Cookbook Review: Slow Fires Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Slow Fires by chef Justin Smillie is definitely one of my favorite cookbooks published this year.  With cookbooks by chef, it can be a hit or miss but this one is a home run.  I have gone through this book cover to cover twice already and still enjoy reading it and learning from it.  Chef Smillie teaches you the fundamental techniques of braising, roasting, and grilling, but shows you how to break the rules to bring more flavors to your dishes.  The book is divided into four chapters, braising, roasting, grilling, and foundations and finishes with many delicious recipes and accompanied step by step pictures.  Some recipes are more complicated than other and can take two days to prepare but under his guidance, even the home cook can bring restaurant worthy dishes to the dinner table.  

With regard to the recipes, I tried the red wine-braised oxtails with marinated savoy cabbage and and peppercorn crusted short ribs.  Both dishes were so delicious and a big hit with the family.  With the short ribs, I learned a new technique of steaming the ribs first then searing them to a crisp and will apply this to other dishes.  I can’t wait to try the crisp pork belly braised in milk, stovetop cassoulet, black garlic rubbed hanger steak, real porchetta, zuppa di pesce and many more dishes.  The gorgeous photography by Ed Anderson makes the food beyond drool worthy.  Slow Fires is a masterpiece on braising, roasting, and grilling that will be treasured by chefs and home cooks alike for years to come.  

*I received this book to review complementary of the publisher

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