Books: Cooking by Cuisine -> Cooking American
Steaks, Chops, Roasts and Ribs
Magazine, Editors of Cook's Illustrated
America's Test Kitchen
Published: May 1, 2004
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A fine whole tenderloin of beef is a great piece of meat to roast and serve on a special occasion, and is expensive enough it could give one pause at the open oven door--that great What If, as in what if I don't really know what I am doing.
The editors of Cook's Illustrated magazine have settled the issue. It's all right here in Steaks, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs: Where the tenderloin can be found on the beef, whether to buy it untrimmed or not, how to roll and tie it for uniform roasting
(including a sidebar on how to tie the butcher's knot), the best temperature at which to roast this cut of meat, and the length of time you can expect to wait beside the oven door. Having tested the process with 11 tenderloin roasts, these editors tell
you all you need to know to get the results you want.
Steaks, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs opens with meat basics. If you know where a specific cut of meat comes from, you have a leg up on how best to cook the meat. Pork, lamb, veal, and beef are all
covered. The buying information leads to a section on cooking basics. And then into the chapters. This isn't a book based so much on the kind of meat as on what you want to accomplish with any meat. The chapters cover steak (cooking outside and indoors),
chops, cutlets, ground meat, ham, roasts, and more--polus there's a chapter on Rubs, Sauces, Salsa, and Gravy.
The pace is moderate and the information is thorough, both about the product, the technique, and the truth by experience about the tools
you need to achieve success. There are hundreds of helpful line drawings and pages of color photos. And most important of all, 300 recipes that have been tested and retested by the people who invented the test kitchen. Steaks, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs is
the meat eaters insurance policy. --Schuyler Ingle
From Publishers Weekly
Forget the spinach, forget the potatoes: many Americans dream of a dinner with a glistening, juicy, well-caramelized steak. But with high-end steaks pushing $20 a pound,
there's little room to experiment, which makes this collection of fail-proof recipes by the editors of Cook's Illustrated (The Best Recipe; etc.) all the more valuable. Reading the volume is like taking a crash-course at the butcher's: the first 20 pages
explain and rate various different cuts of beef, veal, pork and lamb, as well as various cooking methods (grill-roasting, pan-searing, braising, etc.). Subsequent chapters are organized to satisfy all kinds of kitchen hankerings (e.g. "I Want to Cook
Meat on a Stick," "I Want to Make Pot Roast") using simple and easy techniques. Ever concerned with efficiency and affordability, the C.I./America's Test Kitchen team devised many innovations for this collection, among them a tasty Beef Goulash that
doesn't require beef stock and a method for slicing beef for Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches with a food processor. Attractive line drawings illustrate important techniques like making a pan sauce and working with supermarket puff pastry. From simple
recipes like Pan-Fried Breaded Pork Cutlets (complemented by an excellent recipe for homemade Japanese Tonkatsu sauce) to more time-consuming ones like the flavor-bursting Braised Lamb Shanks with Lemon and Mint, the recipes streamline traditional dishes
without loosing an ounce of flavor. Perhaps in response to complaints that Cook's Illustrated recipes can be boring, this cookbook includes several contemporary sauce ideas-such as Roasted Red Pepper and Smoked Paprika Butter for steaks and assertive
wet-rubs for pork tenderloin-that would not be out-of-place in a professional kitchen. This cookbook could quickly become indispensable to any carnivore's dinner dreams.
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