As we did last year with Eat Like a Dinosaur, we’d like to collect all the reviews of Beyond Bacon in one place so that you can see what people are saying about it. Hopefully, if you’re on the fence about purchasing it, you’re convinced by these talented bloggers! We are blown away by the reception our book is receiving and truly appreciate all the kind words people are saying about our baby! Check out last week’s post, too!
As your book arrives please use the hashtags #beyondbacon, #praisethelard, or #paleoparents so we can find you!
Don’t forget about our Release Party at the amazing Red Apron Butchery in Fairfax, VA on July 5th featuring a TON of special guests including our The Paleo View co-host Sarah The Paleo Mom, George the Civilized Caveman, The Food Lovers of Primal Palate (Bill & Hayley), Russ from The Domestic Man, and even our photographer Aimee and favorite farmers (Mike & Molly) from Mount Vernon Grassfed. It is shaping up to be a huge event; we’ve got people flying cross-country and driving as far as 6 hours – so, don’t miss this awesome opportunity to eat great food and hang out with your paleo blogging-buddies!
This week in Beyond Bacon reviews we are keeping it light on the words and letting you all do the talking!
When we first met Russ at one of our Meat-Ups, we actually didn’t know that he was THE Domestic Man! But when we figured it out, we knew we were going to be great friends. These days, it seems we see Russ practically every week. It’s so inspiring to have such talented friends and we are truly honored by this wonderful review.
I had the opportunity to test some of their recipes while they were writing the book, and I was immediately impressed with how well Matt and Stacy did their research; the ingredients and cooking methods are perfectly fitting for each dish. Simply put, these two know their way around a pig.
As appropriate for the coffee table as the kitchen, this book is really, as the authors say, a love letter not just to pork but to food raised and prepared with intention. And to the land that sustains that food.
Bethanie reviewed several of our recipes, here is a bit on what she had to say about the Lengua Carnitas:
Now this recipe… this one… was a huge hit! We really liked it. It was so flavorful and tender and scrumptious!
I’m certainly going to use this spice mix again! It is a fantastic substitute for the taco seasoning packets that can be purchased at the grocery. I usually just add a little of this and a little of that and it turns out ok, but never amazing. This was amazing!
Not only did Alexa create 13 recipes for her review of Beyond Bacon, she also shared a list of reasons why she loved the book:
- Wonderful information at beginning
- Layout of the pages was very easy to navigate
- Mouth-watering pictures of every recipe
- “Notes” or “Tips” listed on many recipes were extremely helpful
- Engaging story and/or information in the intro paragraph to each recipe
- Division of the recipe sections by preparation
- Farm house aesthetic
- Recipes with real, whole foods without too many hard to find ingredients
- Focus on pastured meats from sustainable, local sources
- Encouragement and ideas for nose to tail eating
- Great index listing both recipes and ingredients
- Easy to follow instructions (even on more difficult preparations)
m=1 is our friend and review team member Maggie! She is seriously an extremely talented writer and we definitely recommend you check out her blog!
One of the great lessons in the 300-page book is that pork is not just one of those ingredients that “can” be part of a healthy diet. It is more than the “other white meat,” a stand-in for chicken or turkey. Its bacon fat doesn’t need to be drained on a paper towel before eating or altogether replaced by sad-looking strips of soy. Rather, “Beyond Bacon” shows that the meat, fat and organs of a pastured pig actually contribute to good health.
Just in time for the fourth of July, Kate shows her love for Beyond Bacon’s Faux-Tato Salad!
This was awesome!!!! I can’t believe how delicious jicama is cooked…and covered in bacon mayo! I have been cooking jicama so many different ways now and will have some ideas to share with you all soon! But, in the meantime, you need to go pre-order this book so you can make this salad, the bacon mayo and about 100 more recipes that are included! There is also excellent info about pork, how to buy it, cook it and recreate it!!
The book continues henceforth respecting the animal’s virtues, nutrition values and its place in our bellies. Then! … the book really gets cooking! It covers a few of the more “special’ cooking techniques which will be employed by the book. What I find so interesting about this is that the “special” techniques are the oldest known to man: cooking over fire and braising (basically letting stuff gurgle in liquid for hours at a time).
Seeing talented bloggers recreate Beyond Bacon recipes is so exciting, especially when they put their flair on those dishes and make you fall in love with the dish all over again. This review is by our friend Diana Rodgers who helped Stacy resolve her nutrition issues last year.
Here is a peak at Diana’s review:
I love the cover. I love the pictures. I love the concept. Inspiring people to use more parts of the animal is what is needed, as hundreds of folks get turned onto the Paleo diet every week and discover that fat is good for you. Bacon is great, but there is only so much bacon on a pig. We need to be rendering lard, making more sausage, and learning about ways to use all of the other cuts that are out there.
I would never eat pork from a commercial hog, but the reverence and respect Toth and McCarry display for a healthy pastured pig has made me very curious. Actually, I’m drooling. The recipes and photos in the book are mouthwatering.
Even though this book is dedicated to utilizing the whole animal, fear not, Beyond Bacon has a section that is dedicated to making your own bacon but also making your own sausages, from Chorizo to Italian. How awesome is that? There’s also a write up on how to render your own lard, one of the most delicious and versatile cooking fats out there! Each recipe is written so well that even the most complex recipes are easily achieved for anyone so there is no need to feel intimidated by anything in this book.
The Swedish meatballs were amazing and I was seriously sad when they were gone. Definitely something to repeat, and a nice change from our typical Italian meatballs, however good they are.
Another great write up that includes a giveaway – check it out!
The authors start having some real fun in sections like Conventional Preparations with recipes like Piggie Pot Pie, Pork Tamales and Swedish Meatballs. My two favorite chapters are the ones entitled, Fried Lard Goodness and Sweet Thangs where you’ll find droolworthy recipes for corn dogs and a recipe for the best brownies which are made moist and decadent with the addition of lard. Full disclosure – I’ve already made two batches.
A humbling review…
Beyond Bacon is not only a beautifully designed cookbook with loads of delicious recipes such as Asian Short Ribs, Apple and Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops, and even desserts like Yellow Lard Cake and Apple Fritters, but it also contains an incredibly informative foreword explaining how to find affordable pastured pork, the history of pig cultivation, the nutritional science of pork, and the best tools to use in the kitchen when cooking with the whole hog. You’ll even learn how to create your own pork stock and render your own lard.
I have never in my life made my own sausage or my own bacon… I’ve never smoked meat… and I’ve never, and will never make head cheese. But the truth is, that with this book I will actually be tempted to try. I will no longer feel that I need to leave this stuff up to the butcher, if I don’t want to. And that feeling alone is empowering! Back to the roots is the motto of this book, as it beautifully combines the message how to leave our modern (and oh so quick) ways without having to sacrifice what the 21st century has made possible for us.
Recipe testing is impressive, but building a smoker per our instructions from the book – that is flat out rock star.
As far as how well the book follows the autoimmune protocol, it is definitely not a strictly AIP book. I counted over 40 recipes that were already AIP or could be easily made AIP with simple modifications (like omitting things like paprika, pepper or cayenne). Of all of the excluded AIP foods, nightshades are pretty well represented, although in the recipes I made I found that they were easily be substituted with other ingredients, like garlic or ginger.
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.
In summary, I’m usually not a big fan of cookbooks (all my recipes come from digging around the internet) but Beyond Bacon is one I’ll treasure for a long time and a great resource for my kitchen.
But while Beyond Bacon is indeed beautiful, I’d rather talk about how important it is. It’s not just a cookbook, it’s a guide to respecting the whole hog, which is really, really important. The paleo movement talks a lot about eating like our ancestors did. Whether we’re talking about our great grandparents or about our much more distant ancestors, we (in general) need to do a better job at practicing what we preach. Myself included. Our ancestors didn’t only eat bacon and chops. They most likely ate damn near the whole animal. I love bacon as much as the next guy, but let’s face it. Pigs are not just big bacons and hams.
And seriously, look what Simone did with the Beyond Bacon lard pie crust!
First, although these recipes are “paleo” and the authors of this book are the Paleo Parents, you need not follow the paleo diet to appreciate everything in this book. Many people associate paleo-eating with some sort of deprivation or inferior recipe work-arounds. These recipes fully demonstrate that is not the case! The variety of cooking methods alone, including grilling, smoking, braising, stewing, roasting, and deep frying in lard, ensures there is something here to make every meat eater happy. There are also plenty of unique vegetable and side dishes to swoon over, and desserts as well. Each recipe is beautifully photographed by Aimee Buxton, and many recipes offer valuable cooking “tips”.
Overall, I found this book to be an extremely valuable example of how to market these “whole foods” to consumers. I love the friendly, welcoming approach that they take while discussing breeds of pigs, the butchering process and sharing these meals with your family. I don’t consider myself to be intimidated by the process of buying 1/2 a pig & butchering it because I am a former farm girl, but I know that it is an overwhelming idea for many of my friends and blog followers. This book takes you step-by-step through the process & makes you feel good about your decisions. In my opinion, small farmers raising beef, pork & chicken should take a look at this book & use it as inspiration for the marketing of their products.
The first recipe that captured my eye was Schweineshaxe, a dish that we’ve had many times in Germany and with which I hadn’t thought of experimenting at home… now I will! And then there’s Piggy Pot Pies made with Homestyle Biscuits, Savory Bacon Jam, Salted Caramel Bacon Sauce, Lard Pie Crust, Dutch Apple Pie, Salted Mocha Biscotti… just to name a few that look and sound so decadent that you cannot believe they are actually Paleo and healthy for you!
As for the recipes, prepare to be pleasantly surprised with both the quality and quantity of selections in this book, all broken up into sensible sections that make it easy to find what you’re looking for and stumble on thing you hadn’t thought of yet. In The Basics, you will learn things like how to render your own lard and how to make sausages and pancetta. Play with Fire addresses grilling and smoking. All the staples are in there, too, like soups and stews, tenderloins and carnitas, and pork chops. I am personally particularly interested in trying the recipes in the Fried Lard Goodness section. Paleo versions of corn dogs and sweet and sour pork are just too much to pass up. Beyond Bacon rounds out nicely with Veggies and Sides, Sauces and Dressing, and Sweet Thangs for those special occasions.
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Again, Paleo Parents fans and Beyond Bacon enthusiasts, we cannot thank you all enough for purchasing copies, writing reviews, and spreading the Beyond Bacon love far and wide throughout social media.
Please continue to help us spread the word about this cookbook, as you can see from the comments above, so many people can benefit from a book like Beyond Bacon.
If you have a site and have written a review, please pass your links along to us and we will be sure to link up to your site in an upcoming post.