Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
CDN$ 25.07
  • List Price: CDN$ 39.99
  • You Save: CDN$ 14.92 (37%)
Only 10 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Odd Bits Hardcover – Sep 12 2011


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
CDN$ 25.07
CDN$ 25.07 CDN$ 111.00

Best Books of 2014
Unruly Places, Alastair Bonnett’s tour of the world’s most unlikely micro-nations, moving villages, secret cities, and no man’s lands, is our #1 pick for 2014. See all

Frequently Bought Together

Odd Bits + Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes + Bones: Recipes, History, and Lore
Price For All Three: CDN$ 76.25


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought



Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (Sept. 12 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155468756X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554687565
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 2.5 x 25.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,397 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Finalist, IACP Awards 2012, Single Subject Category
New York Times Notable Cookbook of 2011

Odd Bits is the most informative and enthusiastic book about weird organs you'll ever encounter.”
—Philadelphia City Paper, 11/17/11

“Readers will be hard-pressed to find a more well researched, interesting and useful cookbook in 2011. McLagan has triumphantly capped her trilogy, and regardless of why you buy the book, you will no longer fear the odd bits, but rather you will be striking up the grill to savor them with enthusiasm, confidence and joy.
—The Gastronomer’s Bookshelf, 9/26/11

“It's all here, from beef cheeks to cow's back and calves' brains. It is a tribute to Ms. McLagan's talent as a writer that, even when she is describing the least appealing of her "bits,” her informative text, good humor and contagious enthusiasm will keep readers engaged and amused.” 
—The Wall Street Journal, 9/24/11

“When the James Beard-winning author of Bones(2005) and Fat (2007) releases another cookbook, it's wise to stop for a moment and take a closer look at those Odd Bits.”
—LA Weekly, Squid Ink blog, Cookbook of the Week, 9/16/11

“This one's a little out there, but stick with me. In the fresh-off-the-press Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal, Jennifer McLagan educates us how to use the "more economical, but less lovable parts of the beast." Plus, the photography looks stunning.”
—YumSugar, 10 Foodie Books to Crave For Fall, 9/16/11

“It takes a daring author to list a recipe for headcheese as the first recipe in her cookbook. . . Consider that daring author a bit of a renegade in the world of cookbooks. Prior to Odd Bits, she tackled topics unsavory at the time in her cookbooks Fat and Bones and elevated them into something worth savoring. Her introductory recipe for headcheese may be intended to snap you out of thinking that the best parts of the animal are the ones that everyone eats. . . . [Odd Bits] will challenge your cooking skills as much as it will your palate.”
—Men's Health, Guy Gourmet, 9/13/11

“Judging from the titles of her past two cookbooks, Bones and FAT, you might guess that James Beard Award-winning author Jennifer McLagan has a slightly unconventional approach to cooking. You'd be right. Her latest cookbook, Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal, shows you how to tackle tongue, bone marrow, and all those other strange cuts that you may have tasted in restaurants but haven't had the guts (no pun intended) to make at home yet. . . . Use this informed, entertaining book to get in the fall spirit and make some comforting brisket-vegetable pie or surprisingly not-odd Peruvian Heart Kebabs.”
—Bon Appétit, BA Daily blog, 9/13/11

“Food writer Jennifer McLagan's single-subject cookbooks, like Fat and Bones, are always a treat. This time, she turns her attention to offal with Odd Bits.”
—Eater National, 9/12/11

“As a follow-up to her books Bones and Fat, chef and writer Jennifer Mclaghan is now getting into meatier territory, albeit from the perspective of preparing the "odd bits" (think snouts, feet, and organs). Her new book, Odd Bits is aimed at the offal-curious home cook who may want to get into nose-to-tail cooking, but who may have some trepidation about getting their hands messy (or bloody) with organ meats. . . . A recipe for barbecued corned beef is an intriguing and non-threatening entry point (who ever thought of grilling corned beef?), but before long you might find yourself whipping up some chocolate blood ice cream.”
—The Food Section, 9/9/11

“Anyone can slap a bone-in filet on the grill and have it come out delicious. But it takes a really talented chef to make a gourmet meal out of goat spleen. A talented chef, or this cookbook. You’ve always wanted to be a veal cheek expert.”
—Urban Daddy National, 9/8/11

“You can buy organic, grass-fed, conscientiously grown meat all you want, but if you're only eating one part of that chicken, cow, or hog, you're wasting a lot of usable protein — and that's totally un-green of you.”
—Uncrate, 8/31/11

“Jennifer McLagan, award-winning author of Bones and Fat, is on a crusade to bring the nose-to-tail style of cooking and eating out of the closet and back onto to our dining tables. Her mission: restoring our respect for the whole animal, developing a taste for its lesser known parts, and learning how to approach them in the kitchen as confidently as we would a steak or a burger.”  
—The Huffington Post, 8/25/11

“unique, informative, and readable”
—Library Journal, 8/15/11

“It is tempting to say that this book is plain offal. But McLagan, who has authored two kindred collections, Bones and Fat, explores more than just innards. As the cover hints with its photo of two severed pig's feet, all sorts of extremities find their way to the table in this 100-recipe autopsy. It is perhaps the perfect gift for the host who has dreamt of announcing that the evening's meal will be ravioli of brains and morels, or heart burgers, or crispy testicles. McLagan puts the face back in preface with an intriguing 11-page introduction that places the odd bits in historical perspective and explores our loss of food literacy in the age of the supermarket. As the chapters progress from head to tail, there are also fascinating explorations of topics such as the wonders of tripe and how to choose a great neck. Even the meager duck heart and the fleshy cockscomb get their due. It's on to dessert: a tub of chocolate blood ice cream, which employs ginger, Grand Marnier and a half-cup of pork blood. McLagan earns linguistic points for exploring the derivation of such terms as sweetbread and head cheese. (Sept.)”
—Publishers Weekly, 5/16/11

“As an admirer of McLagan’s previous books as well as a cook and writer increasingly aware of the importance of using more than just the tender refined parts of animals and avoiding waste, I know of no other book this season more welcome than this one devoted to exploring the whole animal. McLagan comes through again. Thank you.”
—Michael Ruhlman, author of Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking and Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing
 
“Let Jennifer McLagan take you by the trotter and lead you through the odd bits. Hang on, surely some mistake: the good bits!”
—Fergus Henderson, author of The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating

"Enormously interesting and appealing...This is as wonderful an introduction to "odd bits" as you'll find. McLagan is unabashed in her exploration of these meats."
—Clifford Wright, thezesterdaily.com


Praise for Fat 
McLagan’s book is a smart, sensual celebration of the flavorful animal fats prized by chefs and shunned by a generation of lipo-phobes. Her French Fries in Lard may change your life forever. 
People Magazine
 
Jennifer McLagan’s cookbooks are joyously contrarian affairs. [Fat] is a rollicking journey through the kingdom of unrepentant, glorious, and filthy rich fat.
—T. Susan Chang, The Boston Globe
 
Persuasively arguing that the never-ending quest for “health” has gone too far, McLagan’s elegant and informed look at this most maligned ingredient is appropriately unctuous.
Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review) --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

JENNIFER McLAGAN has over 35 years’ experience in the food business as a chef, caterer, food stylist, recipe writer and cookbook author. She has been a presenter at the highly prestigious Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival MasterClass Series in Australia and the Epicurean Classic in Michigan. She is a regular contributor to Fine Cooking, Food & Drink, The County Grapevine and The Niagara Grapevine magazines. Her books Fat and Bones have garnered top prizes in the food writing world, with Fat winning the James Beard Cookbook of the Year award. Visit her online at www.jennifermclagan.com.


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
5 star
2
4 star
0
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most helpful customer reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Connoley on Sept. 26 2011
Format: Hardcover
While I am sure many will pick up Odd Bits as an "Iron Chef meets teenage boy dare meets Fear Factor episode", the reader will be swiftly and joyfully swooped up into one of the top books of 2011. Jennifer McLagan's final stage of her trilogy, including the much lauded Bones (2005) and Fat (2007), is a comprehensive exploration of those animal parts that are ignored or tossed in the bin, and the word fascinating would be the ultimate understatement in describing this book.

The Australian-born Jennifer McLagan is a Toronto-based chef and writer who is a regular contributor to Fine Cooking and Food & Drink. She is committed to the use of the full animal (à la Fergus Henderson) not only for purposes of economy or sustenance, but also culture and tradition. Odd Bits is her final manifesto to the world of daring or squeamish cooks to take a new look at less common parts of the animals.
At 256 pages the book is divided into five chapters and one "Interlude":
* Get a Heat: Challenging
* At the Front: Comfortingly Reassuring
* A True Snout of a Tail Meal
* Stuck in the Middle: Familiar and Exotic
* The Back End: Convention and Beyond Belief
* Basic Recipes: Odd Stocks

I presume for most readers, the front and the back of the animals will be the most challenging, however McLagan's knowledge and her reassuring voice are like a mother holding a child's hand as they walk to the haunted bedroom closet to reveal the monster. In each chapter she begins with an overview of the body parts and what we might expect to see (thereby removing the scary monster). Next she has an overview of how to select, prepare and cook the parts. And then she opens the closet door by presenting a relatively easy, but sure to please recipe for the body part(s).
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Doug W. Murray TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Oct. 29 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful book. I especially like the down to earth explanations. I have "Fat" and this one and it has helped me convince clients, friends and even family that the odd bits are where it is really at.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 37 reviews
57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
Now to wait for the quadrilogy Sept. 16 2011
By William D. Colburn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I own all three of her books. The first two, Bones and Fat, are amazing. So far I've only skimmed this one. It covers a lot more territory than the first two do. She says in this newest book that if she writes a fourth, it will be called Skin. I'd buy that book too.

One problem with this book is that it is so broad in comparison to her first two. Bones was just about eating bones. Fat was just about eating fat. But everything else is a lot of stuff. Ears, feet, hearts, lungs, gizzards, kidneys, brains, testicles, intestines, and I'm sure there are things I'm missing. The first two were quite focused, but this one is all over the place. It does group recipes by the region of the animal, which is somewhat helpful. Ears show up early, and udders show up later. See, udders! I forgot to list them in my earlier list.

Even just skimming this book taught me a a lot. There is a kind of sausage that is made with pork intestines. Obviously you'd use a real pork intestine casing on your pork intestine sausage, or it just wouldn't be right. Having made my own chitterlings from a freshly killed pig (I still have its feet in my freezer) I can honestly say that I'm just terrified of making intestine stuffed intestines. The recipes and suggestions all look pretty sound.

There are no eyeball recipes. But you'll have them cooked as a side effect of a few dishes since the eyeballs will just be part of the whole presentation. And she gives advice on how to eat them, to make it easier on the timid diner.

Overall, my biggest hope for this review is that is scares off the timid. It would be a shame to waste such a beautiful book on someone who thinks that meat is only what gets shrink wrapped in the meat market at the grocery store.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
One of the top books of 2011 Sept. 26 2011
By Robert E. Connoley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
While I am sure many will pick up Odd Bits as an "Iron Chef meets teenage boy dare meets Fear Factor episode", the reader will be swiftly and joyfully swooped up into one of the top books of 2011. Jennifer McLagan's final stage of her trilogy, including the much lauded Bones (2005) and Fat (2007), is a comprehensive exploration of those animal parts that are ignored or tossed in the bin, and the word fascinating would be the ultimate understatement in describing this book.

The Australian-born Jennifer McLagan is a Toronto-based chef and writer who is a regular contributor to Fine Cooking and Food & Drink. She is committed to the use of the full animal (à la Fergus Henderson) not only for purposes of economy or sustenance, but also culture and tradition. Odd Bits is her final manifesto to the world of daring or squeamish cooks to take a new look at less common parts of the animals.
At 256 pages the book is divided into five chapters and one "Interlude":
* Get a Heat: Challenging
* At the Front: Comfortingly Reassuring
* A True Snout of a Tail Meal
* Stuck in the Middle: Familiar and Exotic
* The Back End: Convention and Beyond Belief
* Basic Recipes: Odd Stocks

I presume for most readers, the front and the back of the animals will be the most challenging, however McLagan's knowledge and her reassuring voice are like a mother holding a child's hand as they walk to the haunted bedroom closet to reveal the monster. In each chapter she begins with an overview of the body parts and what we might expect to see (thereby removing the scary monster). Next she has an overview of how to select, prepare and cook the parts. And then she opens the closet door by presenting a relatively easy, but sure to please recipe for the body part(s). The very first recipe is characteristic of her goal and tone - Headcheese for the unconvinced. This is followed by numerous recipes ranging from common to eccentric:

* Veal Cheeks with Swiss Chard and Olives
* Cheese and Just a Little Brain Fritters
* Sweetbreads with Morels and Fresh Fava Beans
* Moroccan-Style Braised Heart
* Minted Tripe and Pea Salad
* Wild Boar Shanks with Cranberries and Chocolate
* Bone Marrow and Mushroom Custard

McLagan is realistic in the challenge before her. She starts the second chapter with "This chapter covers some more familiar territory, so if you are still recoiling from the idea of eating eyeballs, you'll be much more comfortable here." She manages the challenge by surrounding the "odd bits" concept with so many useful tips and contextual discussions that the book is elevated from freak show cookbook to indispensable cultural flagstone. Take, for example, her explanations of cooking with swiss chard, the use of parchment paper in the kitchen, how to cook proper eggs (hard-cooked eggs), how to prepare bread crumbs and where the term "tartare" originates (the Mongolian Tartars loved raw meat).

And then she drops in more recipes like Devilled kidneys and mushrooms, Peruvian heart kababs, and Pistachio brain soufflé. The latter is the lead-in to a wonderful history lesson that has danced off my tongue at numerous cocktail parties since I read the page on Mock Turtle Soup. McLagan's comprehensive knowledge jitterbugs the history of 18th Century green turtles on London tables, calves heads, pig's ears, and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland... all the way down to Sir John Tenniel's illustrations in Alice of a mock turtle standing on the beach with the head and feet of a calf. Absolutely fascinating and with brilliance seldom encountered in a cookbook.

And the tips keep flowing. Each recipes offers alternative cuts for cooks not having access to her recommended cut. This is especially helpful for American readers who have a government agency that bans many animal parts that are commonly eaten elsewhere around the world. She also provides tips for talking with your butcher or meat supplier to maximize your recipes and gain better value, such as how you should have a certain cut of meat trimmed.

If there is one criticism (and I offer this very lightly), it is the overabundance of quotes. The quotes mix the modern and historic, and range from directly related to interestingly parallel. However, in many cases they distracted me from the section that I was reading so much so that I stopped reading the quotes until I finished the book, then I returned and read just the quotes. And more precisely, I believe the problem is with the layout of the quotes, as they are directly aligned with the text, making it challenging to ignore them. A small price to pay for sure, if even a price at all.

Odd Bits will not be the rockstar book that will fill the holiday stockings of every cook, but it should be. Readers will be hard-pressed to find a more well researched, interesting and useful cookbook in 2011. McLagan has triumphantly capped her trilogy, and regardless of why you buy the book, you will no longer fear the odd bits, but rather you will be striking up the grill to savor them with enthusiasm, confidence and joy.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
We Honor And Respect Animals When We Eat All Of It Dec 11 2011
By Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Man - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Jennifer McLagan is a chef and writer who was awarded the prestigious James Beard Award for her previous book released in 2008 called Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes. Now she's back again in 2011 with a rather unique new book entitled Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal. I even got into the action a couple of months ago when I tried cow tongue for the first time. Jennifer says there are so many parts from the tongue to the testicles to the tail...that are delectable pieces of meat people are missing out on. If you're even curious about eating all kinds of animal parts, then you need to get this book!

Jennifer McLagan talks about all the "odd bits" in this book:

- Why she feels there are "tasty bits we just don't eat"
- How we "respect and honor the animal" when we eat all of it
- When did our culture change that got us away from "odd bits"
- The varied reactions people have to eating cow tongue and strange parts
- The "unfamiliarity" of the animal parts in American culture
- How Hollywood tends to humanize animals that impacts kids
- The normalcy of all kinds of animal parts outside of America
- How brining the tongue in a salt water solution helps it
- How to psychologically get people to try the "odd bits"
- How cooked brains have the texture of soft scrambled eggs
- Why the cheeks are a "fabulous nugget of meat" for braising
- The one body part that actually repulsed her to eat
- Whether there's any nutritional value to eating these parts
- Why the liver doesn't store toxins as people believe
- How liver "cooked like a medium rare steak" is fabulous
- How beef heart is perfect if it's cooked to medium rare
- The horror stories that people have to eating kidney
- Why it's important to get "very, very fresh kidneys"
- The challenge of getting the bone marrow out of the bone
- A trick she learned from a butcher about getting marrow out
- How testicles have been a delicacy for centuries
- What it would take to get someone to try testicles
- Why blood is an essential odd bit that people don't eat
- How our affluence has made us less aware of the "odd bits"
- Why stock is "an essential ingredient in any kitchen"
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Just how carnivorous are you? Sept. 2 2012
By wiredweird - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The butcher's section of the store has a boggling assortment of animal parts. When you look carefully, though, you might realize there's something missing: most of the animal. Once it's been sacrificed to your table, it seems almost sacriligeous that the creature who gave its all should not be all used. Most of it just isn't there among the neatly wrapped steaks and chops.

McLagan is a leading proponent of "nose to tail" carnivory. Her books Fat and Bones get you thinking about the parts that normally don't star at the dinner table. With Odd Bits, though, she gets to the real meat of the matter. Once the steaks, chops, and muscle meat have been carted away, a treasure trove remains: liver, heart, tripe, kidney, sweetbread, and lots more. Even brain, long a delicacy, despite relatively recent concerns about factory-farmed cows.

Frankly, I'm a vegetarian - but not a proselyte. I bought this book for an omnivorous up-and-coming foodie. I didn't connect with anything in my brief glance through this book, but didn't have to. He thought it was great. An additional benefit might not haven entered his thinking yet: these less popular bits of the beast command lowlier prices. So, when he embarks on the career of an impoverished college student but still wants to impress the ladies, this might offer more ways to do it at less cost.

-- wiredweird
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Odd Bits: How to cook the rest of the animal Oct. 30 2011
By Hilary A. Wright - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the AnimalThis book along with the other 2 by the same Author are beautifully presented and very creatively presented. I have cooked many things already with many more to go. The recipes are very well explained and the results are fabulous !! An essential book for a meat lover and also for those not wanting to waste anything.

Look for similar items by category


Feedback