Though the title of the book is Praise the Pig, page 34 revealed that bacon blogger turned cookbook author Jennifer Pearsall isn’t a fan of the whole animal. While loin, shoulder, ham, bacon, and sausage are all well covered, you’ll only find a couple hint of rib recipes. As Pearsall has little praise for ribs, they are largely omitted.
You’ll also not find a delving into charcuterie or instructions for making bacon, sausage, or ham from the ground up. While Pearsall understandably outlined her reasoning for skipping instructions on the likes of head cheese or tripe, I really think that paving an avenue for readers to explore their own bacon, sausage, ham (not to mention ribs) should have been included.
Pearsall does offer advice on working with a butcher, navigating cooking temperatures, and considering flavoring and cooking methods for shoulder and bacon, two elements of the pig that warrant quite a bit of real estate in the recipe section of the book.
While the exterior of the book (don’t judge) is inviting, the photographs on the inside are dark and lackluster. I feel that the publisher could have asked for or provided more visually (and should have steered Pearsall away from citing Wikipedia as a source when discussing Trichinella in the introduction). Surely there’s a stronger source out there worth mentioning.
If you’re a pig lover looking to elevate your porcine mastery to a higher level, this might not be the book for you, but if you or someone you know is looking to acquire some basic pork recipes, Praise the Pig might be a worthy investment.
FTC disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher.