Bruce Aidells' The Great Meat Cookbook
In the 16 years since Healdsburg resident and meat guru Bruce Aidells first published The Complete Meat Cookbook (Reed Business Information, 1998), he has almost single-handedly changed the way Americans think about sausage. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.
A PhD, Aidells’ lifelong love of food was a siren song that eventually seduced him out of academia and into the culinary world, first opening a small campus restaurant while attending UC Santa Cruz, then a deli in Berkeley and eventually founding the sausage company that still bears his name (Aidells sold the company in 2002). The popularity of Aidells’ then-groundbreaking artisan-made chicken sausages was the catalyst for starting the now-ubiquitous sausage company, and he once made national news when
he attempted to cook an alligator, an endangered species in California, so he clearly has experience with cooking all types of meats.
In his latest cookbook, The Great Meat Cookbook (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012), due out this October, Aidells serves up an extraordinarily thorough and thoughtful primer on this often-confusing subject, deciphering terms like “grass-fed,” “grass-finished” and “grain finished,” and offering tips on what cuts of meat are best suited to various cooking methods and how to judge the quality of a piece of meat, all deliciously accompanied by over 200 recipes. One of my favorites is below—since we are now enjoying sausages all day long thanks to Aidells, it was kind of him to offer a new breakfast alternative. And an insanely decadent and delicious one at that!