After teasing the cover with Food & Wine back in April, Angie Mar has finally released her debut cookbook, Butcher + Beast: Mastering the Art of Meat—but if you ask her, it’s not just a cookbook. Sure, the pages are filled with indulgent, luxuriant recipes featuring “every type of meat imaginable,” from Muscadet Vine-Smoked Rabbit to what she refers to as “the Birkin bag of burgers.” But the book, which was co-written by Jamie Feldmar, also tells a story about the journey Mar and her team have taken to bring her critically acclaimed New York restaurant, the Beatrice Inn, to where it is today. She wanted Butcher + Beast to be unapologetic and honest—a chance for readers to see the restaurant through her eyes.
“I’ve written this book to share my real ideas, however mad they seem: It’s the recipes that define this restaurant, the dry-aging techniques that polarized both national press and diners, and the stories we acquired along the way,” Mar wrote in the introduction. “At the end of the day, I want this book to bring you memories and experiences, because so many of my memories and experiences are bound up here, too.”
Indeed, Butcher + Beast isn’t just recipes, although there are plenty—around 80 total, organized by season. But among the Wild Boar Pozole Verde and Lavender-Aged Beef, you’ll also find the pages peppered with personal essays, and dreamy, hazy polaroid photos to match. The first dish in the book, Milk-Braised Pork Shoulder with Jasmine Rice Soubise, Maitake Mushrooms, and Sage, is one that Mar says feels like home, a meal she practiced making over and over again when she was growing up. Accordingly, the next pages are dedicated to “The Captain’s Word Is Law,” an essay where Mar writes about the influence of her late father. Turn forward to Summer, where Mar includes an ode to her work family in between Lamb Rossini and Roast Leg of Mutton; come Autumn, we find her explaining her creative process and why she rarely goes out to eat, ensuring the ideas she puts forth at Beatrice Inn are always fresh and not influenced by others.
There are pages dedicated to cocktails, too, like the rhubarb-infused “Pink Floyd” on page 162 and “Big Poppa” on 255, a Beatrice Inn signature with a truffle-infused gin base and edible gold dust. And dessert makes an appearance in Chèvre Cheesecake and Cherry Clafoutis with Honeyed Whipped Cream. As you reach the close of the book, Mar pivots to “The Larder,” an encyclopedia of butters, honeys, stocks, and other recipes that form “the backbone of her cooking,” giving you the foundation to bring a piece of Beatrice Inn into your own home.
You can find Butcher + Beast now on Amazon, in Barnes & Noble, and other retailers. But for fans based in New York, there’s another way to celebrate the new book—a special event we’re hosting at Beatrice Inn on October 23, starting at 6:30 p.m.. Our Editor-in-Chief Hunter Lewis will be there, in addition to Mar herself, Jacques Pépin, and Pat LaFrieda. Tickets (available here) are $350, and include a five-course dinner, wine pairings, a copy of Butcher + Beast, and a copy of the Food & Wine November issue, which features a story about Mar and Pat LaFrieda duck hunting in Arkansas. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Jacques Pépin Foundation. There are still a few spots left—we hope to see you there. You can also hear from Mar on our Communal Table podcast.
Butcher and Beast: Mastering the Art of Meat, $40 at amazon.com