SULLIVAN COLUMN: Tips for roasting and butchering
"Whole Beast Butchery: The Complete Visual Guide to Beef, Lamb, and Pork." Classically trained chef, butcher and author of this book, Ryan Farr will come rolling into Charleston on Thursday with the multitude of guest culinary celebrities featured in the BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Noted as a member of the "new breed of rock star butchers" by The New York Times and out front in the do-it-yourself butchery movement, Farr is the owner and founder of San Francisco's 4505 Meats, where he teaches butchery classes for home and professional cooks, said to sell out within hours of being announced.
There's a logic to butchering your own meat that appeals on a number of levels: buying local, supporting sustainability, knowing what you're consuming, applying whole-animal utilization or snoot-to-toot. Farr writes, "Even if you do not envision yourself purchasing an entire animal, you can start with some of the primal cuts and work your way from there." Thus the guide: a 239-page manual with 500 step-by-step photographs on how to break down and use the whole animal.
Farr also includes some of his favorite recipes. Five recipes per animal, in fact, each important for the technique it teaches and cut of meat it targets. For example, in the beef chapter, there is sausage, Onion-Braised Beef Neck, Ancho and Kaffir Beef Flintstone Chop, Spice-Cured Beef Brisket, and Beef Tongue Pastrami. Plenty of lessons there; the same in the remaining two chapters. Chronicle Books. $40.
Questions? Catch Farr at the festival over the next four days. Ticketed appearances are Friday night at the Perfectly Paired Dinner at Cypress Grill (sold out), 4-6 p.m. Saturday at the New York Times Celebrity Authors Reception (available) and 3 p.m.Sunday at a "Whole Beast Butchery" talk with chef Craig Deihl in the Palmetto
Cheese Culinary Hub tent in the Culinary Village (available), with a book signing at 3:45 p.m.
"All About Roasting: A New Approach to a Classic Art." An admired author and cooking teacher, Molly Stevens brought home both International Association of Culinary Professionals and James Beard Foundation awards for her first book, "All About Braising." Here, she turns her thoughtful mind and careful hand to roasting, producing another fine book. Stevens devotes the first 50 pages to the principles, then over half of the book to beef, lamb, pork, chicken and other poultry before she moves to seafood, vegetables and fruits. Saveur magazine already has called hers the perfect method for roasting a turkey. Adam Roberts found her roasted hamburger recipe "genius." An excellent choice to pair with Farr's guide to butchery. Norton. $35.
Reach Marion Sullivan at email@example.com.