I have been waiting for MONTHS for this cookbook by Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry to publish…literally salivating over it for months. Beyond Bacon is a cookbook that utilizes every part of the very tasty and frugal animal, the hog.
The hog has gotten a bad rap over the past few decades, however, Americans are beginning to believe, again, that saturated fat, pork, and lard are not what’s bad for your health. We can thank the Paleo movement and well-known and influential doctors for debunking this false belief and bringing back the bacon! And as Stacy would say, “Praise the Lard” for that!
My husband and I prefer to buy our meat in bulk from a local farmer. So, what excited me the most about Beyond Bacon was that it is a cookbook devoted to recipes using all parts of the hog. Our ancestors never wasted any part of an animal, but in today’s society we have become picky with our “skinless boneless” faux-meat. We aren’t truly nourishing our body’s the way we used to. This cookbook teaches you to render your own lard, how to make pork stock, and recipes from Lengua Carnitas and Head Cheese to chewing on Curried Cracklin’s or whipping up a batch of Savory Bacon Jam. All of them are beautiful and deeply nourishing.
Beyond Bacon is a beautiful cookbook from the HARD cover right down to the rustic and gorgeous pictures that make you wish you live on a farm. You, literally, want to make that recipe you are looking at ASAP! Stacy and Matt make each recipe very personal, giving you glimpses into their personal lives with stories of how the recipes came about:
“Growing up, Stacy often helped her mother prepare dinner. She’d sit at the kitchen table snapping green beans as her mom told stories about her own mother’s southern cooking…” (Beyond Bacon, pg. 216)
Food has always been celebrated and Beyond Bacon gives you a reason to grab your kids, relive childhood memories, and make new ones.
This is exactly what I did! The kids and I made Yellow Lard Cake (pg. 286). As with every recipe in the book, I found it very simple to read the directions. I love that on each recipe there is a column on the left that tells you the difficulty, gives you the yield, reminds you to turn your oven on, and then lists the ingredients. I’ve always found it confusing when cookbooks combine all this info on one paragraph. The recipe of Yellow Lard Cake was just as simple to follow. We made one substitution. We substituted bacon fat for the lard…which is essentially the same thing, however bacon fat has a slight taste of bacon. I always have a beautiful jar of bacon fat in the fridge!
We added a whipped avocado frosting to top it off, then devoured the delicious cupcakes, one-by-one, till they were gone. Both my kids preferred the cupcake more than the frosting and ended up removing the frosting before eating the cupcake! Since we used bacon fat instead of lard, I thought they would taste like bacon, but there was no bacon-y taste after they were cooked.
All-in-all, I am very happy with this cookbook. I have made a few more recipes from it (just devoured them before taking a picture to share) like the Bacon Wrapped Dates (pg. 278), Shaken & Baked Pork Chops (pg. 160), and the Sautéed Cabbage (pg. 228). None have disappointed…in fact all had me licking my fingers wishing for more.
Stacy and Matt have kindly shared a few recipes on their blog:
- Nut-Free Cobler
- Asian Short Ribs
- Insanely Awesome Meatloaf
- Rosemary Carrot Mash
- Triple Chocolate Fudge
These are just a glimpse of what is inside this cookbook. You need more…you need this cookbook. It’s filled with 116 recipes that are solely devoted to utilizing every part of the most frugal and budget friendly animal…the hog.
Beyond Bacon releases today! Order it now!!!