Throwing a hamburger on the grill is quick and easy, but you’re missing a world of tasteful opportunity by ignoring the myriad of ways beef can be prepared. We’ve collected a short list of a great beef cookbooks that will add some zest to your next meaty meal and definitely impress your hungry family or house guests!
Planning and preparing a good beef meal can be a challenge: storing the meat, thawing it (if necessary), marinating, making rubs, adding the right spices, and cooking it to perfection requires time and patience. For those that don’t have time to experiment, there are a few great beef oriented cookbooks for sale that offer outstanding recipes and clear preparation instructions. Some of the dishes are more complicated compared to others, so start off slow before you head for a gourmet quality meal.
1. Michael Symon’s Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers
Michael Symon is one of the United States’ preeminent chefs and restaurant owners. He made a splash on the hit TV show Iron Chef where he had the highest winning percentage across all challenges. Symon is also famous for his Cleveland, Ohio restaurants The B Spot and Lola, Lolita, and largely credited with reviving the city’s restaurant scene.
120 Recipes for Meat Lovers isn’t exclusively limited to beef alone, but is instead directed towards those with a carnivorous palette. Fans of Symon’s book recommend his recipes for Broiled Porterhouse with Garlic and Lemon, Ribs with Cleveland BBQ Sauce, Braised Chicken Thighs with Kale and Chiles, Lamb Moussaka, and Bacon-Wrapped Rabbit Legs. Chef Symon also includes a complete section of side dishes, just in case you needed the perfect companion to one of his unique creations.
The book is priced to sell. Michael Symon is no slouch, earning an award from the James Beard Foundation.
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2. Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers
Author Marissa Guggiana comes from a long line of meat connoisseurs. Ms. Guggiana is a noted food activist and writer. She traveled across the nation to compile an array of tasty meat dishes carefully compiled into her user-friendly cookbook. Guggiana intersperses stories from each chef she interviewed and color preparation photos among her recipes. It’s as fun to read as it is to make one of the recipes!
Hardcore meat lovers will also love her practical advice for visiting a butcher shop, tips on buying the best cuts of meat, and ways to butcher your own meat. Clear diagrams, how-tos, and pictures will be of assistance to the novice and expert chef alike. Those already familiar with butchering and meat preparation will enjoy her disclosure of many trade secrets previously known only to the nation’s leading chefs and restaurants.
Guggiana’s recipes for Roast Beef rank among the favorites from this cookbook. Considering all the detail and photos included, the price is very reasonable and well worth your hard earned dollar.
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3. The Complete Meat Cookbook
Authors Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly don’t mince words 🙂 in their powerhouse 604 page guide to making restaurant quality meat dishes. And no, this isn’t some one-off venture into the butcher shop for some secret recipes: both Aidells and Kelly have written extensively on meat preparation, history, recipes, and carnivore culture over the years. Their combined experience, expert knowledge, and entertaining prose produce an enjoyable and highly informative read for any fan of meat.
The Complete Meat Cookbook does NOT trim the fat when it comes to educating its readers. Instead, Aidells and Kelly literally start from the beginning of time, describing the evolution of the kitchen, meat preparation, butchering, and cooking methods. They include extensive illustrations, photos, and simple instructions for replicating their expert techniques. Whether you’re new to the stove or a professional chef looking for great reference material, this book literally starts from scratch and teaches you everything you need to know. This is meat done the right way!
Recipes span the proverbial food rainbow, with easy left over meat preps, tasty Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches, and hearty meatloaf; right up to gourmet level Braised Beef Shanks with Coconut Milk, and meat recipes from points East utilizing Ginger and Cumin. Even the pickiest of eaters will not be disappointed with this smorgasborg of carnivore creations.
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4. Steak Lover’s Cookbook
Noted Chicago Tribune food writer Bill Rice put pen to paper and created an interesting read about steak preparation, not to mention a dense writing style that might initially off-putting for some readers. No worries: if you skim through the prose and go to the recipes, you won’t be disappointed. Rice delivers some amazing ways to prepare steak, featuring a variety of styles, marinades, and cooking techniques.
What sells us are the intricate, delectable ways to make steak other than tossing it on the grill. Rice rolls out recipes for Steak Broiled in a Salt Crust and Sliced T-bone with Asian-Flavored Watercress. If that doesn’t make your mouth water, he adds a brief section about the best side dishes for steak. Making Okra or big Steak Fries to go with any of Rice’s creations is a breeze.
Even if cooking isn’t your forte, Rice includes some brief commentary on the nation’s leading steakhouses, great for those who travel frequently and want something to eat besides fast food. This 256 page paperback is a steal and you can get it for less than $2 from those selling used copies. Meat purists meet your maker!
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5. The River Cottage Meat Book
This book sold like hotcakes in Great Britain, where the author, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, calls home. It became an “underground hit”, flying off shelves and into meat lovers hands who quietly enjoyed this cookbook’s delicious recipes that just about anyone could complete with basic cooking knowledge. Now, this British meat cooking thriller has been tailored for America, where it has developed its own cult following, gracing the shelves of meat-loving cooks across the country.
More than a collection of recipes, The River Cottage Meat Book imparts important wisdom about sustainable meat production, proper storage procedures, cooking techniques, and processing methods that ensure quality tasting food that can be enjoyed for years to come, with minimal waste and due respect for the environment. Fearnley-Whittingstall also provides detailed illustrations and photos for those less acquainted with meat to catch-up to his paradigm shifting ideas.
Be prepared to learn how just about everything from the slaughterhouse can be utilized, top-to-bottom (we’ll let you read to find out more). At 544 pages, this durable and thought provoking hardcover is well worth the ticket price, and you’ll be referencing it for years to come as your cooking moves to the next level.
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Cook something beefy worth bragging about – buy one the best beef cookbooks in world now and make your next meal one to remember.