Review: Preston and Sheil’s ‘Cooking With Fat’

cooking with fat

Craig Preston and Pat Sheil’s Cooking with Fat (Sydney: Bantam Books, 1997) is a hilarious read. You have to wonder if they were joking or not. It really is a book about fat and contains a lot of very fatty and meaty recipes that will have you either cringing or licking your lips with glee.

The blurb at the back of the book reads:

Flying in the face of culinary correctness, the aggressive marketing of ‘lite’ foods and an oppressive and unreasonable health ethic, Cooking with Fat is an outrageous defence of a potentially lethal diet. The authors make no bones about the fact that the food and the lifestyle they recommend will sicken some readers. Gross, greasy yet gorgeous, Cooking with Fat is a succulent celebration of the luxurious life. It’s time – not only to live off the fat of the land, but to shamelessly wallow in it. Sit back, tuck in and relax. Bugger it, be happy – get fat!

The critics have said:

The Das Kapital of the corpulent, the Mein Kampf of the carpacious, the J’accuse of the gigantic. – Phillip Adams

A genuine heavyweight among culinary texts … a heady, heavy casserole of a book. – Ignatius Jones

The book is filled with an eclectic range of tips, quotes and facts on all things lardy, as well as a wealth of esoteric recipes for things camels, raccoons, and everyone’s favourite: spotted dick. If you can find a copy of this book definitely get it. No collection of cookbooks is complete without it! I have had it myself for ten years, and I still fall over in hysterics every time I open it.

Topics covered in the cookbook include:

  • What is fat?
  • The history of fat
  • Fat wrangling and equipment
  • Euro fats
  • Oil chic
  • Latin fats
  • What a friend we have in greases
  • Yes Sir, Arab Fat!
  • Fatten the slaying calf
  • Take one bucket of schmaltz…
  • Fat morals and the international conspiracy
  • American grafatty
  • Menage a fromage
  • Pecking duck, the pinguid prince of the orient
  • Aussie fats
  • A glossary of fats
  • Index of fatty recipes
  • And much, much more.

And some of the recipes included are:

  • Larded fillet of beef
  • Jellied moose nose
  • Head cheese
  • Fried venison heart
  • Peking duck
  • Bullocks heart
  • Stewed tripe
  • Boiled cow heel
  • Larded guinea fowl
  • Greek grease salad
  • Greaser salad
  • Cream of lard soup with fried garlic croutons
  • Fat fingers
  • Chocolate cracklings
  • Moroccan pigeon pie
  • Stuffed camel
  • Barbequed loin of tapir
  • Deep-fried anaconda fillets
  • Roast suckling pig stuffed with its own guts
  • Stuffed parrot
  • Chilean conger eel casserole
  • Famously fatty fondue
  • Goose with apple stuffing
  • Roasted goose liver slices
  • Lamb with three fats (trois gras)
  • Spotted dick
  • Haggis
  • Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding
  • Toad in the hole
  • Black pudding
  • And more!
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