Sunday, September 5, 2010

Cookbook Library: James Beard's American Cookery

James Beard's American Cookery is my go to cookbook for just about everything.  Well, that's probably a toss up with The Joy of Cooking.  But I usually go to JBAC first and turn to TJOC if Beard doesn't have the recipe or I want a simplified version.

My husband brought this cookbook into our home (ours has a different cover). I don't know how I got along without it. It is now an essential part of my cookbook library.

Today, I used his recipe for roasting a pork shoulder roast. I usually just stick one in a very low oven (225) in a covered casserole and cook it for hours, until the meat falls apart. That's a great way to go to get a huge pile of shredded pork for soup, chile, tacos, b-b-c pork sandwiches, whatever.

But I wanted to try something new. Beard says to cook the shoulder (or "picnic" roast) the same way he suggests for a leg of pork roast, which is to rub it with salt, pepper, sage, and garlic; put it in an uncovered roasting pan, fat side up; cook it at 300 for 25 minutes per pound, or until 160 degrees inside, without basting; turn up the temperature to 400 for the last 20 or 30 minutes, basting often, to crisp up the fat; then let it set a while. It is messy to carve because of the bone, but tasty.

We'll see. It's in the oven now. It smells very good. It will make a nice dinner tonight and maybe we will make sandwiches tomorrow for a Labor Day picnic.


  1. One of my first cookbooks was by James Beard. I not only found it useful - but immensely interesting!

    I would love for you to say Happy Birthday to my daughter who just started a blog - today on her birthday...
    Outpourings Of A Soul.

    I hope you will have time to visit one or both of my blogs: LibrarysCat and Never Forget !!

    Have a great weekend!

  2. I am trying to think if I have a go to cook book..

    But I am distracted by the idea of that lovely roasting pork...yum..

  3. I'm a big fan of James Beard, too. I have a couple of his books, including this one. I will definitely be looking up this recipe.

    And, BTW, can I come to your house tomorrow??

  4. I've never looked at a James Beard cookbook but now I will! And I do my pork shoulder in the slow cooker with some sea salt and liquid smoke for about 20 hours. It simply falls apart and is delicious! I should try some different herbs though.

  5. I bet that is a great cookbook. I hope your pork roast turned out great - I usually just throw mine in the crock pot.

  6. Library Cat -- I now have several JB cookbooks and like them all. The fish one is indispensable.

    I'll go visit your daughter's new blog.

    Caite -- Mmmmmmm . . . pork roast. It was distracting. And delicious.

    Beth -- Ha! I have enough pork roast left over to make about 50 sandwiches, so yes, come on over! I am going to make Vietnamese sandwiches, if I can find fresh jalapenos on Labor Day.

    Kristen -- Slow and low is the way to go with the pork roast (I'm a poet now). But I've never tried liquid smoke. Great idea. I've done that with a brisket, but not pork. I'll try it.

    Bermuda -- I often put mine in the CP too. But this made the top crunchy and the meat didn't get quite so soft. Still very tender, but not mushy. It was amazing. I may be a convert.

  7. Can you believe it? Beth Fish and I both won copies of this cookbook from a BBAW giveaway. What fantastic timing. :) I can't wait to get it!

  8. Kristen -- How cool! It's a great cookbook. You will love it. Especially with the Pacific NW angle.


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