Guide for people raising their own meat
This book isn’t for everyone, but if you are raising animals for food, or are a hunter, The Ethical Meat Handbook: Complete Home Butchery, Charcuterie and Cooking for the Conscious Omnivore would be a helpful guide to butchering and preparing your own meat. Note that in the author’s preface she experienced life as a vegetarian and vegan before becoming an omnivore, and her thoughtful description of her journey as a life dedicated to whole foods is moving. She is a beautiful food writer and her description of the experience of slaughtering her lambs is important for all meat eaters to read. “In my classes… I’ve even had people ask me if there is a way to make it easier. Of course, the discussion flows into humane slaughter regulations and stories of individual experiences with various methods. But I am always sure to mention one thing: It is never easy. It isn’t supposed to be.”
Layout and design:
The book is organized into the following sections and chapters: Introduction to ethical meat, general notes on raising, cooking, and eating animals, beef, lamb, pork, charcuterie, and poultry. Each of the meat chapters includes recipes. The interior design of the book is clean, with easy-to-read fonts and plenty of instructional photographs.
Black and white photographs throughout the book teach the techniques that are described.
Recipes include braised beef shank tacos with caper chimichurri, lime-cream curry lamb sausage with dosas and raita, pork banh-mi sandwiches with quick pickles, smoked fiochetto ham, and duck confit.
What I liked about the book:
Clean layout, thoughtful prose, and many how-to photographs. Choosing to make the photographs black and white, while likely done for cost reasons, makes the overall effect more of a manual and less challenging for the squeamish than it might be if in color. Recipes are traditional and include flour, dairy, and salt.
I wasn’t so keen on:
Recipes were not coded for special diets; nutritional analysis is not provided, which would be helpful for low-sodium eaters.
paleo, omnivore diets
Not recommended for:
Migraine, vegan, vegetarian, celiac, gluten-free or low-sodium diets
A note about my cookbook reviews: In the past, I tested at least three recipes from each book, took photos, and described my experience. Due to my dietary limitations (low-sodium, gluten-, dairy-, egg-free), it is no longer possible for me to test the recipes and do them justice.