Knife has been on my wish list for a while, hanging around, but never quite bought until recently, John Tesar is a well regarded chef, and working with Jordan Mackay who also co-authored the Franklin BBQ book, which was pretty awesome. John is hugely regarded by many I respect, so I had high hopes for the book.
I think the thing that has surprised me the most is how little wood fired cooking is in the book, there’s some cracking steakhouse recipes in there, but I’d hoped for more ideas on taking steaks to a new level. It’s probably personal preference how people like their steak cooked, and I’d hoped there’d be some interesting techniques here, as per Adam Perry Lang, but John seems overly dismissive of cooking with fire for a steak, instead opting for pan searing and basting in the typical chef’s manner. Which no doubt is a fine way of cooking a steak, other techniques just get a paragraph, steak broiler, sous-vide, wood grill and big green egg.
The latter two techniques almost seem an afterthought. The actual steak cooking section is very narrow.
There are some great sauces and compound butters, and a good selecttion of sides.
I got my hopes up with the slow cooked beef chapter, but was dashed again as there were only 2 recipes in it, sous vide short rib, and meatballs.
The burger chapter is probably my favourite, with a cracking range of tasty burgers, and lots of ideas here.
Knife didn’t blow me away, especially in terms of inspiration and new techniques, but it’s still a solid recipe book for someone looking to replicate some of the classic steakhouse recipes out there. I just hoped there’d be a little more fire….
Available on Amazon here