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Cookbook Watch

November 04, 1998|LAURIE OCHOA

Reliable neighborhood butchers are a rare find, but never have they been more needed. Changes in the way Americans eat meat and and changes in meat itself (ever leaner) mean that many of the old rules (and old cookbooks) for meat don't apply anymore. A few recent cookbooks have addressed this new meat world order, but Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly have written what is to this point the definitive book on the subject, "The Complete Meat Cookbook" (Houghton Mifflin; $35).

The authors of "Hot Links & Country Flavors" and "Real Beer and Good Eats" are unapologetic meat lovers. Like butchers of the not-so-distant past, they guide the reader to what they call "overlooked but delicious cuts"; they describe how to cook unfamiliar cuts and what to look for when buying beef, pork, lamb and veal; they debunk several meat cookery myths, and they give a lot of opinionated advice. If we're lucky, they'll do the same for poultry in their next book.

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