This is the story of a man, a cow, and a question: What am I eating? After realizing he knows more about the television on his wall than the food on his plate, award-winning TV producer and amateur chef Jared Stone buys 420 pounds of beef directly from a rancher and embarks on a hilarious and inspiring culinary adventure. With the help of an incredibly supportive wife and a cadre of highly amused friends, Jared offers a glimpse at one man's family as they try to learn about their food and ask themselves what's really for dinner. Year of the Cow follows the trials and tribulations of a home cook as he begins to form a deeper relationship with food and the environment. From meeting the rancher who raised his cow to learning how to successfully pack a freezer with cow parts, Stone gets to know his bovine and delves into our diets and eating habits, examining the ethnography of cattle, how previous generations ate, why environmentalists and real-food aficionados are mad for grass-fed beef, why certain cuts of beef tend to end up on our plates (while boldly experimenting with the ones that don't), and much more. Over the course of dozens of nose-to-tail meals, Jared cooks his way through his cow armed with a pioneering spirit and a good sense of humor. He becomes more mindful of his diet, makes changes to his lifestyle, and bravely confronts challenges he never expected - like how to dry beef jerky without attracting the neighborhood wildlife to the backyard and how to find deliciousness in the less-common cuts of meat like the tongue and heart - sharing a recipe at the end of each chapter. By examining the food that fuels his life and pondering why we eat the way we do, Jared and his family slowly discover how to live life more fully - and experience a world of culinary adventures along the way.
Easy to listen to, remarkable how the author interlinks themes as cattle raising, diet, family, anthropology, friendship, wife, and some humor on the same narrative. well done.
Part cook book, part memoir, and a little food history lesson, this book gets a little "preachy" in spots, but all around is an enjoyable story with some useful information should you ever decide to have your own Year of the Cow.
Pretty good book overall. I gave it three stars as I didn't realize how centered on cooking it was. Read the description again so I know it's not that I just missed it - a good third of the book is detailed descriptions of the guy cooking.
SoCal TV guy has a revelation about eating whole and natural; similar revelations as to the quality of family and parenting. Only thing he missed was that he was still driving a Prius in the California desert.
Jared Stone takes us through this amazing life journey of himself, his family and friends with mindful changes of their lifestyle to do justice for sacrifice made by the cow. It is well researched, beautifully written and narrated. I think Stone did an excellent job inspiring people to be healthy, adventurous, educated about the food they consume. This book definitely inspired me to take on the challenge of at least half of a cow for better healthier tomorrow. Thanks Jared!
Loved the recipes at the end of chapters for items he made and described within the chapter.
This book surprised me. It started out with buying grass fed beef but eventually evolved to how you live your life in almost every aspect. Jared Stone crafts a wonderful story that takes you on a journey that is rich and is very satisfying. I highly recommend this book!
Best new author since Bill Bryson. Fun, interesting, and personal. Jared Stone does for beef eating what Tom Robbins does for the 60's.