Item description for CHARCUTERIE AND FRENCH PORK COOKERY by Jane Grigson...
Overview Famed for charcuterie since Roman times, France has a long tradition of turning the pig into a range of delicious food products. Jane Grigson introduces the techniques used to transform the humble pig into a variety of famous dishes.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 8.25" Weight: 1 lbs.
Publisher Grub Street Cookery
ISBN 1902304888 ISBN13 9781902304885
Availability 0 units.
More About Jane Grigson
Jane Grigson (1928-90) was brought up in the northeast of England, where there is a strong tradition of good eating. In 1968 she began writing cookery articles for the Observer Colour Magazine; the Bison Books edition of "Good Things" is a collection from this highly successful series. "Jane Grigson's Fruit Book" is also available in a Bison Books edition. Amy Sherman studied the culinary arts in Italy and is a San Francisco-based food reviewer and an avid cooking blogger at http: //cookingwithamy.blogspot.com/.
Reviews - What do customers think about CHARCUTERIE AND FRENCH PORK COOKERY?
Cool book! Jun 28, 2008
I haven't tested the recipes for accuracy, but cool book. Very informative and a good look at long forgotten dishes. The section on crepenette alone is worth the price of the book.
"...European civilization...has been founded on the pig." Jun 15, 2006
I am on an unholy mission to convert a few this siteians to the pleasures of do-it-yourself charcuterie. My travels in search of gustatory ecstacy have revealed many a depressing deficiency in American food, one of the most egregious of which is the state of this country's meats. Besides the much-publicized and lamented feed-lot economy that guarantees cheap and flavorless meat for all, we have forfeited the rich, varied, and highly-localized meat traditions of Europe. We have replaced flavor, texture, and local nuance with industrial products that satisfy the huge distributors but leave our tongues and bellies beggared. I am writing a series of reviews that laud a few recent books that do a great job in trying to rectify this impoverishment.
Perhaps the most thorough and comprehensive of the bunch is Jane Grigson's. Over almost 350 dense, detailed pages she covers the hows and whys of charcuterie. Everything from tools and methods to the meat itself is presented in lucid prose, with a fine eye to determining what, exactly, the reader needs to know to make good meat products at home. Sausages of every kind and description, pates, terrines, puddings, saltings, fresh pork preparations, sauces, gallantines... the scope of this book approaches the scope of knowledge a Franch charcutier might possess. Few details escaped Grigson's attention, for her purpose was no humbler than to revive charcuterie in Britain. If she accomplished nothing more than to inspire Fergus Henderson to become the greatest meat-man of his generation, she should rest in peace.
The book has many virtues, readability and enthusiasm not least among them. But its real gift is its comprehensiveness and its almost unique ability to guide the reader through unfamiliar territory. This is a real, fundamental, primary cookbook. Anything more basic would be a farming manual. Which brings me to the point I started to make at the beginning of this screed: our American meat situation is bad because we allow much too much mediation between live meat animals and what we put in our mouths. What Grigson proposes is a hands-on, direct, sensory, real involvement with the raw materials. This, as the great French and Italian food traditions demonstrate so unasailably, is fundamental to great food. When you give up the cheap pleasures of supermarket hamburger and try your hand at basic charcuterie, you will enter a world of memorable pleasures and perhaps rekindle that most basic human value: respect for the sources of what we eat.
You may find my review of Fergus Henderson's The Whole Beast useful in your education as a carnivore.
Excellent Scholarship and Foodie Read. Buy It! Mar 20, 2006
`Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery' is the prominent 20th century English culinary writer, Jane Grigson's first book, first published in 1967. Like her last book, `English Food' and unlike many of her intermediate books, this is a very scholarly book that may not have much appeal to the average amateur cook. It is much closer to a technical book on how to make and cook with forcemeats and cured pork products than a source for the home cook. As I will discuss later, that doesn't mean it has no value for the amateur cook, especially those for whom cooking has become a hobby or avocation.
Grigson is one of the most prominent disciples of the great English culinary writer, Elizabeth David, who, through Grigson, Alan Davidson, Jill Norman, Claudia Roden and American, Richard Olney has influenced a large share of a generation of English language culinary writers and restaurateurs. David is a palpable presence throughout this book with references to her works and her London cookware shop sprinkled liberally throughout the text. In a sense, this book is an extension to David's own `French Provincial Cooking', as Grigson picks up on one of the most important specialities of French home and commercial cooking.
I sense an increased interest in `charcuterie' throughout the American culinary reading public. Of course, the Food Network has not yet come out with a show on `charcuterie' but I have seen on DVD an episode on sausage making done by Julia Child and at least two of Alton Brown's `Good Eats' shows have been dedicated to these subjects. The most convincing evidence is the publication of the recent book, `Charcuterie' by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Poleyn and certainly the easily satirized Emeril Lagasse exclamation that `pork fat rules'. Although it sounds like a gimmick, it is certain, confirmed by millennia of practice, that pork fat (lard) is by far the most useful animal fat, far more useful than beef s suet, chicken fat, or lamb fat. It has the finest consistency and by far the best taste, as evidenced by the high value placed on bacon fat as a flavoring throughout the European cuisines, most especially in the cuisine of the southern United States. As Grigson so neatly summarizes at the end of her book, pork fat is to ambient temperature meat preservation what sugar and acid is to fruit and vegetable preservation (pickling and preserves).
For those with no sense of what `charcuterie' is, let me identify the most common examples. These are ham, breakfast sausage, `Italian' sausage', meat loaf, pates, and scrapple. As this book includes recipes for things to do with `charcuterie' products, I recommend this as a source of recipes for things to do with ham. Outside of the thousands of uses for the famous dried hams such as Italian procuitto, German Westphalian Ham, Spanish Serrano ham, and Bayonne hams, I am often at a loss when looking for something to do with a small ham dish for one or two people. I will also recommend this book to all those who are fond of brining techniques. I can't say this with any authority, but I suspect the current wisdom about brining springs from Grigson's writings, as interpreted by writers such as Shirley Corriher.
Even if you have no intention whatsoever to invest in sausage making equipment or a grinder attachment to your Kitchen-aid, this is a great foodie read. And, that is not only for entertainment. The recipes for the dozens of sausages, pates, and other forcemeats can offer a wealth of ideas on making new stuffings for things like cabbage, peppers, and tomatoes.
The only problem one may experience with the procedures in this book is with the scarcity of fat on our new pig. One can only gasp at the comparison between the average American pork chop and the richly fatted chop exhibited on an `Oliver's Twist' show by Jamie Oliver, harvested from an artisinally raised porker in rural England.
In many ways, this is actually a better book than the much more recent Ruhlman / Poleyn book, as it covers a much broader range of procedures and recipes and takes a more critical attitude towards the subject. It is immensely reassuring to find an informed writer say that the Italian sausage, mortadella is really a bit on the bland side. And here, I thought my taste had not refined enough to appreciate this famous Italian product. And yet, for the casual reader, Ruhlman is probably a better choice as all his sources and references are modern, while Grigson often refers to sources which are nothing more than a find memory.