The Butcher's Guide to
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
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There is a food revolution sweeping the nation, changing the way Americans think and eat, and meat is at the heart of it. The butcher has reemerged in American culture as an essential guide in avoiding the evils of industrial meat—which not only tastes bad, but is also bad for one’s health and for the environment. Joshua and Jessica Applestone, a former vegan and vegetarian, are trailblazers in this arena. They run Fleisher’s, an old-school butcher shop with a modern-day mission—sourcing and selling only grass-fed and organic meat. The Applestones’ return to the nearly lost tradition of the buying and nose-to-tail carving of whole animals—all humanely raised close to their shop in New York’s Hudson Valley—has helped to make them rising stars in the food world.
The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat is a compendium of their firsthand knowledge. This unique book—a guide, memoir, manifesto, and reference in one—shares everything one needs to know about well-raised meat, including why pastured meats are so much better than conventional ones and how to perfectly butcher and cook them at home. Readers will learn which cut of steak to look for as an alternative to the popular hanger (of which each steer has only one), how to host a driveway pig roast, and even how to break down an entire lamb (or just butterfly the shoulder)—all with accompanying step-by-step photographs. Differences among breeds and ideal cooking methods for various cuts and offal are covered, and the Applestones’ decoding of misleading industry terminology and practices will help consumers make smarter, healthier purchases that can also help change what’s wrong with meat in America today.
Complete with color and black-and-white photographs, illustrations, and more than a dozen recipes, The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat is the definitive guide to eating great meat—responsibly.
JOSHUA and JESSICA APPLESTONE are the owners of Fleisher’s Grass-Fed and Organic Meats in Kingston, New York. Fleisher’s sells to some of the finest restaurants in New York City and the Hudson Valley and offers a butcher-training program. Their website is www.fleishers.com.
ALEXANDRA ZISSU is a green living expert and author of The Conscious Kitchen and coauthor of Planet Home and The Complete Organic Pregnancy. Her website is www.alexandrazissu.com.
“By learning about meat and where it comes from, we become more competent and responsible cooks and carnivores. In this tribute to farmers and animals, the Applestones and Ms. Zissu have put together a compelling guide to local and sustainable meat and poultry. In an honest, irreverent, and funny primer, we learn which are the best cuts for a given dish, how to cook (and serve) a perfect steak, and what to expect when buying a turkey. This charming and informative reference is sure to influence irreversibly the way we buy, prepare, and appreciate meat.”
--James Peterson, author of Meat and Cooking
“If you like eating meat but want to eat ethically, this is the book for you. From the hard-headed, clear-eyed, and sympathetic perspective of butchers who care deeply about the animals whose parts they sell, the customers who buy their meats, and the pleasures of eating, this book has much to teach. It’s an instant classic, making it clear why meat is part of the food revolution. I see it as the new Bible of meat aficionados and worth reading by all food lovers, meat-eating and not.”
--Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health, NYU, and author of What to Eat
--Bruce Aidells, author of The Complete Meat Cookbook
“…clear, useful instruction on dealing with cuts of beef, lamb, pork, and poultry, interesting meditations on sustainable dining, and a dozen or so recipes thrown in for good measure.”
“The new bible for conscious carnivores.” – Bon Appétit