People often ask me; “where did you learn to cook with offal, what restaurant did you work at that served these types of meats?”. And my answer is that I was fed a lot of these meats as a child and mostly didn’t like them. But after I became a cook I wanted to know more about those “strange” things that great-grandma used to make. So I started looking for recipes and info about offal and over the years have acquired lots of cool books. There are also a few very familar cokbooks out there that have some offal sections or recipes in them. Here’s my list of recommended reading for those curious about offal. I will include as many as I can remember.
Here is a list of books dedicated to offal, including offal, or just plain good reading:
The Curosities of Food, original print 1859, Peter Lund Simmonds, UK/ reprint 2001, USA
Meat Dishes Without Joints 1940, Ambrose Heath, UK
Innards and other Variety Meats, 1974, Jane Allen & Margaret Gin, USA
The Good Cook: Variety Meats, 1982, Time Life, USA/UK
Unmentionable Cuisine,1979, Calvin Schwabe, USA
The Fifth Quarter: an Offal Cookbook,2004, Anisa Helou, UK
Nose To Tail Eating: A Kind of British Cooking, 1999, Fergus Henderson, UK reprint USA 2004
Extreme Cuisine, 2004, Jerry Hopkins, USA
For Variety, Home Economist handout from Swift & Company
The Jungle, 1906, Upton Sinclair, USA
Cook Books With some Offal in them:
The River Cottage Meat Book, UK, Hugh Fearnley – Whittingstall
The River Cottage Cookbook, UK, Hugh Fearnley – Whittingstall
The Rivver Cottage Year, Uk, Hugh Fearnley – Whittingstall
On Food and Cooking, Harold McGee, Pg 166
Babbo Cookbook, Mario Batali
Feild Guide to Meat, Aliza Green
Joy of Cooking
How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman
A Cooks Tour, Anthony Bourdain
Le Halles Cook Book, Anthony Bourdain
The Silver Spoon, Phaidon
These are just a few from my collection. Each book has its own merits, and yes, I have my favorites. There are lots of other books and pamphlets out there and I am sure you will all tell me what I have missed.
There is also this great show from the History Channel called The Butcher. It is a must watch about how the meat industry has changed over the past 60 years.
Well I gave you your list now go read.