The Niman Ranch Cookbook: From Farm to Table with America's Finest Meat

Bill Niman, Author, Janet Kessel Fletcher, Author, Laurie Smith, Photographer
Bill Niman, Author, Janet Kessel Fletcher, Author, Laurie Smith, Photographer Ten Speed Press $35 (209p) ISBN 978-1-58008-520-5
Reviewed on: 09/01/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
Paperback - 209 pages - 978-1-58008-918-0
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Chock full of lore, history and lingo, this is an expansive but plainly written book for the conscientious carnivore. High quality meat markers like the thick back fat of a pig, richly marbled flesh and robust flavors from the antioxidants in grass are explored in the following chapters. Though sometimes repetitive, the descriptions of environmentally conscious ""old-style"" farming techniques, as well as some of the controversy surrounding practices like grazing and grass-fed vs. corn-fed cattle, add an eco-political angle familiar to customers of Whole Foods and other natural markets. Part P.R. for Niman Ranch, part education on farm practices that consider the whole animal, the book gives a glimpse into the creation of a value-added brand, adding flavor and politics to beef. The informative section on technique (focusing on cows, pigs and sheep) and collection of recipes from their customers-from the Chipotle chain's simple Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes, Cumin, and Chipotle to celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Baeckoffe, an Alsatian lamb shoulder-are a testament to the whole hog, from hoof to cheek.
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