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Starred Review. Without the faintest hint of apology, Ruhlman and Polcyn present an arsenal of recipes that take hours, and sometimes days, to prepare; are loaded with fat; and, if ill-prepared, can lead to botulism. The result is one of the most intriguing and important cookbooks published this year. Ruhlman (The Soul of a Chef) is a food poet, and the pig is his muse. On witnessing a plate of cold cuts in Italy, he is awed by "the way the sunlight hit the fat of the dried meats, the way it glistened, the beauty of the meat." He relates and refines the work of Polcyn, a chef-instructor at a college in Livonia, Mich., who butchers a whole hog "every couple weeks for his students." Together, they make holy the art of stuffing a sausage, the brining of a corned beef and the poaching of a salted meat in its own fat. An extensive chapter on pâtés and terrines is entitled "The Cinderella Meat Loaf" and runs the gamut from exotic Venison Terrine with Dried Cherries to hearty English Pork Pie with a crust made from both lard and butter. And while there's no shortage of lyricism, science plays an equally important role. Everyone knows salt is a preservative, for example, but here we learn exactly how it does its job. And a section on safety issues weighs the dangers of nitrites and explains the difference between good white mold and the dangerous, green, fuzzy stuff. Line drawings.
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Michael Ruhlman has written and coauthored many bestsellers, among them The French Laundry Cookbook and Ratio. He lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
The book is well written and easy to read. It is a must for someone who wants to make it themselves.Published on Nov. 6 2013 by Jason Fox
I've tried a lot of charcuterie but this book represents the first time it has ever worked for me.
Ruhlman is an awesome food writer and he doesn't miss the mark with... Read more
Just starting to get into sausage making and this book is perfect for me. It goes into enough explanation about techniques and equipment so you understand the techniques and the... Read morePublished on May 14 2013 by Beth Power
Interesting read but disappointing as a cookbook....found recipes tough to follow and overly complicated.... Read morePublished on March 16 2013 by Smokin Jay