I’m just going to throw that out there right away. I am completely in love with this book! Way more so than I was even expecting. Beyond Bacon is a Paleo cookbook respecting the whole hog – from snout to curly tail. It is full of recipes all based around pork and lardy goodness! I know this review is a bit late- it was released a couple of weeks ago! However, life has been totally crazy and I still really want to recommend this book so please forgive me! It truly is full of delicious looking recipes though.
When it first got to my house, I was surprised. I had expected it to take longer to arrive in Canada. It was hilarious because the whole surprise of it all and then actually opening it and seeing the beauty made me SO excited! I posted on instagram right away something to the tune of “omg omg omg!!!”
When I actually sat down and started looking through the book, my eyes stayed lit up. the photos were stunning and the recipes mouthwatering. At first all I could even do was flip through the pages drooling. Then I did it again, and again, until I had looked through the whole thing and marked off all the many many recipes I see myself making. Among them were a few I had to try right away.
Before I get to that though, I want to mention the layout of Beyond Bacon. The front is all information, it’s easy to read, and has a lot of interesting things to say about pastured pork! Then of course…are the RECIPES! I love the way they split them up – Basics, Grilling and Smoking, Soups & Stews, Braised & Roasted, Conventional Preparations, Fried Lard Goodness, Veggies & Sides, Sauces & Dressings, Sweet Thangs.
I LOVE that the recipes are split up by method! I think that is so great for someone like me, who doesn’t have ALL of the tools they use in this book. I don’t have a smoker, but I do have an oven. I love it. I also love the vegetables and sides section. They packed it with so many yummy looking things, it is CRAZY! I think that may actually be my favorite category!! They have 19 recipes in that section, which is really great!
The variety and selection for a cookbook based solely on one animal in impressive. They make organ meats look not just “not bad” but delicious! I want to try the liver gravy ASAP! I think I might try to find some liver at the farmers market tomorrow.
Okay so now onto the actual individual recipes. I have tried a few so far! Each recipe has very clearly written instructions, and usually an interesting “note” on the side to give you extra background or tips. The three recipes I tried were: Perfect Pork Chops, Rosemary carrot mash, and prosciutto & fig salad.
The pork chops really were PERFECT! They turned out so well using Matt and Stacey’s method. They were juicy and just sooo yummy. Recipe was easy to follow and I got great results, so I give it 5 stars!
Next I made the Rosemary Carrot Mash. This one was also great. This time I did substitute out lard for duck fat, but that gave it an amazing flavour! I swear it smelt like thanksgiving in my kitchen, and I was loving it. I also had to use dry herbs (I forgot the fresh ones) and it still turned out great! If you do this though you should definitely use less than the actual recipe calls for, as dried herbs can be a bit more overwhelming than fresh. And dried rosemary is a bit pokey.
The final recipe I tried out was the fig and prosciutto salad. Can you believe this was my first time ever trying prosciutto!? I know right? Craziness. I fell in love! The flavour combination in this salad was completely on point. In fact, it inspired a week’s worth of fruity meat salads, I just couldn’t help myself! I had this one twice, then one with leftover perfect porkchops and apricots, and then some cherry featuring salads too, like this one I already posted about.
Over all I am totally in love with this book. I have to say I have used it more so far than most of the other paleo books I own, and I have so many more plans for it. I’ve been adding duck fat and rosemary and mashing my sweet potatoes lately, a la rosemary carrot mash! I would recommend it to anyone, especially due to the economic value of a whole or half pastured pig in comparison to a cow. Even if you substituted out the Lard in every single recipe for some other kind of cooking fat, this book would have extreme value!
If you liked what you saw you can order it from amazon (if you follow my link I will get a few cents if you buy it!) or at your local book store! It’s beautiful, full of tons of recipes, and very well worth the price in my opinion! Congrats to Matt and Stacey for producing such a wonderful book.
Happy Pork Cooking!