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Cooking Meat

Cooking Meat

A Butcher's Guide to Choosing, Buying, Cutting, Cooking, and Eating Meat

by (author) Peter Sanagan

Random House Canada
Initial publish date
Oct 2020
Meat, Poultry, Reference
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2020
    List Price

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“Standing slow clap for this masterwork by Peter Sanagan. A better, more comprehensive book on meat and cooking has not been written. A stunning accomplishment.”  --Dave McMillan and Frederic Morin, Joe Beef 
A cookbook to turn passionate meat lovers into confident meat cooks, with more than 120 deliciously meaty recipes from butcher and chef, Peter Sanagan.

COOKING MEAT is a meat-lover's guide to everything there is to know about meat, written by Peter Sanagan--chef by training, butcher by trade--who has cooked just about every cut of meat available. From information on sustainable, responsible farming to understanding the different cuts of meats for sale (and what their labels really mean), Cooking Meat is an insider's look at choosing, buying, prepping, cutting, and cooking meat.

Inside are more than 120 recipes, from childhood-inspired favorites, like Meatballs, Crispy Baked Chicken Wings, and Memphis-Style Barbecued Side Ribs, to classic comfort food, like Fried Chicken and Steak and Ale Pie, and from elevated cuisine like Duck Confit and international favorites like Lamb Biryani, to simple pared-back dishes like Roasted Fresh Ham. Also included are step-by-step basic butchery techniques, as well as detailed methods for meaty challenges like stuffing your own sausages, cooking a flawless steak, carving poultry, making bacon, and (the number one question a butcher is asked!) roasting the perfect chicken. With a master guide for every common cut of meat, along with the best cooking methods to pair with them (from roasting to braising to grilling to sous viding to pressure cooking), Peter gives you the tools to determine what type of meat you want to cook, and how to get the best results every time.

In Cooking Meat, you'll discover an invaluable reference, like a guided tour of the butcher's case, written with one goal: to turn meat lovers into meat cooks.

About the author

Contributor Notes

PETER SANAGAN is the owner and operator of Sanagan's Meat Locker, the acclaimed butcher shops in Toronto, Ontario, that specialize in high quality meats and poultry from small, local family farms. After years of working as a chef, he decided to open an establishment that could offer the same kind of exceptional produce he had been cooking with in restaurants. His shops provide excellent cuts of meat, artisanal grocery products, house­made charcuterie, and delicious prepared foods. Peter lives in Toronto with his wife, Alia, and son, Desmond.

Excerpt: Cooking Meat: A Butcher's Guide to Choosing, Buying, Cutting, Cooking, and Eating Meat (by (author) Peter Sanagan)

From the Introduction
I NEVER INTENDED TO OWN A BUTCHER SHOP. Neither did l imagine that becoming a vegetarian would launch my food career. But that's exactly what happened. When I was 16, I listened to The Smiths and thought Meat really was Murder, so I told my parents I was done with consuming flesh. My mother, like any good parent, acknowledged my right to choose but would not make me special food. Instead, she gave me a copy of a Moosewood Restaurant cookbook and free rein in the kitchen to make my own dinner. I ate a lot of sauerkraut and cheddar sandwiches. After six months of iron deficiency and exhaustion, I finally succumbed to the pleasures of a Toronto hot dog. And the rest is history. 

While the vegetarianism didn't last, my enjoyment of working in a kitchen did. I was fascinated to discover that I could take an ingredient that just happened to be in the fridge (this was before I really understood grocery shopping) and turn it into something that people thanked me for—all in the time it takes to watch two episodes of The Simpsons. Something about that really spoke to me in a way that nothing I was learning in high school did. Cooking was new, exciting, painful, thrilling, and gratifying

Around this time my father got a contract to work in Hong Kong for two years. The family packed up, got on a plane (the first in my life), and flew for about 8,000 hours. Hong Kong is an enormous, populous, loud, bright, beautiful city. It is intense and magical, the perfect place for a 17-year-old to develop an affinity for food and cooking. What struck me most was the obvious foreignness: not only did we take ferries a lot to get around but there were also entire markets dedicated to dried seafood and tiny fishing villages that boasted seaside fish restaurants. There were fruits and vegetables I had never seen before. And there were people and foods from all over the world. If my time as a vegetarian sparked my interest in cooking, my time in Hong Kong kindled my passion for food. 

By the time I returned to Toronto I knew that I wanted to try cooking professionally, and I got a job with Movenpick, an international marketplace-style restaurant where I learned the importance of consistency, service, and building flavor. I made many dishes, but my favorite was Rösti, a fried potato cake made with parcooked potatoes that are grated and pan-fried in clarified butter until golden. Served with sour cream alongside a grilled steak, it is probably one of the most delicious potato side dishes I've ever eaten. But while I enjoyed learning how to make pastas, sauces, and rösti, and to set up and prepare their garnishes, I often looked longingly at the grill and rotisserie cooks. They were the lumberjacks of the kitchen—burly and weathered—who cooked steaks to whatever color you wanted; seasoned pork chops with special spice mixes they blended in the back kitchen and then grilled them until they were just pink around the bone; and loaded the rotisserie with ducks, quails, and pork roasts and basted them with juices that collected in the drip tray. Although I never worked that station at Movenpick, I knew that I wanted to end up there. 

Editorial Reviews

“Absolutely brimming with straight-from-the-butcher advice and crazy delicious recipes. If there’s a better guide to buying and cooking meat, I’ve never seen it.”
—Chris Nuttall-Smith, resident judge on Top Chef Canada, food writer, and restaurant critic

“In Cooking Meat, Peter Sanagan shares his passion for meat in all its forms. His broad experience as a chef, teacher, and butcher uniquely qualifies him to explain every step meat takes from the farm to our plate. This book is essential for all meat lovers, whether novice or experienced.”
—Jennifer McLagan, author of Bones, Fat, Odd Bits, Bitter, and Blood

“I have trusted Peter Sanagan and his team since day one. The world needs to know about meat and Peter is our Shepherd.”
— Matty Matheson, chef, and author of Matty Matheson: A Cookbook

“Peter Sanagan is my local butcher. He knows a lot about meat, from the challenges facing our farmers, to the art of butchery, to the ways we can work with different cuts in the kitchen and at the grill. He’s a wonderfully clear and graceful writer, and a natural teacher. Now his deep understanding of meat is available to all. I’m already thinking of this book as Sanagan’s Meat Bible.”
—Naomi Duguid, author of Taste of Persia and Burma: Rivers of Flavor

“From the early days of Peter Sanagan’s career I could see the passion he had for his craft. His expertise is immense, and sets him apart from the pack.”
—Massimo Capra, chef, restaurateur, and co-author of 3 Chefs: the Kitchen Men
"One of the best cookbooks of the year." — Julian Armstrong

“Standing slow clap for this masterwork by Peter Sanagan. A better, more comprehensive book on meat and cooking has not been written. A stunning accomplishment.”  — Dave McMillan and Frederic Morin, Joe Beef

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