Day 10/10 of my cookbook challenge, the books and cooks who have influenced my kitchen over the past 40 years: The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
It was a tough call to pick just ten of the most influential books in my library but this volume was an easy choice. I’d been cooking meat for years but not always well – Hugh’s book made it foolproof. As I come from and live in a farming community, I’d always been a supporter of high welfare animal husbandry – Hugh’s book and the accompanying C4 tv series made it everyone’s business. I’ve always tried to buy my meat from a quality family-run butchers where you can have confidence in the provenance of what you’re buying – Dunham’s of Boston, Hubbards in Bury St Edmunds, Salter and King in Aldeburgh and The Ginger Pig (I have their excellent book too) in London are amongst my favourites.
When it comes to improving your cookery with the right specialist techniques, it’s definitely worth investing in books by the experts. My copies of Leiths Bibles, Samin Nosrat’s Salt Fat Acid Heat, Thane Prince’s Jam’s & Chutneys, Michel Roux’s Sauces, Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book and my Larousse Gastronomique are all as well-thumbed as my recipe collections because these are the books that make our outcomes better, encourage us to experiment with confidence and become original and accomplished cooks in our own right.