The Paleo Bookshelf: A Review of BEYOND BACON by the Paleo Parents

The Paleo Bookshelf: A Review of BEYOND BACON by the Paleo Parents
  • Sumo

The Paleo Parents team contacted me a few months ago to see if I would be interested in receiving an advance copy of their new book ‘Beyond Bacon’ for review. Holy Swiss Cow “YES!!”, I already had this book on my ‘must get’ list since they first announced that they were writing it. I am a huge fan of Stacy and Matt and the work that they do. Go read this post on their blog and you’ll know exactly why I think they are so awesome.

I’ve been running to my mailbox everyday for weeks now waiting for my copy to arrive. It finally got here last week (everything takes forever to get all the way to Switzerland) and I sat right down and read it cover to cover.

It finally arrived!

It finally arrived!

What do I look for in a cookbook and did I find it in this one?

 

A good cookbook has beautiful pictures that actually inspire me to want to make the recipes.

Photographer Aimee Buxton has filled this book with stunning food photography. As a food blogger, I know how difficult it can be to capture the essence of what you’ve created in the kitchen and translate that in a picture. Looking at the pictures in this book makes me want to make every single recipe. She even managed to make Head Cheese look tempting! You can read about her experience shooting photos for the book here.

A good cookbook teaches me something about the process of cooking and preparing healthy food.

I learned a ton from this book. The whole first section of the book, called “Why We Wrote This Love Letter to Pork”, details how to find and afford pastured pork, the history of pig cultivation, the science of pork and saturated fat and what pork does and doesn’t do to your health. There is an awesome guide to pork cuts and where they are found on the pig. This is especially helpful to me since animals are butchered differently in Switzerland than they are in the US. I now have a handy little guide that I can take to my butcher so that I can show him exactly which cut I want.

The next section of the book teaches you the basics of some unique cooking techniques that you might not have tried before. You can learn how to make and stuff your own sausage, how to smoke meat, how to render lard and then how to deep fry stuff in the lard you made. Yes, I’m having a new love affair with lard.

A good cookbook is easy to navigate and I can find what I’m looking for easily.

The layout of this cookbook is excellent. The book starts with a table of contents and a foreword by my favorite farmer Joel Salatan. The recipes are broken down into sections including: grilled and smoked recipes, soups and stews, braised and roasted, conventional preparations, fried foods, veggies and sides, sauces and dressings and sweet things. The book finishes off with an index for easy navigation, a list of  resources and a metric/US conversion chart, which is particularly useful to those of us living outside the States.

Easy to navigate

Easy to navigate

A good cookbook is made well.

It has to be the right size, feel good in my hands, be printed on quality paper and be able to stand the beating I’m likely to put it through over the years. This books fits the bill on all accounts. It’s just the right size, printed to a very high standard and the hardcover is as durable as it is beautiful.

And, of course, a good cookbook is filled with delicious recipes that I would actually make.

First one to try out

First one to try out

It’s all well and good for a book to be so aesthetically pleasing that you could use it as a coffee table book (yes, this could be a coffee table book), but are the recipes any good? Well, of course, I dove right in and started cooking to find out. I had over 100 recipes to choose from…oh my. We made Apple Bacon Stuffed Porkchops. I should tell you that I usually don’t like pork chops all that much because I find them to be dry most of the time. I’m also not a huge fan of apple and pork together (but my husband is, which is why we chose this recipe). I was blown away by how good this turned out. Moist, tender flavorful meat and the stuffing was beyond fantastic. I snuck back in the kitchen and gobbled up more of the stuffing when nobody was looking.

Blown away by the goodness

Blown away by the goodness

Perfectly stuffed chops

Perfectly stuffed chops

 

Now I just have to decide what to try next. I’m thinking ‘Best Brownies topped with Maple Bacon Frozen Custard topped with Salted Caramel Bacon Sauce. If that doesn’t make you want to run right out and get a copy of this book, I don’t know what will.

Making this one next!

Making this one next!

 

So there you have it. I love this book and I know I’ll get tons of use out of it. Beyond Bacon will be released next week on July 2nd and you can order from Amazon here. You should also check out Matt and Stacy’s other book Eat Like a Dinosaur which is a very kid friendly cookbook that the whole family will love.

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. Those brownies!!! Don’t they look amazing? As soon as my Whole30 is over, I am so giving them a try!

    I personally haven’t been able to put that book down… I’ve been reading it, one page at at time, for over a week now (well, ever since it came in the mail!)

    I hadn’t even noticed that recipe in the book, but you sure have had me get a good glimpse of it now! I’m thinking I want to try those pork chops too! Unfortunately, all my chops are rather thin and boneless, so I think I’ll have to do an adaptation. I think they’re gonna have to be un-stuffed pork chops. 😉

    Great review, by the way. I can only hope mine will be half as good as yours! 😉

    • Hey, I’m also doing a whole30 right now! I started last Monday. It’s hard to blog about food and do a whole 30 🙂 It is a great book and it got me all excited about pork. I went to a farm today(organic/bio with grass fed beef and pastured pigs and chickens) that I had never been to before. It’s only like 5 minutes from my house. The farmer lady was so nice. We bought a 1/4 of a pig (to be slaughtered for us in a few weeks) and I got all kinds of fat so I can render my own lard (because I want that lard fudge and those brownies!!). Do you have Gather? Also a really beautiful book with some nice looking recipes.
      The stuffing for those chops was really, really good. Just make it and serve over the top. We had some of the stuffing left the next day and I mixed it up with some egg and filled some sweet potato cups that I had in the freezer…yum!

      • OMG, YUM! And you say it’s hard to blog about food while doing a Whole30? I sure wouldn’t mind seeing that recipe in a post! Plus, I think most people who are doing a Whole30 are often looking for inspiration, so just blog about what you eat!

        And yes, I do have Gather. Another delightful cookbook indeed.

        I am soooo jealous about your farm. Bet they have fresh eggs, too? Oh, how I wish I had one of those right around the corner… Maybe I oughta sell my house and buy one that’s closer to a farm!

        As for the pig, I just purchased a side of pork not too long ago, but didn’t ask for fat. I really wish I’d gotten my hands on Beyond Bacon prior to buying the hog. Oh well, next time, I’ll be better equipped, and educated!

  2. Highly descriptive blog, I enjoyed that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

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