This is just a rough estimate, but I'm pretty sure I've spent about 1000 hours in the kitchen testing recipes and prepping the food for photos for the new...Read More
Review & Giveaway: Beyond Bacon
Let’s just say it right up front: piggies are really cute, and piggies are really, really delicious.
No one knows that better than Stacy Toth and Matthew McCarry, a.k.a., the Paleo Parents and authors of both Eat Like a Dinosaur (which I previously reviewed) and the beautiful new paleo cookbook Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog.
Beyond Bacon encourages us to Praise the Lard! and Go Whole Hog! for pork.
Things I like about this book…
It makes a strong case for happy, healthy pigs.
There is no doubt that healthy animals make us healthier, but finding a source for pastured pork — then managing all that meat when it finds it way into your house (you have an extra freezer, right?!) — can be overwhelming. This book provides helpful tips for finding and ordering pastured pork, then digs into the health benefits of eating snout to (curly) tail. Joel Salatin liked their approach so much, he wrote the foreword.
The photography is luscious.
Paleo cookbooks have successfully transitioned from “it’s nice for a ‘healthy’ cookbook” to “competitive with any cookbook on the market” in terms of their photography, writing, and recipe innovations. Beyond Bacon is packed with fatty, scrumptious recipes accompanied by magazine-worthy photos. This makes me very excited that paleo will continue to move from its “fad diet” reputation to serious foodiness… because, really, eating this way isn’t only about “dieting,” it’s about quality of life and the wonderfulness of how food makes literally makes us who we are and brings us together.
The recipes are well-written and tasty.
To truly review a cookbook would require making at least a handful of the recipes. I had time to make only one recipe from Beyond Bacon (Mexican Chorizo) so I’m cheating you a bit. But I can tell you that in all the recipes I read — and I read a bunch of them because who could resist Swedish Meatballs, The Best Brownies (made with lard!), Piggie Pot Pie, or Salted Caramel Bacon Sauce?! — the instructions are clear and the technique is pretty darn good. I’m super picky about recipe explanations because I know not everyone grew up in their parents’ restaurant kitchen and don’t necessarily have kitchen skills. For the most part, the instructions are clear and the recipes aren’t overly complicated, so it should work for cooks of all experience levels.
The Mexican Chorizo I made was tangy from the cider vinegar and flecked with bits of chiles. See? (Pssst... the recipe for the plantain chips in the photo will be in Well Fed 2.)
A few things to note…
The use of olive oil.
As you know from my recipes here on the blog and Well Fed, I’m a stickler for using olive oil in cooking only over very low heat. (High heat can oxidize olive oil, which can lead to inflammation.) At least one of the recipes in Beyond Bacon calls for olive oil in the cooking process at a high temperature. This is a minor quibble because it’s simple to replace that olive oil with melted coconut oil, or remaining in the spirit of the book, melted lard. But just a heads up to keep an eye out for that in all of your cooking.
It’s all paleo, but flirts with Treatland for me.
The vast majority of the recipes in the book are compliant with the way I eat (a.k.a., stick in the mud, Whole30 approved most of the time), or can be easily modified to be compliant. This is an ambitious, admirably far-ranging cookbook, so it also includes dishes that are tantalizingly tempting — but also higher in fat and sugar than I would eat on a regular occasion. Ingredients like maple syrup, dark chocolate, honey, tapioca flour, almond milk, and palm sugar make a few appearances. I wouldn’t deem this book only suitable for special occasions — there are plenty of recipes for everyday use. I’d say it’s half and half: lots of meat and veg recipes you can make any day of the week, plus treats for special occasions when you want to indulge your sweet tooth or eat a “CORN” DOG!
You might need some special ingredients.
Because the book is based on using all parts of the pig — which is an idea I love — it also requires you to acquire potentially unusual parts that you might only be able to get if you buy a whole or partial pig. Many recipes call for lard (which you can replace with another saturated fat, but it will change the flavor) and pork stock (which is awesome sauce, but again… you might not have it in your pantry on a regular basis). Having said all that, as a woman addicted to spices, I’m not averse to recipes that require special ingredients, I’m just giving you a heads-up.
Want to bring home the bacon? Get in on the giveaway!
UPDATE: The drawing is closed and the winner has been notified. Thanks for playing along!
To Enter: Post to comments and tell us your favorite part of the piggy.
Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Central on Thursday, July 11, 2012. I’ll randomly select a winner and make the announcements/notification on July 12.
Restrictions: Sorry, international friends… U. S. residents only.
Buy a copy…
Why wait to see if chance favors you? Why not buy a copy of Beyond Bacon now?!
If you’re one of those paleo people who loves to eat, and you enjoy playing in the kitchen, and you’re ready to up the ante with pastured pork, Beyond Bacon: Paleo Recipes that Respect the Whole Hog is the book to help you do it.
The fine print: I received a complimentary copy of this book, but all opinions are mine. If you use the links above to purchase the book through Amazon, I earn a small commission.
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My favorite pig indulgence are chicharrones fresh from street side kettles in Guatemala. A rare treat for me but they’re delicious!
i love pork belly and shoulder/butt for pulled pork too!
2013!!! You say: Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Central on Thursday, July 11, 2012. 😉
I’m also a fan of shoulder/butt. One goes into my crockpot every couple weeks for pulled pork. Mmmm!
This book was on my doorstep on July 2! My husband can’t wait for me to make the chorizo 🙂 I pre-ordered WELL FED 2, so I can eventually recreate your photo 😉
On the 4th I made 3 recipes from BB:
-Baconnaise: absolutely delicious, and came out quick & thick using an immersion blender! I used it all up making
-Faux-Tato Salad: I boiled the jicama for at least twice the time described in the recipe to get it to an acceptable level of doneness. The flavor of the finished recipe was very good. Unfortunately, some of the jicama pieces were inedibly fibrous (I seem to recall you specifying choosing jicama no bigger than a fist for this very reason-they only had larger ones when I did my last-minute shopping). In future I think I’ll use the WF recipe for this dish.
-Maple Bacon Frozen Custard: This was a delicious special dessert. I used homemade cashew milk to avoid additives in commercial almond milk. I don’t know if it is properly “custard” if the eggs aren’t cooked, but the flavor was excellent–very subtle (tasters compared it to pistachio or butter pecan ice creams).
I am looking forward to trying many more recipes from this book!
The cheeks. The meat from the cheeks is amazing.
I’m a bacon fiend
I’m a fan of bacon and the shoulder for some pulled pork
Shoulder for pulled pork. Although pork belly really intrigues me. And cheeks… ok, all the parts…
My favorite part of the pig is the cheek, perfect combo of fat and meatiness!
Pickled pigs feet :-)!!
My favorite part is bacon, obviously! And I agree with others, I love some pulled pork tacos!
I am a sucker for bacon. I need this book to help get me out of my bacony comfort zone.
Pork Butt! So good when it’s slow cooked!
Shoulder…but that’s about the only thing I know how to cook decent. Would love Beyond Bacon to learn more!
I’m a big fan of pork belly but, living in NC, I really appreciate a good slow-cooked pork shoulder too
Jowl bacon is amazing! 🙂
Love a simple BBQ pulled pork !
I’m a huge fan of bacon, but I’ll take any part of the pig I can 🙂
I am a big fan of pork butt, bacon, chops,and lard.
Pork belly is my fave but I’ve always wanted to cook with a trotter (foot).
My favorite part is the shoulder for pulled pork 🙂
What part isnt awesome?! Im a fiend for pulled pork though, so I am going to have to go with the butt.
Pork shoulder. It’s really versatile and I use it all the time.
I’d have to say that I really, really like pork fat. I’ve been rendering our own lard since we first discovered primal/paleo, and it’s always been amazing.
I will have to say my favorite is bacon…bacon…and more bacon.
Belly as great for bacon or pig candy
I wish I could be more original but BACON! Maybe if I had a fancy cookbook I would have a better appreciation for the whole hog! 😉
I am a fan of the belly but really enjoy ribs and pulled pork.
Get in my belly pork belly!
Pork butt, of course! The perfect start to my two favorite piggy recipes: the Well Fed Citrus Carnitas and NomNom Paleo’s Kalua Pig. Such a versatile cut, meaty, tender, and delicious!
I am in love with the butt!
I am pretty partial to the booty 😉
I like the belly!
I just had pig tails this weekend and they were yummy!
Thanks for the insights regarding the sugars used in the book. I can’t tolerate honey or maple syrup – my body has digestional issues with fructose, plus I have issues with consuming these sugars beyond having an intolerance to them, as they spike a sugar rush & need in me which I have done a lot of work to avoid. It still surprises me at times the indulgence in honey within the paleo community, despite the health risk factors of too much fructose, however the adverse reaction against stevia, which is a plant & contains no fructose?!
I’ll take this into consideration if I choose to purchase the book. Though anything with pig is always mighty tempting!
& another thing, what the hell is with being able to use tapioca flour all of a sudden? It seems counteract what paleo stands for… :/
Pork belly is my favorite!
We love bacon at our house, but a good shoulder roast for pulled pork comes in a close second!
I really want to get my hot little hands on some pork belly! I’ve seen some amazing recipes that really intrigue me. I love pork loin, shoulder, bacon, pork chops….the list goes on and on!
My favorite part is the loin. I love griling or roasting a loin, stuffing it, or just crusting it in spices. A little sauce to go with it and mmmm.
But a pork belly will always be a close second.
Hands down it has to be bacon!
Smoked cheeks and bacon!!
pork belly, only had it in a restaurant but it was amazing
I am obsessed with all things bacon but truly love every part of the pig…cheeks and shoulder and butt…oh my!
Bacon is my favorite pork product. It’s great with just about anything.
My FAVORITE is bacon BUT the shoulder is a close second!!
First and foremost, bacon! I also enjoy the loin, shoulder, and butt!
After making nom nom paleo’s kalua pig for the first time last week (and then using some of the leftovers for her Hawaiian deviled eggs), I have to rank the butt #1! I haven’t met a pig part I don’t like, though. Even humble ground pork is delicious when made into your fab Czech meatballs!
I <3 Pork Butt!
I usually like a butt or shoulder. I’m a sucker for slow roasting!
I love a pork shoulder for the most tender pulled pork. And I love bacon. And pork belly. Honestly, I’ve never met a piece of pork I didn’t like.
I can’t go wrong with spare ribs.
My favorite part of a piggie is the shoulder. I especially enjoy the shoulder in your recipe from Paleo for Dummies where it’s used for pulled pork! Absolutely amazing recipe!
My favorite part of the pig is the butt. My family loves pulled pork!
I have a difficult time eating any kind of ham that is not salt-cured. There is a soft place in my heart for country ham….
Pork belly, by far!
I’m trying to transition my husband to paleo because of all the health benefits (and deliciousness!) I have enjoyed, but he just isn’t sold. He likes bacon and pork chops, but it’d be great to feel better about using it.
I am big fan slow-cooked butt or shoulder but am also into ground pork and all of the delicious things it can be made into with spices!
Pork belly, and the trotters make some very good soup!
belly, shoulders, and chops. Yum…now I’m hungry!
its hard, i love my pork. ahaha i think its between belly & boneless fillet steak (so juicy and tender).
Ribs! So good! But what part of the pig ISN’T? 🙂
This book is right up my alley!
I am going to be honest. I am intimated by pork. To say what I like best is hard as I have not done much cooking with it. I have enjoyed pulled pork tacos (slow cooker heavy on the garlic)…but that was pre-Whole30. So I am tossing my hat in the ring to learn more.
I love bacon. and ribs. and pork butt. and lard. and bacon… just made arrangements over the weekend with local farmer & nearby butcher to put a whole hog in our freezer – oh yeah!
I’m a huge fan of pulled pork, but I have to admit my go-to piggy part is definitely bacon. Bacon, after all, is BACON!
I love just about all things pig, especially bacon, pork chops and the shoulder.
Pork shoulder cooked all night in the crockpot with blueberries. Yummy breakfast!
I just tried pork belly for the 1st time this past Friday — delicious!
I looooove bacon. I also adore the shoulder. I do your carnitas recipe when I have time to do a good job cooking them, and Nom Nom Paleo’s kalua pork recipe when my schedule really only allows for a “toss in crock pot” meal. Mmm…piggy…
I LOVE bacon, but carnitas is a strong second!
you want me to narrow down to one part of a pig?!?!? I have a few things I LOVE though that are pork…bacon of course! Pork tenderloin on the grill with a chimchurri sauce…pulled pork…and the citrus carnitas in well fed (that is in our dinner rotation at least once a week cuz it is SO yummy!).
My favorites are pork belly and ribs.
I would say all of it. I can’t just choose one because all of it is so good. I would say bacon is a family favorite, though 🙂
Bacon would have to be first, but pork shoulder is a very close second!
Bacon but pork in general is growing on me lately.
I think pork shoulder is my favorite part, though I don’t think there is a part I don’t love.
Two words. Canadian. Bacon. 🙂
Belly and shoulder
I guess it marks me as a true southerner that I was shocked at the lack of rib responses! I love all piggy parts but my favorite are the ribs!
Crunchy, yummy pigskin!!! And bacon!!!
My favorite piggie part is the shoulder to make either Carolina BBQ or Cuban lechon asado. Of course, I also love bacon and fried fatback. So hard to choose just one!!
I love RIBS! My fave part of the pig
I love me some bacon. And some pulled pork.
I’m still kinda amazed at the crispy pig ears I had recently. So delicious! They’ve definitely pulled ahead as my favorite pig part.
My favorite part of the pig is the bacon. No question.
Boston butt makes the best pulled pork.
I want my baby back, baby back, baby back ribs…
You cant beat Bacon and Pork Belly!!
Definitely the ribs, or maybe bacon – how about ribs with bacon?! I’m particularly fond of a dry rub on ribs then grilling them on indirect heat until done. You can even stack them up on top of one another- it doesn’t matter. They will be delicious!!!
BACON, BACON and more BACON!!!!
I’m all about that pig butt!
I don’t know where to begin! Bacon or ribs I think! If I HAD to chose!
It’d have to be pork shoulder, smoked. Sooooo good…
This sounds strange, but I’ve become a huge fan of the feet, because they make such fabulous stock.
Shoulder or butt!
Porkbelly/fatback is my favorite!
Bacon and pulled pork… Omg delish!!
Pork belly makes me swoon.
Hard core bacon fan. Sorry bout it.
What a great giveaway! Thanks or the chance…
My favorite part of the piggie recently is the shoulder…rubbed in spices and the slow cooked for a meal…and tons of leftovers.
I LOVE bacon, ribs, and shoulder. Actually, I don’t think there’s a part I’ve ever not liked.
My favorite part of the piggy would have to be the butt. 🙂
Pork Shoulder/butt… back bacon, and bacon. Mmm.. and belly. Oh, ribs are good too.
the best part in pigs? difficult since everything can be used but I would say pork belly. A lot of different way to prepare it
This year I was really trying to go ovo-lacto-vegetarian, I can’t live without bacon though!
Side of bacon and pork loin for shredded pork! Nothing beats a fresh hog!
What part isn’t wonderful!? Shoulder, bacon, bacon grease to add flavor!
Dare I say bacon…bacon….and more bacon 🙂
My favorite “part” of the piggy is bacon grease. So delicious.
Bacon! Nuff said.
The crispy skin bits you get when you cook a shoulder roast 🙂
Ham is my favorite!!!
Pork belly. Mmmm.
I think my favorite has to be pork belly. Yum!
Thanks for the giveaway! I grew up eating “fatback” with my grandparents, and it was this amazing, fatty-crispy slice of porky goodness that I still think about today. Yum.
Love Bacon Bacon Bacon!!! Thanks for the great giveaway!!
We love the breakfast sausage part of the pig. I think we eat 5 lbs a week and that is 2 adults and 2 young school age kids. Assume we’ll double that in a few years.
Boston butt or bacon!
So far my favorite part of the pig is bacon, but I have a really good slow cooker pork-apple-onion recipe I’ve been itching to try… yet another reason I’m excited for fall!
Love that bacon and shoulder/butt for some awesome pulled pork. Would also love a copy of this book, it’s on my wish list at Amazon!
Hard to pick between pork belly and chops, but I think the chops topped with a sage ghee would win!
Bacon!! And more bacon….with shoulder a close second.
Praise the LARD!
Ribs…and BACON!!!! 🙂
I’m a huge fan of pork belly! Had it for the first time a few years ago in Australia and fell in love with it! Thanks!
Bacon, bacon, and more bacon – I need to learn more about pork parts!
I’m really curious to see what the book has to say about the organ meat! I’ve been getting into liver recently, but have not tried any offals of the pork variety 😉
I love love love pork belly!!!! Bacon!!!!
My favorite part of the pig is the cheek meat, we have a pig roast each year and these tender bits are awesome 😉
I love pork belly, and deliciously crispy bacon
My favorite part has to be the shoulder or the butt because I LOVE pulled pork!!! I could eat pulled pork everyday!!
Is there any part not to love? My husband smokes a mean pork butt though.
My favorite part is the shoulder because I love pernil.
I love bacon but ribs are also very tasty. I use lard in cooking and to make really great soap !
Shoulder – heaven in a crock pot.
I love pork belly!
Ribs, but lately we’ve been getting pastured pork bacon and sausage from our grass-fed beef CSA, and man, are they good!
Bacon is by far my favorite! After being told for years and years how bad bacon is for you, I love how we can eat bacon on Paleo!! But I would love to have this book so I can go Beyond Bacon!!
Pork shoulder for sure! shred it up and make some chile verde out of it. Great. Now I’m craving it.
Bacon adds great flavor to just about anything. I am on a huge bacon kick right now.
We like a roasted Pork Butt (I’m making one right now in fact)
Chicharonnes or bacon….or ribs. How can you choose just one?! 😉
I would love this cookbook, as we just ordered our first whole pastured hog to be ready in August. I need to know what to do outside of the normal pork box!
As of now bacon is my favorite but sausage is a close second. Trying to get excited about trying “new” parts with our piggie.
My favorite part of the pig? It’s becoming more and more of a toss up since I’ve made some pretty wonderful recipes but I will say that do love me some ribs…now to find some good pork nearby.
My favorite would definitely be bacon, sirloin tip chops and ribs. Love me some Piggy 🙂
I love a good smoked pork tenderloin – delicious and tender! Another favorite of mine is the pork belly. I’m a hard core paleo gal and now make my own bacon from local piggys pork belly so I can enjoy the heavenly treat without the preservatives and sugar found in commercial brands. All that said, I’ll admit I’ve never tasted a piggy I didn’t like!
BACON!! Lol. Love the should too for the crockpot.
My favorite part of the pig is the belly. And not just for bacon. I actually cooked pork belly for the first time recently, and LOVED it!! Pork chops are also a huge hit in my house. The kids can’t get enough of them.
My favorite parts are the belly (where the bacon comes from) and the shoulder (pernil!)…
I have to go with bacon because it can be used in everything, even my elvis cupcakes 🙂
Bacon (belly, right? haha). I also love pork shoulder for making carnitas!
Pork Belly! I love that my Whole Foods is now carrying it in the smoked meat section although I’m sure there’s probably some sugar in those spices!
I love bacon the pork shoulder and pork tenderloin has become my favorite.
a perfectly grilled chop…and belly. yum!! i have some back fat i’m going to render to Lard and I’m thinking i’m going to be a big fan of the Lard 🙂
Love, love, love pulled pork.
I can’t pick just one. I just can’t
I don’t eat swine, but I’d still love the cookbook!
Pork shoulder for sure. I make a mean pulled pork, but I’m interested in finding ways to paleo-fy a lot of my old recipes. This book would be a great help!
I don’t have a favorite part of the pig and I’ve tasted everything from the feet, tail, ears, head, and intestines. I like the WHOLE animal. If there is a recipe for the intestines I would love to try it out as I would like to try intestines cook another way other than chitterlings.
i love me some pork butt! lol
Bacon has to be #1 but I do love a good butt.
bacon is my absolute favorite, but a smoked pork butt would be a definite close second
The Loin, it makes delicious pork chops! nom nom
Count me in!!! I have no idea what part of the pig is my favorite because I haven’t had access to good, whole-animal foods. I did surprisingly enjoy the pig parts sampler at Campo in Reno last year — even the blood pudding. Perhaps ESPECIALLY the blood pudding. 🙂
Bacon. I love the bacon part of the pig. That and shoulder/butt slow cooked to perfection.
I go back a ways. So I can remember watching grandpa stir the huge iron pot over the fire! The anticipation waiting for the “cracklins” that would be there as kettle after kettle of lard was rendered! Today the loin is much easier and lasts me for a while fix it just about any way mmmmm good
I would have to say the butt/shoulder because it’s so easy to throw into a slow cooker for various pulled pork meals, and it’s a relatively inexpensive cut. But I’m super excited to try others after reading this book. Thank you!
Shoulder is my favorite! I love making pulled pork.
I love country ribs!
Oh my goodness. Pork belly in all of it’s form. I’ve been working on perfecting my porchetta execution.
Make once, the family has tasty bits for the week!
Bacon is my favorite.
Cheeks! My husband roasted a whole pig for Independence Day. It was yummy!
Shoulder roast is my favorite part of a pastured piggy. More than bacon? Sure!
Shoulder for sure! Thanks for hosting such an awesome giveaway 🙂
Just a quick note about the olive oil. I’ve been doing some research about olive oil lately because of the amount of fraudulent olive oil on most store shelves. It’s being cut with unhealthy oils and sold as pure olive oil! Beware! Anyhow, on oliveoiltimes.com Angela Bell states that olive oil only oxidizes at high temps if used over and over again and so will every other oil. High heat will not chnage the composition of the oil after one use. Also, making sure you have good quality olive oil is of utmost importance because the burning point will be different with non olive oils which are cut in with the oils of fraudulent brand olive oils. Bertolli being one of the big names recently busted for this. REAL olive oil is usually in a dark bottle, harvested from the same farm that produced it, and often the best olive oil will burn the back of the throat a little bit if you take a sip … These are a few of the ways to tell. Oh … and be prepared to pay higher prices. Real olive oil is time consuming to produce and therefore will cost more