I was delighted by the new book by Molly Stevens called "All About Roasting".
I thought I knew all about roasting until I picked up this book. I have been cooking roast dinners for more years than I care to remember so my expectations of learning anything new were very low. And I have to admit I was somewhat prejudiced in my outlook, after all how can anyone from outside the UK, the country famous for its roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, tell us how to cook a roast. How wrong could I have been?
I started reading and I was gripped, as if I was reading some crime thriller. I just wanted to know more especially when I came across salting. I had never heard of anyone salting a joint of beef (nor steaks), let alone done it. Sunday could not come quickly enough, or should I say Friday, as I would need to start salting my beef 24 hours before cooking.
I was talking to one of the checkout operators in my local supermarket about salting a roasting joint and she said she could remember her mother doing that. So is it a cooking skill we have just forgotten or am I just someone who never learnt it? Be that as it may the book is truly fascinating.
Every kind of roast is covered from the traditional roast dinner through to roast vegetables and fruit, with a whole section on fish. There is even the recipe for British Roast Potatoes.
One thing that strikes you as soon as you pick the book up . . . it is heavy and you certainly need to rest it on a table. And it is not just heavy because it is a big book but because there are so many pages just packed with information. The trend these days is for books packed with photographs selling on the appeal of the photographs rather the content of the book. Not so here. Photographs are limited as the book stands on its own for the quality of writing and the sheer knowledge that has gone into its writing.
I read in an Amazon review that "This indeed would be a good cookbook and gift for beginning cooks . . ." and it would, but for me this has already proved a real gem. As an experienced cook it is teaching me things I did not know and also reminding me of things I had forgotten over time or through bad habits. I just can't wait to try more form the book.
A lot of hard work and time has gone into putting it all together. It is one of those books that should be on your kitchen bookshelf.
I have been allowed to publish three recipes on my site if you want to get a feel for the book. (Hope it's OK to say that.)