As a paleo health blogger, I have made my way onto lists that are full of mixed blessings. These are the lists for book reviews. What does this mean? A handful of publishing houses send me every health book that comes off of their presses. This means I get to delight in new, good books, and it means I get to connect with other authors. It also means, however, that I have to either live with the guilt of a free book, or I must oblige myself to write about the book, or promote it in some other medium. This makes being on “the list” a pressure and an emotional stressor far more than I would like.
Today I am so relieved and enormously happy to have a book to read and review that is nothing short of an honor, privilege, and delight. Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes That Respect the Whole Hog is the epitome of the beauty of the paleolithic movement and a paleo lifestyle. The photos are to die for, the recipes mouthwatering, and the philosophy both lovely and inspiring. For these reasons, I could not be more happy to take the time to share my joy of this book with you
Beyond Bacon is by two of my biggest, if not the biggest, heroes in the paleo world. Stacy and Matt are brilliant, warm, funny, honest, earnest, unimaginably passionate, have the most beautiful family and young boys on the planet, are super human and open about their struggles and humanity on a large scale, and have made enormous impacts on the paleosphere and natural health at large. It’s an honor to call them friends. I could cry just thinking about it. The depth of all of these things — their love, their friendship, their diligence, their passion — is evident in this book. Beyond Bacon screams “crafted by brilliance with a lot of love.”
Beyond Bacon is divided up into three main components. First, Stacy and Matt talk all about pork, why pork is so. damn. good, and how to do pork both affordably and in a natural, paleo, organic way. Then they dig into basic preparation and navigating the pig. The final section is all about recipes, and holy hell do they ever deliver here or what, with a decadent photo on every page.
No one I have ever met and I’d bet very few people on the planet have so deeply and lovingly explored pork. The beauty of beyond bacon is that it is about the whole hog. It’s about doing things the right way, the natural way, and consuming the whole animal with love and respect. It’s about turning a whole animal into a meal full of the most decadent things I would sacrifice my left hand to eat.
In Beyond Bacon you learn :
1) why pork is uniquely healthy and has such a great omega 3 profile
2) what Joel Salatin thinks of pork and local farming
3) what all the parts of a pig are
4) how to get started with any of the different cuts of pork
5) how to find cheap pork
6) how to make a dozen different kinds of sausage
7) what head cheese is and how to make it tasty
8) how to do pork in Asian short ribs, southwestern chorizo, Italian styles, and all over the world
9) the 17 most conventional pork preparations the paleo and awesome way
10) how to make pork in 86 unique recipes, including 16 desserts such as bacon pumpkin pancakes, YELLOW LARD CAKE, salted caramel bacon sauce, and maple bacon frozen custard.
Several dozen veggies and sides are also all shown with their own photos and simple instructions.
I wish I could write this review and tell you all about an awesome recipe I made. I couldn’t — I can’t. I do not personally source local pork at the moment and if I waited until I followed Matt and Stacy’s instructions, it would be too long to get this information to you. But I can give you a table of contents and say, YES, this is one of the most beautiful books I have ever held in my hands.
The book breaks down as follows:
Intro Chapters: Why We Wrote This Love Letter to Pork
Why the Focus on Pastured Pork?
How to Find AndAfford Pastued Pork
History of Pig Cultivation
The Science of Pork and Saturated Fat
Does Pork Affect Your Bood?
Out with the New and In with The Old
Will Pink Pork Kill Me?
What We Mean by “Quality” Ingredients
What Tools Do I Use?
How Do I Get Started?
The Basics: Lard, Stock, Sausages And Cured Meats
Play with Fire: Grilled and Smoked Recipes
Soups and Stews
Braised and Roasted Pork
Fried Lard Goodness
Veggies and Sides
Sauces and Dressings
Check it out here.