Long lunches and shared celebrations are at the heart of this extract from Meatsmith by celebrated Australian restaurateur Andrew McConnell and world-class butcher Troy Wheeler.

Australian butcher shops have always been social places; they are places of knowledge as much as they are places to buy produce and ingredients. At Meatsmith, we’ve noticed that when someone buys a steak, they first ask what it is, then how much it is and the next question is: how do I cook it? That exchange of knowledge is a constant in the butcher-shop environment and that makes recipes a constant in our daily life. It made sense to us to document and evolve those recipes and create a record of how and what we like to cook at home.

What you will notice in this cookbook is that meat is not the hero ingredient in every recipe. Sometimes it’s just there as a seasoning or textural element with vegetables or grains or salads doing most of the heavy lifting. This reflects the way we like to eat, and the way more and more people are incorporating meat into their home cooking: using better-quality meat in smaller quantities, for both everyday meals and special occasions. We’ve created a loose sort of template, a modern, rounded, balanced approach to integrating meat into your cooking, whether it’s as a bit player or the star attraction.

There are quick, easy, accessible recipes you can cook every day and there are celebration and occasion recipes for when you have more time to roll up your sleeves and spend the day in the kitchen, pulling something amazing together for family and friends.

It’s the way we like to cook at home. We hope you do, too. Troy and Andrew