Felicity O’Driscoll Book Reviews Issue 206

By Cuisine3 Minutes
June 21, 2021By Cuisine

THE MEATEATER

STEVEN RINELLA, RANDOM HOUSE, $65

While it might seem obvious, Steven introduces this book with the statement “wild game is wildly variable”. What he means is that cooking game is less about the beast itself and more about the cut or part of the animal, and that it’s important to give the animal the respect it deserves both in the field and in the kitchen. The recipes are superb – think duck hearts with walnut pesto, or white wine pheasant with bacon and potatoes. This is a game book for people who like to cook as well as hunt.

HOME SAUSAGE MAKING

CHARLES G. REAVIS & EVELYN BATTAGLIA, STOREY, $54.99

I cannot lie; I am rather partial to sausages. However, I had never considered making my own until I was gifted a large portion of a beast some years ago. Confronted with the lesser cuts, I acquired a copy of the 2003 edition of this book and a second-hand sausage stuffer, and put them both to use. I have so many notes in the margins of my copy that I simply can’t update to this new glossy edition. Whether you fancy making your own chorizo or a batch of English bangers, they’re all here. Just don’t look past the pork and apple sausages with sautéed leek and cider in the mix – these are an absolute winner.

THE WHOLE BEAST

FERGUS HENDERSON, HARPERCOLLINS, $39.99

This certified kitchen classic comes from Fergus Henderson, the master of ‘nose to tail’ and the chef who put pigs’ trotters back on restaurant menus. From his signature roast bone marrow with parsley salad, to lambs’ tongues and rabbit with fennel and bacon, these are not recipes for the faint-hearted (or the squeamish). While the dishes have their heritage in the thrift of the post-war British countryside, they remain relevant today as we look to minimise waste and use the whole beast. At the same time, the recipes allow us to rediscover the taste, texture and true flavour of meat, the way it is meant to be eaten.

THE FRANKLIN BARBECUE COLLECTION

AARON FRANKLIN AND JORDAN MACKAY, TEN SPEED PRESS, $110

Starting out as a roadside barbecue trailer outside Austin in 2009 and evolving into a restaurant where the queue for brisket often starts at dawn, Franklin Barbecue is the most lauded barbecue joint in Texas. This two-book set combines Franklin Barbecue, a meat-smoking manifesto, and Franklin Steak, the guide to sourcing, ageing and cooking the perfect steak. While a pilgrimage to Austin may be off the cards at the moment, you can at least become a backyard pitmaster.