Yummer Reading

Yummer Reading

Lobel's Prime Time Grilling: Recipes and Tips From America's #1 Butchers

by Stanley, Leon, Evan, Mark, and David Lobel

Wiley Publishing, 290 pp., $27.95

A few months ago, I reviewed another great Lobel book, Lobel's Meat and Wine. The review was sparked by an opportunity I had to try several cuts of beef from Lobel's. They were the only meats I've ever had in the U.S. that reminded me of my wife's Mennonite relations: butchers who bought animals that matured naturally instead of being jammed shoulder to shoulder in tiny feedlots and fattened with chemicals. Taste Lobel's beef, and you'll understand their passionate defiance against the onslaught of tasteless, corporate meat.

Their new book is an expansion of a previous edition, with more than 160 recipes covering every style from Tuscan Split Chicken to Smoked Southwest Sirloin Burgers. Alongside the recipes, you'll find a lot of tips and hints. The most useful is the discussion of each cut of meat from cows, hogs, and lambs, along with the best way of cooking them on your grill. I can't tell you how many times I've been in the meat department at Costco staring in buyer-paralysis, trying to figure out the difference between a flank steak and a skirt steak. Now I know. They are next to each other, which explains why they look similar. But the flank is from the flank, and the skirt is from the plate. The Lobels go into that much detail.

If this sort of trivial pursuit sounds boring, you probably don't need to spend too much time considering any Lobel book. These guys are serious about their meat. For us quality-crazed carnivores, the Lobels offer many insider tips, useful for both the intermediate and advanced cook.

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