... tooting my own horn here. So reader warning - the following post is unabashed promotion (after almost two years of work, hey, why not?).
My book is finished! Published! Available to all! "The Gourmet Butcher's Guide to Meat" is three hundred and twelve pages of juicy meat-ness, with chapters covering:
The real definition, work, and role of a culinary butcher
The roots of butchery from pre-history to today
Meat: selecting your breed, grading and aging, tenderness, storing, and reheating
The truth behind meat marketing claims of "organic", "natural", "free-range", "grass-fed", "pasture-raised" and more
How meat gets to the table: farmers, slaughtering methods, stress and animal welfare, the role of meat inspectors, cut sheets, what’s legally allowed/not allowed when purchasing meat for further processing, keeping integrity in the local meat movement
Understanding the commercial meat food chain and what goes on behind the scenes at meat markets large and small
Processing your own meat: what you’ll need, tools, safety, and preparation
Beef: domestication, terminology, how cows work, raising methods (grass, grain, etc.), meat-safety issues, hormone growth implants, antibiotics and feed additives, carcass yield and marbling scores, cutting up a beef forequarter and hindquarter, and a partial list of beef breeds
Pork: domestication, terminology, raising methods, grading and inspection, cutting up a side of pork, and a partial list of pork breeds
Sheep: domestication, terminology, raising methods, cutting up a whole lamb, and a partial list of sheep breeds
Chicken: domestication, terminology, how to cut up a whole chicken
How to make sausages
Value-added products: what they are and how they can help increase your bottom line
Your own butcher shop: size, equipment, display, marketing
A better way of thinking about meat: including a holistic overview and some conclusions.
The Gourmet Butcher's Guide to Meat comes with a CD with my complete butchery course - more than 800 photos that show you exactly how to cut up a side of beef, side of pork, whole lamb and chicken. Every step described and illustrated.
So how's them apples?
And just to prove it's real, here are a few early reviews:
"Is there a bible of meat? There is one now. Cole Ward's book demystifies the whole process of how animals are raised, slaughtered, and eventually make it to your plate. From learning about breeds to cutting up your own side of beef, you will be a more empowered meat eater once you read this book." Rebecca Thistlethwaite, author, Farms with a Future
"This comprehensive book is far more than a guide to cutting meat - it's for anyone who want a better understanding of meat (and we all should). Engaging, informative, and yes, fun!" Nicolette Hahn Niman, rancher and author, Righteous Porkchop
"Cole Ward has done an extraordinary job of balancing the widely diverse components of meat production, marketing, and quality in this comprehensive and uniquely informative book. The author has taken every effort to present even the most contentious issues surrounding meat production from a balanced and accurate perspective. His through treatment of thse issues provides the reader the opportunity to make a well-informed decision as a matter of personal choice, unencumbered by emotion or innuendo. However, the real value of the book is in the articulate way Ward connects the reader to both the science and the artisanship of gourmet butchering. His comfortable style and incomparable knowledge of gourmet butchering make this a valuable resource for quality meat aficionados and a must read for chefs, butchers, and meat lovers everywhere." Mark Boggess, PhD, animal scientist and meat-industry expert.