fishman.
Stanley sent me a review copy of his new paperback cookbook this summer (there, FTC, you have my disclosure). After flipping through the book, I knew this was a keeper, and not only that, it was a great book to share with friends and family.
The biggest hurdle I see to the acceptance of grass fed meats is the learning curve about how to cook them. The author, like myself, has ruined his fair share of dinners by trying to use conventional meat recipes on his grass fed beef.
We have had one friend try grass fed meats and then refuse to buy them ever again, because he “could taste the grass.” Twice now, I have over cooked expensive grass fed steaks from Whole Foods that were dry, tough and tasted like liver. Now, liver that tastes like liver is fantastic, but a filet mignon that tastes like liver is disgusting!
Our local organic butcher can’t give away the grass fed beef in his case. Therein lies a problem for the sustainable movement. If only the most fanatical foodie will source grass fed, we will quickly reach a plateau in sales.
This book will appeal to the new local foodie, and even those of us who have been regularly buying grass fed meats. But, I think it will be most valuable for ranches and farms involved in direct sales to the consumer. They will want to order this book by the case, and put it on their product list. This is the one book that will help them increase their customer base, especially in the ranks of the uninitiated. A good example is US Wellness Meats, a direct mail seller of grassfed meats already sells the cookbook on their website.
As a test, I took 4 of these cookbooks to a recent screening of Fresh, where I set up an exhibit table to give out Weston Price Foundation literature and sell T shirts. I sold every single one!
Restaurant chefs need this book, also. As more and more sustainable meats show up on menus, the professional chef will need to adopt the traditional methods for cooking pasture-raised meats. For instance, at the WAPF conference, wonderful US Wellness Meats short ribs were served tough as nails at the Saturday nite banquet, much to the dismay of those in attendance, and I am sure, the sponsor who donated the meat. The hotel restaurant did similar violence to an organic chicken, it was one tough bird.
Stanley Fishman, the author of Tender Grassfed Meat has done the local foods movement, chefs everywhere (and this homemaker) a tremendous service. He took his initial failures with cooking grass fed meats, and turned them into a great strength.
Like Sally Fallon, author of the bestselling cookbook, Nourishing Traditions, Fishman went digging in the past for answers. His persistent research in hundreds of old history and cooking books, unearthed the secrets of tender and delicious grass fed cookery. He studied how many traditional cultures around the world (including ancient Rome) prepared naturally raised livestock for the dinner table. Stan did extensive recipe testing and experimenting, which has resulted in a fantastic cooking book for the everyday cook.
The book begins with practical sections on Why Grass fed is Best, Ingredients, Equipment, Techniques. These introductory remarks lay the basis for the beginner to feel comfortable trying the recipes that follow.
Since buying the book, I have made Stan’s Quick Chops (lamb), Quadruple Healing Broth, Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb, Quick Boiled Green Beans (the secret is adding butter to the water). I have also learned a new way to cook a delicious steak, fry it in butter! Typically I grill or broil a steak, but do remember in the distant past my mother frying steak in butter or lard (not sure which). Wow, it is great the “old timey” way!
The best section of the book is the Marinades chapter. You will learn some amazing things here, which will greatly expand your repertoire. Did you know that you can marinade with just olive oil? There is a specific reason for that, you will discover in this book. You’ll also learn why it is best to start cooking meat that has been first brought to room temperature.
Here are some of the fascinating recipes that caused me to buy this book for everyone on my Christmas list:
Royal Bison Roast in the Style of Poland
Stir-Fried Beef with Mushrooms and Onions, Vietnamese Style
Best Steakhouse Steak with French Flavors, Italian Flavors, American Flavors
English Style Prime Rib
Traditional European Roast with Triple Onion and Triple Garlic
Marinated Roast Beef with the Flavors of Spain
Gypsy Pot Roast, Bohemian Style
Nutritious Stew, Inspired by Weston A. Price
The book covers beef, broth, bison, lamb, marinades, side dishes and organ meats. I like this book so much, I hope the author will do an expanded edition which delves into pork and poultry.
The multicultural flair and the historically accurate cooking methods updated for the modern kitchen are what sets this cookbook apart from others. Unlike Nourishing Traditions, which is overwhelming in its breadth and scope, this cookbook concentrates and goes deep in this one food group.
What pleases me most about this book is that by narrowly focusing on meat, the author is able to immerse the home cook, and even the professional chef, in a very important cooking lesson. Throw out all you know about cooking meat and start over with Stanley Fishman as your coach for successful techniques and methods for grass fed meats.
To order the book, visit Amazon.com.
This post is part of the Real Food Wednesday blog carnival. See more delicious offerings on Kelly the Kitchen Kop blog.
To find grassfed meat, see the Hartke is Online.com Resources page.