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Charlie Trotter's Meat & Game

By Charlie Trotter (Ten Speed)

Charlie Trotter's Meat & Game



If protein really does help build strong bones and muscles, you'll need them to lift this dazzling—and heavy—meat-and-game masterpiece. If you are inclined to think we should not be eating our two- or four-legged friends, this is certainly not the book for you: cowhide is splashed across several pages, a cute lamb is grinning at you as it trots in a field in a photo next to the title page, and what at first appears to be a muted color montage on the book's cover, upon closer inspection, turns out to be dead feathered game birds.

But if carnivore is your middle name, there is certainly a good chance that it is Trotter's as well. He, of course, is one of the most award-winning chefs in the country (for Charlie Trotter's, his Chicago restaurant) and author of a number of other cookbooks. Along with full-page color photographs (not all of live animals, but most of the finished dishes), he gives what will probably be the best and most sophisticated meat-and-game cooking class you will ever attend.

In chapters on "Light Poultry & Other Fowl," "Robust Poultry & Other Fowl," "Light Meat & Game," "Robust Meat & Game" and "Varietal Meat," Trotter serves up specialties like quail breast with peppered-pistachio crust, pulped heirloom tomato and eggplant purée; tea-smoked Amish chicken with arugula salad and water chestnut-pancetta vinaigrette; black olive-and-mushroom-stuffed pork belly with caper berries and garlic chives; and lamb rack with cumin-scented porcini mushrooms and golden raisins.

Recipes are completely gourmet, long and difficult, though well explained. If you're not a big eater of venison, rabbit, Scottish hare loin, bison, antelope, wild boar, grouse and partridge, you might think twice about this book and look for fields elsewhere to graze. Following is one of the book's briefest and easiest recipes (delicious, too).

Lamb Rack with Cumin-Scented Porcini Mushrooms and Golden Raisins

(Updated: 11/06/08 SB)

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