Afield is part manifesto, part cookbook, and part coffee table book. And it is definitely not a book for people who want to believe that the meat they purchase comes - headless, legless - wrapped in cellophane at the grocery store and was never a living animal.
Broken down into ten chapters, Jesse guides the reader through prepping and cooking everything from snipes to wild boar and from crab to rabbit. Each section includes step-by-step images of how-tos – pluck doves, clean catfish, filet flounder, pick crabs, field dress large game, butcher a deer – and a bevy of easy-to-follow recipes.
Given that my circle of friends includes hunters and fishermen, I often get emails with photos of successful kills held aloft next to proud grins. And I relish getting deliveries of homemade sausages, cuts of wild boar and venison, whole crabs, and more. But I have never had to deal with an entire animal, except for seafoods. So with Afield on my desk, and this review to pen, I made a few calls to get my hands on some wild boar and some fresh crabs.
|Photo courtesy of Kevin Brookhouser|
|Photo courtesy of Bret Boatman|
The recipe was, as promised, a great way to stretch a few crabs into a filling dish with just a handful of other things. Jesse’s stories are written in a way that make you feel as if you have stepped into the scene. And his recipes, besides the fresh meat, utilize ingredients you have readily available in your pantry. Jody Horton’s accompanying photos are vivid; you feel as if you could reach right into the page and grab food from the plates.
Afield is an accessible, inspiring tome that helps you turn a carcass into a culinary masterpiece.