by Stephanie Pierson

Andrew McMeel Publishing Company, $29.99, 208 pages

Here is a fascinating, unusual book that is much more than a cookbook. If you are vegetarian or vegan, forget about The Brisket Book. Pure, unadulterated, meat-rich recipes are the basis of this book (except for one vegetarian recipe). But it is also filled with interesting reading, photos, sketches and interviews. Stephanie Pierson’s love affair with brisket will rub off on you, and it is not likely you can resist trying at least a few of her collected brisket recipes. Brisket is a tough and most flavorful part of the beef, and if you’re into quick-fix meals, this book is not for you. All three brisket cooking methods—braising, barbecuing and brining to be corned beef—are slow until the fork-tender stage.

You can choose from 28 selected brisket recipes and many other recipes that complement brisket. Pierson collected and tested these recipes from professionals and home cooks, re-written them to be uniform and cook-friendly. They are easy to follow and laid out carefully for the cook’s convenience. The many stories related to brisket (a full 80 pages worth) are very well written and a pleasure to read. The index is good and well cross referenced.

Reviewed by George Erdosh,