The Brisket Book: A Love Story with Recipes by Stephanie Pierson ( is a delightful little book full of neat recipes and anecdotes on all things brisket!  In the first cookbook I authored, Make it Easy in Your Kitchen” (1982), was a recipe entitled “Brisket Like My Mother Makes.”  I grew up without onion soup mixes and chili sauce.  My mother made brisket by sautéing onions until they were caramelized, browning the brisket, deglazing with red wine, and then cooking it for hours until tender.  Stephanie Pierson has now opened my culinary brain to new and wonderful ideas for cooking one of my favorite comfort meats. Be sure to check out the brisket burger from Top Chef winner, Richard Blais. The book is not only a collection of recipes, it is also a story of this wonderful cut of meat told with knowledge and humor.

I am from Polish ancestry on my father’s side so I was keenly interested in reading the new Rose Petal Jam: Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland by Beata Zatorska and Simon Target (   Part memoir and part travelogue with gorgeous photographs, the husband and wife authors explore this oft ignored region of cooking.  Pierogi (ravioli), poppy seed cake, beef goulash, roast duck with apples, and potato pancakes are all explored and served up beautifully.

March coldness makes you want to cook comfort food and Sunday Roasts: A Year’s Worth of Mouthwatering Roasts, from Old-Fashioned Pot Roasts to Glorious Turkeys, and Legs of Lamb by Betty Rosbottom ( is a great place to start.  With 80 weekend feast-style easy-to-prepare recipes, the book inspires cooks be more creative.  Racks of pork with apple chutney; lamb shanks with dates and olives; bistro chicken with garlic, onions, and herbs; and beef tenderloin with roasted shallots, bacon, and port all inspire cooks to make wonderful dishes for family or company.  I am making mint pesto for my rack of lamb this weekend!

Falling Off the Bone by Jean Anderson ( focuses on less expensive cuts of meat with tips on how to tenderize, and make these less expensive cuts more tasty.  The emphasis is on homey dishes here utilizing cuts such as beef oxtails, shanks and rumps; veal breast, round, and shoulder; lamb riblets, shanks, and neck; and pork ham, spareribs, and even pig’s feet.   Sweet-sour beef stew; slow cooker blanquette de veau; hassle –free oven stew of lamb with peppers and prosciutto; and juniper-scented pueblo lamb and bell peppers are just a few outstanding ideas in this inventive book perfect for recession times.


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