River Cottage Meat Book

by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

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Original Publisher
Hodder & Stoughton
Date of publication

Recommended by

Louise Gray

Environmental journalist

I could not have spent two years only eating animals I killed myself without this book. I often turned to its pages to work out how to cut up and cook a particular animal. It was invaluable in cooking offal and more unusual cuts. It was also a bit of a psychological crutch. I had moments of real doubt about writing The Ethical Carnivore. The fact that one of my heroes and someone who has achieved so much had also taken part in meat production first-hand gave me great confidence – though I came to my own conclusions on my own terms.

Sally Vincent

Blogger at Raining Sideways

A gift from a friend, this book has become a textbook for me. Living in South Devon on a small farm over the years we have been producing not only our own fruit and vegetables but also our own meat: turkeys , free range chickens, Whiteface Dartmoor lamb and rare breed pork. Here is a book that talks about the provenance of food, of the livestock, the food producers as well as a wealth of in depth cookery information and terrific recipes.

Annie Bell

Food writer

Without a doubt the greatest book written on the subject. I love the exploratory nature of this book, it is full of wanderings down hidden lanes and avenues. If ever I buy a cut that I am unsure about how to prepare, this is where I head, and come out wiser having dipped between the covers.

Tom Herbert

Innovations Director, Hobbs House Bakery

I’ve loved this book to bits, quite literally. The way Hugh introduces meat, raised the bar for me on what a cook book can do in a delicious and inspiring way. I met HF-W a few years later and he said that my well thumbed, kitchen stained book was the most satisfying thing as he signed it.

Hattie Ellis

Food writer

Britain has outstanding livestock farmers and a strong and skilful tradition of meat production and cooking. This groundbreaking book goes into the detail of real meat without holding back. Brave, bold and tasty, this book was a gamechanger in how we see farm animals as well as meat.

Marisa Leaf

Founder and co-CEO of Hubbub

Lots of well-written, easy to follow, delicious recipes and great accompanying material on everything from provenance and seasonality to cooking times. Hugh's passage on the ethics of eating veal is especially eye opening.

Francis Percival

Food Editor, The World of Fine Wine and co-founder and convenor of the London Gastronomy Seminars

An eminently sensible guide to meat cookery that also presents the philosophical and environmental argument for eating meat.

Simon Majumdar

Food writer, author and broadcaster

Without doubt my most regularly fingered cookbook. The writing is crisp and clear and the recipes are faultless.

Chris J L Young


I’m not sure if there’s anything more a home cook really needs to know about meat.

Jeremy Pang

Founder & Head Chef of School of Wok

The detail that Hugh goes into is incredibly interesting for any true meat eater!

Sara Jenkins

chef/owner Porsena & Porchetta

Everything you need to know to cook meat well and appreciate how its raised.

Stéphane Reynaud

Owner of Villa 9 Trois in Montreuil

Ed Mottershaw

Head Chef, The Eagle Farringdon

Simon Hurley

Artisan olive producer

Ben Norum

Food and drink writer

Prue Leith

Founder of Leiths Group, food writer and author

Hannah Rhodes

Founder of Hiver Beers

Sandy Jarvis

Head Chef & partner at The Culpeper

Michael Anthony

Executive Chef/Partner

John Quilter

Broadcaster and chef

Mark Diacono

Food Writer

Tonia George

Food writer

Lynne Curry

Food writer

Tristram Stuart

Food waste activist

Molly Stevens

Cookbook author

Sam Stern

Food writer

Justin Gellatly

Co founder and Master Baker at Bread Ahead

Tim Hayward

Writer and broadcaster

Bruce Palling