Skyhorse Publishing, November 3, 2015
Paperback, 232 pages
Blogger, photographer, and home cook Jennifer Pearsall has created over fifty recipes that can be the answer to the question: What can I do that’s different with this hunk of pork? Pearsall’s first book was The Big Book of Bacon, and she explains how branching out to make dishes that revolve around other parts of the pig “just seemed a natural route” from her inaugural work.
Recipes are made with common ingredients and techniques, and they do not call for the off-the-wall implements required by so many charcuterie cookbooks. But the dishes are anything but boring. Pearsall stuffs poblano peppers with pulled pork, and she tosses pancetta and ground pork into Porkestrone, her “everybody in the pool” Italian-inspired soup. She also makes chili out of tenderloin, and she crumbles breakfast sausage into smashed potatoes and tops it all with a pulled leftover pork chop.
A few downsides: I was thrown by the success and failure stories that appear as the last step of many of the already chatty recipes. The biggest drawback, however, is the lack of an index. The Table of Contents does list every recipe by chapter. But suppose I have a fridge full of ground pork — how will I know which recipes are contenders?
Even so, this book’s scrumptous photographs and mouthwatering ingredient lists make me want to cook. And it’s finally cold here in Louisiana, so excuse me while I go whip up a Roasted Tomato Stew with Italian Sausage and Tortellini.