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Books for Cooks: Meat: Everything You Need to Know

Books for Cooks: Meat: Everything You Need to Know

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NYC's most famous butcher delivers the sort of matter-of-fact but personal guide to meat you'd hope for—recipes, anatomy lessons, cutting instructions, family stories, and a good dollop of sharp opinion (he says grass-fed beef is overhyped). LaFrieda makes tons of burger patties for Shake Shack, but he writes like the neighborhood butcher you wish you had. A genuinely good read.Pat LaFrieda, Atria Books, $40, 224 pages

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MEAT: Everything You Need to Know

Pat LaFrieda, the third generation butcher and owner of America’s premier meatpacking business, presents the ultimate book of everything meat, with more than seventy-five mouthwatering recipes for beef, pork, lamb, veal, and poultry.

For true meat lovers, a beautifully prepared cut of beef, pork, lamb, veal, or poultry is not just the center of the meal, it is the reason for eating. No one understands meat’s seductive hold on our palates better than America’s premier butcher, Pat LaFrieda. In Meat: Everything You Need to Know, he passionately explains the best and most flavorful cuts to purchase (some of them surprisingly inexpensive or unknown) and shares delicious recipes and meticulous techniques, all with the knowledge that comes from a fourth generation butcher. If you have ever wondered what makes the meat in America’s finest restaurants so delectable, LaFrieda—the butcher to the country’s greatest chefs—has the answers, and the philosophy behind it.

In seventy-five recipes—some of them decades-old LaFrieda family favorites, some from New York City’s best restaurateurs, including Lidia Bastianich, Josh Capon, Mike Toscano, and Jimmy Bradley—the special characteristics of each type of meat comes into exquisite focus. Pat’s signature meat selections have inspired famous chefs, and now Meat brings home cooks the opportunity to make similar mouthwatering recipes including multiple LaFrieda Custom Burger Blends, Whole Shank Osso Bucco, Tuscan Fried Chicken with Lemon, Crown Pork Roast with Pineapple Bread Stuffing, Frenched Chop with Red Onion Soubise, Beef Wellington with Mushroom Cream Sauce, and Chipotle-Braised Tomahawk Short Ribs, along with many more.

Step-by-step photographs make tricky operations like butterflying a veal chop or tying a crown roast easy even for beginners beautiful double-page photographic diagrams show more clearly than any previous book where different cuts come from on the animal and advice on necessary equipment, butcher’s notes, and glorious full-color photographs of the dishes complete this magnificent and comprehensive feast for the senses.

Throughout the pages of Meat, Pat LaFrieda’s interwoven tales of life in the meatpacking business and heartwarming personal reminiscences celebrate his family’s century of devotion to their calling and are a tribute to a veritable New York City institution. Pat’s reverence and passion for his subject both teach and inspire.


The Great Meat Cookbook : Everything You Need to Know to Buy and Cook Today's Meat

In the last decade since the publication of Bruce Aidells’s hugely successful The Complete Meat Cookbook, called “authoritative” and “all-encompassing” by the Washington Post, the world of meat cookery has changed radically. With the rise of small farmers and the Internet, a more diverse supply is available—not only of beef, pork, lamb, and veal, but also of bison, venison, and goat. Today’s shopper confronts a host of bewildering, often misleading labels: “certified organic,” “humanely raised,” “vegetarian diet,” and many more.

Whether the cook shops at the local farmers’ market or the supermarket, The Great Meat Cookbook is the definitive guide to the new landscape. In sidebars illustrated with color photographs of each cut, Aidells shows how to pick the best steaks, chop, roasts, and ribs. With hundreds of recipes, including “Great Meat Dishes of the World” like Beef Fillet stuffed with Parmesan and Proscuitto budget-friendly dishes like Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pork Shoulder speedy dinners like Mushroom-Stuffed T Bone Lamb Chops and charcuterie and sausage selections, Aidells provides all the information needed for juicy results every time.

“A great reference for today’s meat lovers.”—Library Journal

“Cooks everywhere will find this magnum opus practical and inspiring . . . an indispensable reference work for any cookery collection.”—Booklist

“Loaded with recipes for tasty but less-understood cuts, and Aidells covers the globe in search of recipes that will bring delight and good eating for many years’ worth of meals.”—Rick Bayless, chef/owner of Frontera Grill, Topolobampo and XOCO, Chicago


Books for Cooks: Meat: Everything You Need to Know - Recipes

Everything You Need to Know

Description

Pat LaFrieda, the third generation butcher and owner of America&rsquos premier meatpacking business, presents the ultimate book of everything meat, with more than seventy-five mouthwatering recipes for beef, pork, lamb, veal, and poultry.

For true meat lovers, a beautifully prepared cut of beef, pork, lamb, veal, or poultry is not just the center of the meal, it is the reason for eating. No one understands meat’s seductive hold on our palates better than America’s premier butcher, Pat LaFrieda. In Meat: Everything You Need to Know , he passionately explains the best and most flavorful cuts to purchase (some of them surprisingly inexpensive or unknown) and shares delicious recipes and meticulous techniques, all with the knowledge that comes from a fourth generation butcher. If you have ever wondered what makes the meat in America’s finest restaurants so delectable, LaFrieda—the butcher to the country’s greatest chefs—has the answers, and the philosophy behind it.

In seventy-five recipes—some of them decades-old LaFrieda family favorites, some from New York City’s best restaurateurs, including Lidia Bastianich, Josh Capon, Mike Toscano, and Jimmy Bradley—the special characteristics of each type of meat comes into exquisite focus. Pat’s signature meat selections have inspired famous chefs, and now Meat brings home cooks the opportunity to make similar mouthwatering recipes including multiple LaFrieda Custom Burger Blends, Whole Shank Osso Bucco, Tuscan Fried Chicken with Lemon, Crown Pork Roast with Pineapple Bread Stuffing, Frenched Chop with Red Onion Soubise, Beef Wellington with Mushroom Cream Sauce, and Chipotle-Braised Tomahawk Short Ribs, along with many more.

Step-by-step photographs make tricky operations like butterflying a veal chop or tying a crown roast easy even for beginners beautiful double-page photographic diagrams show more clearly than any previous book where different cuts come from on the animal and advice on necessary equipment, butcher’s notes, and glorious full-color photographs of the dishes complete this magnificent and comprehensive feast for the senses.

Throughout the pages of Meat , Pat LaFrieda’s interwoven tales of life in the meatpacking business and heartwarming personal reminiscences celebrate his family’s century of devotion to their calling and are a tribute to a veritable New York City institution. Pat’s reverence and passion for his subject both teach and inspire.

Praise For MEAT: Everything You Need to Know&hellip

"A valuable reference that will give readers a greater appreciation for not only their favorite cuts of meat, but their butcher as well.”
&mdash Publishers Weekly

“The Magician of Meat.”
&mdash New York magazine

“Pat LaFrieda does everything right as a butcher. MEAT stands out to me as the best handbook there is on this subject.”
&mdash Mario Batali

“Pat LaFrieda has led the ‘butcher revolution’ in the United States. Every serious cook needs this instructional, well-illustrated, and very well written book.”
&mdash Martha Stewart

“It made me laugh, it made me smile, it made me miss my grandpa. I absolutely adore this book.”
&mdash Rachael Ray

“If you want to know about meat, this is the book. The recipes are great and each one has a story to tell.”
&mdash Andrew Carmellini

MEAT by master butcher Pat LaFrieda is officially the carnivores' holy grail and my new reference point for all things meat.”
&mdash Chef Michael White

“The recipes and techniques in this book are things that can be used in any kitchen whether it’s at home or in the restaurant.”
&mdash Marc Forgione

“A celebration of Pat’s enormous skill set, his encyclopedic understanding of meats and their various cuts and how to best use them. Butcher extraordinaire!"
&mdash Chef Alex Guarnaschelli

“Certain to make meat-lovers’ mouths water.”
&mdash Danny Meyer

“A must-have for any home cook, it will surely be a valuable resource for years to come.”
&mdash Chef Daniel Humm

MEAT is a superb, detailed sourcebook that I am thrilled to have on my shelf.”
&mdash Chef Geoffrey Zakarian

“A fantastic resource for both the professional chef and the home cook.”
&mdash Chef Missy Robbins

“A genuinely good read.”
&mdash Cooking Light

“If you want to know about meat, go straight to the meat man: New York City-area butcher Pat LaFrieda has released his meaty magnum opus."
&mdash EATER National

"New York City's ultimate butcher, the man behind the famous LaFrieda burger blends, penned the definitive cookbook on all things meat."
&mdash Fathom

“I loved absolutely everything about this book.”
&mdash SanFranciscoBookReview.com

“ Meat is unsurpassed and truly sets the standard for a book that offers both recipes and education.”
&mdash Cooking by the Book

Atria Books, 9781476725994, 256pp.

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

About the Author

Pat LaFrieda’s first introduction to the meat world was in the summer of 1981, when he was just ten years old and learning the tricks of the trade at his father’s butchering business. Thirty years later, Pat, his father, and cousin own and operate New York City’s most prestigious and valued meatpacking facility. Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors supplies the finest restaurants in New York City, Philadelphia, DC, Las Vegas, Miami, Chicago, and more. They also operate four retail locations at Citi Field—home to the New York Mets—including two Pat LaFrieda Original Steak Sandwich stands, a LaFrieda Meatball Slider stand, and the sit-down restaurant, Pat LaFrieda Chop House. In 2014 they became the "Official Burger of the Mets." Pat has appeared on countless national TV shows including Today, The Chew, Rachael Ray Show, CNN, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, and Martha Stewart. More information can be found at www.lafrieda.com.

Carolynn Carreño is a James Beard Award&ndashwinning writer for magazines including Bon Appétit, Saveur, the Los Angeles Times, Gourmet, and Food & Wine, and coauthor of books with chefs Nancy Silverton, Kenny Shopsin, and Sara Foster. Her cookbooks are known for their distinct voice and storytelling style.


Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner

This Sheet Pan BBQ Meatloaf Dinner is a one-pan, complete meal. Individual BBQ meatloaves are baked along side green beans and potatoes for a meal that quickly became a favorite in our house!

Ingredients

  • cooking spray
  • 24 oz. fingerling or other small potato
  • 6 tsp. extra virgin olive oil divided
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 16 oz. green beans cleaned and trimmed
  • 1 lb. 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1/2 c. plain breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 3/4-1 c. BBQ sauce divided

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400F. Spray a baking sheet (or two) with cooking spray and set aside.

Halve or quarter the potatoes so that they are roughly the same size. In a medium bowl, toss potatoes with 4 tsp. of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread onto prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

While potatoes are cooking, transfer green beans to the bowl used for the potatoes. Toss with remaining 2 tsp. olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a large bowl, use clean hands to mix together ground beef, ground turkey, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and 1/2 c. BBQ sauce. Mix until well combined.

When potatoes are ready, remove from oven and mix. Push to one end of the baking sheet (if only using one baking sheet). Add green beans in the center. Form 6 mini meatloaves, and place on the last third of the baking sheet.

Return baking sheet to oven and continue cooking for another 25 minutes, until meatloaves are cooked throughout. Remove baking sheet from oven and adjust oven temperature to broil. Brush each meatloaf with 1 - 1 1/2 Tbs. BBQ sauce. Return baking sheet to oven and broil for 3 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Everything You Need to Know About Grilling Meat

Meat + grill = one of summer’s purest pleasures. While grilling meat seems simple, there are many ways it can go wrong—and countless tips and tricks to make it even better than you’ve ever had before. Hence, this BBQ meat guide that covers every part of the process.

From steaks and sausages and slabs of ribs, to burgers, hot dogs, pork chops, and chicken, there truly is no meat that doesn’t taste fantastic cooked on the grill. But don’t just toss on a porterhouse and hope for the best. Get our help at various points along the way and learn how to make perfect grilled meat every time.

Beginning with sourcing meat and safe food storage and handling (because nothing wrecks a summer BBQ like salmonella) and continuing through the first kiss of marinade (or dusting of dry rub) to the actual cooking process, to the final stages of pairing your grilled protein with the perfect sides and wine, these guides will help you nail every detail.

The Picture Pantry/Lisovskaya Natalia/Getty Images

The Best Meat Delivery Subscription Services

The first step to great grilled meat is choosing the best protein you can find (and afford)—but not everyone has access to a great butcher (or can even find much meat at the local grocery store right now, period). Luckily, there are several high-quality meat subscription services that will deliver prime cuts of beef, chicken, pork, and more straight to your door every month many also offer one-off boxes if you don’t want to commit. See our guide to The Best Meat Delivery Services. And see CNET’s picks for The Best Coolers for Summer 2020 if you need to take it on the road.

The Best Hot Dogs and Hamburgers You Can Buy This Season

If you have a weakness for the classics but still prize both maximum deliciousness and sustainability, there are plenty of gourmet burgers and dogs to be found these days too. We picked nine of The Best Hot Dogs and Hamburgers You Can Buy to Grill in 2020.

Grilling Cheat Sheet

Here’s a brief pocket guide with notes on grilling nearly every type of meat (plus some other things for good measure), for when you just need a little reminder. See our Brief Guide to Grilling Almost Anything.

Avoid These Meat Grilling Mistakes

We spoke to steak savant Tom Perini to get his tips on how to grill the best meat ever—you’ll want to beware of hangover heat and be sure to get good grades, among other things. See How to Grill Meat Like a Pro.

How to Prevent Foodborne Illness at Your BBQ

Raw meat can harbor potentially harmful bacteria, but as long as you store, handle, and prepare it properly, you and your guests will stay safe. Get the details on How to Store & Handle Meat Safely.

The Best Marinades for Every Type of Meat You’ll Grill

Marinades can be multi-purpose, but there are certain ingredients that pair best with specific proteins, both in flavor and in what they do to the structure of the meat itself. So check out our primer on How to Marinate Meat for Grilling, According to Chefs.

What Is the Difference Between Rubs and Marinades?

The answer may seem obvious, but there are interesting differences in what each can do for your meat (and veggies!)—and you should know when to use which one, or maybe both. Learn all about The Difference Between Rubs and Marinades.

The Best Marinades You Can Buy

Making your own marinades is fairly easy, but when you’re crunched for time, these store-bought options are all delicious. See our picks for Best Marinades On the Market.

The Best Dry Rubs You Can Buy

Similarly, when you want a dry rub, you’ve got a lot of great options available to purchase too, whether you’re seasoning steak or salmon. See our list of The Best Grilling Rubs You Can Buy.

Hack a Gas Grill to Burn Hotter

Expandable grill grates and lava rocks can make your gas grill burn way hotter, resulting in even better steaks and burgers. See How to Hack Your Gas Grill to Burn Hotter.

Related Reading on CNET: The Best Gas Grills for 2020

How to Tell How Much Propane Is Left for Your Grill

Running out of propane mid-BBQ is the pits, but if you don’t have a fuel gauge, it can be hard to tell how much gas is left in the tank. So Try This Trick to Tell How Much Propane Is Left.

When to Use the Lid on Your Grill

It all depends on what you’re cooking—and sometimes a combination effect is in order. Learn When to Use the Lid on Your Grill.

How to Smoke Meat

Smoking meat is a whole different animal…er, activity, than grilling. If you’ve never tried it, it can seem intimidating, but here’s a basic overview so you can DIY with confidence. Learn How to Smoke Meat for Beginners.

The Best Way to Smoke Brisket According to a Pitmaster

Drilling down, let an expert teach you the finer points of perfect smoked brisket. It’s not only an art and a science, but a time commitment—and so totally worth it. See our Guide to Smoking Brisket Like a Pro. (And get even more pitmaster tips from Aaron Franklin.)

Aaron Franklin Teaches Texas-Style BBQ, $15/month from MasterClass

For all the visual learners out there.

10 Cuts of Steak You Should Know

From budget-friendly flat iron to splurge-worthy filet mignon, you have a ton of options when it comes to grilling steak. Here’s a cheat sheet to 10 Steak Cuts to Cook.

How to Cook Wagyu without Ruining It

It can be intimidating to cook a pricey piece of prime meat, but with these expert tips, you have nothing to fear. Learn the Best Way to Cook Wagyu Beef Steaks.

Chowhound’s Most Popular Grilling & BBQ Recipes

We’ve published a lot of grilling recipes over the years, and it’s hard for us to pick favorites, but not so for our community members. So take a look at The Most Popular Grilling & BBQ Recipes on Chowhound—there’s plenty of meat on the menu, including our Juicy Lucy burger.

Tips & Tricks for Juicy Burgers

We called on the wisdom of the crowd for time-tested, easy ways to ensure a perfectly moist burger every time, whether or not you stuff it with melty cheese. Check out 7 Tips & Tricks for Perfect Juicy Burgers.

Why You Should Spiral-Cut Your Hot Dogs for Next-Level Summer Grilling

There’s nothing wrong with a classic kosher dog, but it’s even better spiral-cut for maximum surface area and helping toppings stay in place. See How to Spiral-Cut Hot Dogs for Grilling.

Beyond Burgers: More Interesting Proteins to Grill This Summer

Just for fun, or for when you’re bored with all the usual standbys, try something different, like alligator sausage or ostrich over open flames. Get our guide to The Most Interesting Meats to Grill at Your Next BBQ.

The Ultimate Guide to Ribs

Then again, a classic rack of ribs is always a primal pleasure. See our guide to The Best Baby Back and Spare Ribs Ever.

The Best Meat Alternatives You Can Buy for Grilling Season

Are you a newly vegan BBQ lover looking for a steak replacement? Or a diehard carnivore who has no idea what to cook for your vegetarian BBQ guests—or who just can’t find any meat to grill for your own Memorial Day dinner? Whatever the case may be, you’ll be happy to have this list on hand. See our picks for The Best Meat Alternatives to Grill This Summer.

The Best Wines to Pair with Grilled Meat

It can be tricky to pair smoky flavors and intense BBQ sauce notes with wines, but we asked some experts for their top picks, and they delivered. Check out The Best Affordable Wines to Serve with BBQ & Grilled Food.

The Best Grilling & BBQ Cookbooks to Buy

Learning is a life-long process, and many meat pros have shared their knowledge in the form of books. So check out our picks for The Best BBQ & Grilling Cookbooks to Buy.


Products

For more than 15 years, The How to Cook Everything series has brought Mark Bittman’s relaxed style and straightforward guidance to popular ways to cook. Appealingly designed and easy to use, these books combine how-to information with fresh, contemporary recipes. Helpful tips on shopping, preparation and cooking—plus easy-to-follow illustrations and menu suggestions—give today’s busy cooks what they need to make everything from weeknight dinners to special feasts.

Mark Bittman's highly acclaimed, bestselling book How to Cook Everything is an indispensable guide for any modern cook. With How to Cook Everything The Basics he reveals how truly easy it is to learn fundamental techniques and recipes. From dicing vegetables and roasting meat, to cooking building-block meals that include salads, soups, poultry, meats, fish, sides, and desserts, Bittman explains what every home cook, particularly novices, should know.

Today's Favorite Kitchen Companion-Revised and Better Than Ever

Mark Bittman's award-winning How to Cook Everything has helped countless home cooks discover the rewards of simple cooking. Now the ultimate cookbook has been revised and expanded (almost half the material is new), making it absolutely indispensable for anyone who cooks-or wants to. With Bittman's straightforward instructions and advice, you'll make crowd-pleasing food using fresh, natural ingredients simple techniques and basic equipment. Even better, you'll discover how to relax and enjoy yourself in the kitchen as you prepare delicious meals for every occasion.

Ziti with Creamy Gorgonzola Sauce. Shrimp Marinara. Broiled or Grilled Chicken with Pesto. Stir-Fried Spicy Beef with Basil. With How to Cook Everything: Quick Cooking, great-tasting, satisfying dishes like these can be made in 30 minutes or less!


Cook's Illustrated Cookbook : 2,000 Recipes from 20 Years of America?s Most Trusted Food Magazine

There is a lot to know about cooking, more than can be learned in a lifetime, and for the last 20 years we have been eager to share our discoveries with you, our friends and readers. The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook represents the fruit of that labor. It contains 2,000 recipes, representing almost our entire repertoire.

Looking back over this work as we edited this volume, we were reminded of some of our greatest hits, from Foolproof Pie Dough (we add vodka for an easy-to-roll-out but flaky crust), innumerable recipes based on brining and salting meats (our Brined Thanksgiving Turkey in 1993 launched a nationwide trend), Slow-Roasted Beef(we salt a roast a day in advance and then use a very low oven to promote a tender, juicy result), Poached Salmon (a very shallow poaching liquid steams the fish instead of simmering it in water and robbing it of flavor), and the Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies (we brown the butter for better flavor).

Our editors handpicked more than 2,000 recipes from the pages of the magazine to form this wide-ranging compendium of our greatest hits. More than just a great collection of foolproof recipes, The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook is also an authoritative cooking reference with clear hand-drawn illustrations for preparing the perfect omelet, carving a turkey, removing meat from lobsters, frosting a layer cake, shaping sandwich bread, and more. 150 test kitchen tips throughout the book solve real home-cooking problems such as how to revive tired herbs, why you shouldn't buy trimmed leeks, what you need to know about freezing and thawing chicken, when to rinse rice, and the best method for seasoning cast-iron (you can even run it through the dishwasher). An essential collection for fans of Cook's Illustrated (and any discerning cook), The Cook's Illustrated Cookbook will keep you cooking for a lifetime - and guarantees impeccable results.


Bimetallic thermometers

Bimetallic thermometers usually cost under $20, and in most cases you can find them right at the supermarket. They tend to be in large supply around Thanksgiving, when everyone's desperate to take the temperature of their turkey. In my experience, they're cheap for a reason: They break really easily and frequently de-calibrate on their own, so when you try to use them again, the temperature readings are totally off. (Most thermometers are sold with manuals that will tell you how to recalibrate it, but it's a pain to do again and again). It's also really slow at actually taking the temperature, which is annoying when you're trying to get in and out of the oven quickly.

You also can't use bimetallic thermometers on food that's less than three inches thick, because the temperature sensing coil within the thermometer is two and a half inches long, and it will not accurately detect the temperature unless it's fully submerged, according to the USDA.

If you're interested in a bimetallic thermometer, you can buy one for $6 on Amazon.


Blood Thirsty: Everything You Need to Know about Collecting and Cooking with Blood

A Scottish breakfast typically includes eggs, beans, bread, and, if you’re lucky, some tomato. It’s a simple dish (some might say boring) that doesn’t reflect the rich history of castles, whiskey distilleries, and regal stags associated with Scottish culture. But redemption for this tired dish sits on the edge of the plate as a slice of blood sausage. Known as black pudding to the Brits, this semi-sweet, iron-y delicacy had me questioning my own animal processing methods. A year later, I found myself dangling the carcass of a doe pronghorn by its hind legs like I was trying to shake the change out of its pockets.

Blood has become taboo in the American kitchen. Regarded as repulsive by many, its place as an ancestral link to the early American’s need for food has been forgotten. Though we now consider it waste, some cultures have stuck with it, perfecting distinctive recipes using blood as the defining ingredient, and in some cases, the only ingredient.

Blood Thirsty
The Maasai in Africa are well known for their rudimentary practice of consuming raw blood straight from a live cow’s necks. Blood drains from the jugular vein into a cup and when full, they plug the lesion with a piece of dung. After the tap is sealed, they immediately drink the blood, often mixing it with milk. Filipinos have a taste for blood too, celebrating their dish called dinuguan. This stew incorporates blood, vinegar, spices, and offal in a mixture that wastes little from the animal. And likely the most approachable method, Scandinavians make Blodplättar pancakes, frequently topping them with sweet lingonberry jam. These methods only scratch the surface of what’s possible. A simple internet search of “blood recipes” will lead the curious down a rabbit hole of fascinating preparations. Suffice it to say, those who turn their noses up at blood are missing out on a versatile, bountiful, and valuable ingredient according to global standards.

But before hanging up the camo jacket for a cloak and dagger, hunters must consider a few things. The double-edged sword of chasing wild animals is the inherent unpredictability and lack of control. It’s not as simple as shooting a domestic animal in the forehead with a bolt-gun, but that’s why we love it. Shot placement, cleanliness, and timeliness are principal concerns if the goal is to bring home blood. A poorly placed shot into a bacteria-rich organ like the intestines will introduce an array of unappetizing pathogens into the cardiovascular system. Consequently, a solid lung, heart, or head shot should be a prerequisite.

Once you’ve pulled the trigger, it’s a race against the clock. The longer you wait or chase a wounded animal, the less blood you have to work with as it quickly clots or drains out. Animals that drop immediately or soon after the shot provide the most yield.

Out for Blood
After death, blood rushes out of the afflicted area and no longer pumps through the veins. This means in a heart or lung shot situation, the animal will have great quantities in the chest cavity. Referring back to my pronghorn last year, I simply used gravity to my advantage, draining the blood from the entrance wound into a mason jar by holding up the hind legs. I filled the jar with plenty of blood to spare. However, I likely contaminated the blood as it ran over the musky pronghorn hair.

Nick Phillips, butcher and owner of Sweet Cheeks Meats in Jackson, Wyoming, said you should clear a patch of hair around where the blood will drain to reduce the possibility of contamination when you’re harvesting blood. Another option would be to use a turkey baster to draw blood from the shot wound. It would solve the issue of hair contamination but I can’t attest to its effectiveness.

One last noteworthy method is the “stitch and scoop” I witnessed during my time in Nepal. In a strange order of events, I was asked to join and photograph a group of Himalayan butchers while they processed a cherished yak. The animal was stabbed in the heart with a kukri sword and then the wound stitched closed with its own wool to keep the liquid gold from draining onto the dirt. Then they set the yak on its back and opened the chest cavity along the sternum and used a bowl to scoop the blood into a large vat. If the shot is not a through-and-through, or the animal is not visibly draining, a hunter could apply the same principles without carrying sutures. You could brace the animal on its back and open up the bottom of the ribcage, or leave it on its side and remove a couple ribs behind the shoulder in order to scoop blood into a vessel.

After collecting the liquid in a water-tight container, it should be handled with haste in the field. Meat contaminated with bacteria can be remedied by removing the outer layer of exposed muscle, but since blood is a liquid, any pathogens that may be present will be evenly distributed. For this reason, any cooking you do with blood should always reach 160˚F in order to kill harmful bacteria. I have consumed raw blood, but that really pissed off friends and family who understand microbiology better than me.

Proof is in the Pudding
Heeding their concerns, I’ve since brought blood back to the kitchen to experiment. It’s an ingredient that stands out and has a tendency to overpower a recipe. The flavor does differ depending on the animal. Beef blood is strong and, for lack of better word: gamey . While pork blood, commonly used in sausage, is known to be sweeter and more mild. The flavor of wild game blood likely varies depending on species and individual animal, but is generally rather mild.

It can be helpful to think of blood as egg with a bottle of purple food dye mixed in. Blood can be successfully substituted for egg in conventional baking due to its binding properties. This same principle can be applied to making sausage . In the casings, blood sausages will look runny and glossy until they are poached. After they’re cooled, the links feel firm and take on a muddy brown color. Often these sausages are packed with animal fat, oats, or rice depending on the culture making them.

Blood begins to congeal quickly after the harvest and clots with the appearance of gunshot lung tissue will form in the container. This can be resolved with a sieve a quick straining will return blood to its original form. You can refrigerate it for a few days, and I froze some of mine for about a month with no ill effects. You probably want to err on the side of caution, however.

As a smooth liquid, blood makes a thick, silky broth, giving the richness of flour without the associated heaviness. Coagulation that works to the bakers’ or sausage-makers’ benefit, however, causes issues when the goal is a soup or broth. To keep it from curdling in a soup, cooks will incorporate vinegar or another acidic ingredient before putting blood on heat. In addition, blood should never reach a rolling boil, though the cook still needs to be conscientious of the cautionary 160˚F minimum.

The truth is hunters are limited by how much blood is lost after the shot, the size of the animal and how much they are willing to haul. To give context, the average amount of blood in a medium-sized domestic sheep is only about 1.5 gallons. Extrapolate that to a 700-pound elk and you could estimate that there would be roughly 5 gallons to work with. This means that each animal on the ground, if shot in a food-safe manner, could produce a little or a lot. Keep in mind, less may be more on your first blood harvest. The flavor isn’t for everyone. My first interaction with blood in food was positive, while an acquaintance reported the sensation of a bloody nose throughout the day.

Cooking with blood has an inherent savagery to it. While some unfamiliar readers may find this article on par with Satanic preaching, blood it’s merely just another ingredient—one more part of the animal that is healthy, delicious, and above all else, wasted by most.