Let’s get to the couple who created Beyond Bacon, Stacy and Matthew, also known as the Paleo Parents. When I first stumbled on their website they were still in the middle of editing their first book, Eat Like a Dinosaur. I was a quiet follower of theirs. Their ways, their voice, and their dedication to paleo was different from the other paleo gurus I had encountered so far. They were regular people like me… with kids… with weight issues… with hopes and dreams. I never did get around to buying their first book, partly due to the fact, that I felt my kids were beyond the ages of ELAD.
Over the past couple of years I kept up with their posts and recipes, even shared some of their stuff on my own page, and without them knowing it, they became my friends.
When I received my review copy of Beyond Bacon, I was actually pretty tickled, because that means someone over there at Paleo Parents knew about me, be it through FastPaleo or my blog. I flipped through the pages, and I was instantly hooked. There is something about dedicating an entire book to the hog. I always, always loved pork, even as a child I was most often served pork. (Growing up in Germany, beef was simply not first choice for my parents.)
What can I say? I love this book. First of all, I love the attention to detail, such as “Difficulty”, “Time to Table”, “Serves’, and even “Equipment”. You’ll find this and other information at the beginning of every recipe, no matter the category. This is so helpful to me, as I really don’t care to go through the whole recipe first to figure out what tools I have to use. Having said that, you WILL find some unusual kitchen items in your equipment list… like a meat grinder, sausage stuffer, and a smoker.
What will you learn in the book? Well, everything! Lard, stock, sausages, cured meats. Heck, you’ll learn how to make head cheese. And yes, I will admit that I am absolutely, positively grossed out by head cheese. I can’t even bear to think of the stuff. I saw one picture somewhere once, and that was enough to send me over the edge. But you’ll also learn to make kielbasa… and when I say, you’ll learn to make it, I mean, you will actually be making your very own kielbasa sausage, which you will then stuff in to pork casings. How cool is that?
My favorite recipe in the entire book? The German Schweinshaxe. OF COURSE! (And I don’t think the name is unappealing at all as they say in their little blurb about Schweinshaxe!) I want to sink my teeth into it every time I look at the picture.
Some of the other categories in the book are Fried Lard Goodness, Veggies & Sides, Sauces and Dressings, Soup and Stews, and of course you’ll also find desserts, because every good cookbook has to have a dessert section.
Also, in the beginning of the book there is lots to read… a little history, a little science, and of course lots of great, passionate writing on why they “wrote this love letter to pork”.
I have never in my life made my own sausage or my own bacon… I’ve never smoked meat… and I’ve never, and will never make head cheese. But the truth is, that with this book I will actually be tempted to try. I will no longer feel that I need to leave this stuff up to the butcher, if I don’t want to. And that feeling alone is empowering! Back to the roots is the motto of this book, as it beautifully combines the message how to leave our modern (and oh so quick) ways without having to sacrifice what the 21st century has made possible for us.
So, go ahead, get your copy of Beyond Bacon. It truly is money well spent. 🙂