In The Great America Meat Book,
Merle "The Butcher" Ellis gives you everything you need to know to buy meat knowledgeably and cook it well. The son of a butcher, Ellis grew up in Iowa and followed his father into the business before he took to writing and teaching. He writes like a guy you'd like to hang out with. Ellis draws on recipes from the ranchers and farmers he's met over the years, and from his family's kitchen. Easy to follow, the dishes they make are not dull. Ellis knows how to bring out the flavor in every cut of every kind of meat, in recipes from Meatloaf and Pork Chop-Sweet Potato Casserole to Twenty Garlic Cloves Lamb Shanks and Veal Marengo.
From Publishers Weekly
Carnivores will thrill to this good-natured overview of meat dishes. Historical favorites like Second-Best Chili (so-named because it uses second-best meat) and Basic Meat Loaf are interspersed with newer ideas like Lemon Pork in Cream and Curried Kabobs with Peanut Butter Sauce, made with lamb. A few less successful adaptations of ethnic dishes (Ham and Vermicelli Carbonara; Mexican Beef Stir-Fry) float in a netherworld between the two. The 536 recipes are generally easy to follow, and the abundant tips on cooking methods, preparation and cutting techniques are comprehensive and useful. Ellis offers readers who haven't previously sought out a neighborhood butcher prime motivation to do so: some ingredients will not be found in the supermarket meat section. Lamb Rib Chops with Tarragon Mousse are encased in a layer of caul fat, and a chapter devoted to offal, called "Odds 'n' Ends and Innards," contains Brains and Scrambled Eggs, Pigs' Feet and Sauerkraut and even Rocky Mountain Oysters. The writing here is folksy, drawing on the author's career as a butcher and the history of meat-related topics like cow branding and barbed wire, although Ellis (Cutting Up in the Kitchen, 1975) might better have stayed away from apologies and explanations. His lengthy responses to common protests about veal-raising ring awkwardly defensive and are not likely to assuage readers with those concerns. For meat eaters and cookers, however, this is a valuable overview of a venerable culinary tradition.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.