Written by (Max Clark & Susan Spaull)
Leiths Meat Bible takes you through everything you could possibly dream of knowing about meat, from Alpaca to Zebra with all the classics in between. It is the latest tome (545 pages long!) in the series of Leith’s ‘Bibles’, following on from Leiths Cookery Bible, Techniques Bible, Vegetarian Bible, Fish Bible, and Baking Bible. The book is co-written by Max Clark and Susan Spaull, two chefs who both got their cookery diplomas from Leith’s, and who have both contributed to several other Leith’s publications.
As you’d expect there is a lot to say in a book that calls itself The Bible, which means a high writing-to-photos ratio, but never fear, you will come across the occasional photographic teaser. Mouth-watering pictures of English roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, braised lamb shanks with flageolet beans, and rich pigs’ cheek stew intersperse the recipes, but then it’s back to the class room, and there is so much to learn.
The book is arranged into several sections; whole chapters dedicated to beef, lamb, pork, and poultry respectively, followed by more specialised sections on game, exotic meats, and matching wine with meats. Whether you simply want to know what to do with a lamb chop, or you want to know your options with sweetbreads, or you fancy trying your hand at python nuggets, Leiths Meat Bible is, as the quotation from Nigel Slater on the cover declares: “The best friend you can have in the kitchen”.
Something that sets this apart from other cookery books is the “What has gone wrong when…” sections. These come after dishes that are more difficult to get right, and advise you on what to do differently next time if your dish doesn’t come out as you’d expected. What has gone wrong when the crackling is not crisp enough? What has gone wrong when the breast meat is dry?
Leiths Meat Bible is an omniscient encyclopaedia for chefs of all proficiencies, and is the sort of book you’ll have for ever and your children can inherit. It will be in shops on the 19th July 2010, priced at £40.00. It may seem a pretty substantial price tag, but it’s a tremendously substantial book, and it will be £40.00 well spent, never to spoil a piece of meat again.
Published by Bloomsbury.
**Written by:** Emily Boyd