Dec 192015


Slow Fires: Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill by Justin Smillie with Kitty Greenwald

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Clarkson Potter (November 3, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0804186235
ISBN-13: 978-0804186230

A diligent crisping, a murmuring simmer, a slow roast, a ripping hot sear: mastery of the subtleties of heat and time is Justin Smillie’s hallmark. In this book, the celebrated chef of Upland explores the fundamental techniques of braising, roasting, and grilling–and shows you how to see them in new ways, to learn the rules to break them.

The chapters begin with thorough lessons on these basic methods. From there, the recipes evolve to feature variations on the techniques, altering ratios of moisture, intensities of heat, reversing expected processes. Sometimes the techniques are surprising, like braising chicken leggs in the juices created by overcrowding a pan of peppers. And sometimes the results are unbelievable, like tender peppercorn-crusted short ribs, made by first steaming the ribs before searing them to a spicy crisp.

This is a book about delighting in the details, about cooking by hand, about learning to see and smell and touch like a modern master. It’s a book you will keep, read, learn, and cook from for years to come.

This book is big and heavy, and the photos are beautiful. It’s all about Mastering New Ways To Braise, Roast, And Grill. There’s info on Foundations and Finishes. How to choose the right pot etc. The recipes are a bit lot different than what I cook, but I do want to give some of them a try. Some take more than one day, and some of the ingredients aren’t ones I’ve ever eaten before, like quail and rabbit legs. The name of some of the recipes are a bit misleading if you don’t read the recipe. Shrimp and Prosciutto Tea sounds like a tea right? I wouldn’t want to drink tea that had shrimp and prosciutto in it. But it’s actually a braising liquid. The author explains that it’s called a tea because it’s more of an infusion than a stock. Interesting!

I love nectarines. They’ve always been my favorite fruit. There’s a recipe in this book for Pickled Nectarines! What? I have to try it to see how they taste pickled. There’s a recipe for Corn Milk. Never heard of that before, but it’s vegan. My son, his wife and kids are vegan. Wonder if they want to try this?

I love this book and think I’ll keep it handy so I can try recipes from it when I feel a bit adventurous in the kitchen. I’ll start out easy, and maybe try Braised Cranbery Beans. I’ve seen these beans in the store for years but never tried them. If you love to cook or want a different kind of cookbook with different recipes, try this.

Here is a list of random recipes in the book to give you an idea of what it’s about.
Lamb Stewed With Almonds And Tunisian Spices
Summer Clams In Corn Milk With Fresh Corn Relish
Olive Oil Cured Cod And Summer Tomato Panade
Chanterelle And Pea Conserva
Perfect Braised Chickpeas
Veal Meatballs With Gingered Buttermilk And Corn Two Ways
Grilled Lobster With Spiced Fried Rice

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review

Weekend Cooking is hosted @ Beth Fish Reads

 Posted by at 11:45 AM

  8 Responses to “Slow Fires: Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill
by Justin Smillie, with Kitty Greenwald”

  1. This does sound interesting. My uncle always steamed ribs before he put them on the grill, so I’m used that technique. I’ll have to see if my library has this.

  2. I don’t foresee myself cooking with quail or rabbit legs any time soon, but I would like to look through this book. I’m going to check my library, too!

  3. Worth a look for the interesting sounding recipes alone. Love the focus on technique and learning the finer details.

  4. I hope the library has this one. Love me a slow cook. Cheers from Carole’s Chatter!

  5. Hi Vicki,

    I must admit that this book probably wouldn’t make its way onto my shelves. Cooking isn’t my favourite pastime, in fact it is more of a chore, so I tend to stick to one-pot stir fry’s or risotto’s and salmon and chicken dishes which are foil wrapped and oven baked.

    I have eaten rabbit on occasion, however I was finally put off when a very expensive restaurant served it up full of buck shot, which wasn’t very pleasant. I also enjoyed quail, although there is very little meat left by the time they are cooked.

    The lamb stew sounds delicious 🙂


  6. This cookbook sounds quite eclectic! Now you have me wondering about corn milk. I hope you’re having a good weekend, Vicki.

  7. I saw the one and now I need to request it. Some dishes are unusal but I like to try new things. Great review!

  8. I like technique cookbooks, especially if I can get myself to really dig into them — like taking a class!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.