The Ultimate Companion to Meat: A cookbook showcasing delicious learning


Meat, in all its glorious forms and cuts, can be part of many cultural celebrations. In The Ultimate Companion to Meat, readers can explore its deliciousness.

Although recent food trends might take a different direction, meat is and will always be part of a foodie’s life. Understanding the where, how and why that piece of protein goes from farm to table is essential to creating an impeccable meal. In The Ultimate Companion to Meat, this cookbook by Anthony Pucharich and Libby Travelers is more than just a collection of recipes. This cookbook explores how knowledge and respect are imperative to creating a memorable eating experience.

For many people, a steak, roast or even chicken is something that arrives pre-packaged, sitting in the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Not a second thought is given to how it got there. Maybe it is time for that home cook to explore the backstory to the food in that butcher case.

While professional chefs have long appreciated the craft of butchery, the foodie is starting to learn the importance of this skill. Although most home cooks will never break down an entire hog or cow, the knowledge of butchery as well as an appreciation for the farmer is essential for better cooking.

Just like a chef who wants to be educated in spices, global cuisine and food trends, understanding cuts of meat is imperative to becoming a better cook. There is a difference why dark meat poultry and white meat poultry taste and cook very differently. The same can be said of cuts of beef. If the wrong protein is used in a recipe, the final result will never be optimal.

In The Ultimate Companion to Meat, the cookbook explores not only delicious recipes, but it also explores the hows and whys of cooking with meat. From traditional cuts to wild game, this cookbook puts meat, in all its glory, back on the table. While it might not be a vegetarian’s prime reading material, every foodie can learn from this cookbook.

Written by a fifth generation butcher, Anthony Puharich understands that respecting the animal is extremely important. While nose to tail cooking risen in awareness, expert butchery is an artform. It is a craft that chefs have learned to appreciate.

A look around the suburban landscape, few cities have a local, artisan butcher. Walking into a real butchery and experiencing that process will change how and what you cook. If you have ever wondered why a farm raised hog cooks better than a supermarket pork roast, the process does make a difference.

The Ultimate Companion to Meat is not just a commentary on today’s food society, it is an educational guide for any cook. From newbie to experienced, everyone will learn something from this cookbook.

The opening of each chapter provides a quick, visual synopsis of various cuts, foods that complement the meat and some helpful hints. As the chapter continues, Puharich explores the how the farm affects the meat, how butchery is approached and how to cook various cuts. Finally, each chapter shares a wide variety of recipes showcasing the complexity of that meat.

Of course, the beautiful photography will entice anyone with those impeccable recipes. But, if foodies are expecting just a list of recipes, this book is far beyond that simplicity.

This cookbook is meant to be pondered. More importantly, it will serve as a reference for anyone who wants to improve their cooking.

If you are looking to explore the complexity and history of butchery and the role that meat plays in the food world, The Ultimate Companion to Meat is a must read. The cookbook can be purchased on Amazon and other retailers.

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What compels you to pick up a cookbook? Which cookbook will always have place on your bookshelf?