Book & DVD Reviews

Advanced Wild Game Processing, Volume 4, Jerky Produced by Brad…

jerky.gifAdvanced Wild Game Processing, Volume 4, Jerky
Produced by Brad Lockwood, State and National Award-Winning Meat Processor

DVD, 115 minutes, $19.95
Outdoor Edge Cutlery Corp.
4699 Nautilus Ct. South #503, Dept. TK
Boulder, CO 80301; 800-447-3343
www.outdooredge.com

Volume 4, Jerky is the latest in Outdoor Edge’s series of game field dressing and processing DVDs for the hunter. While a couple of the earlier DVDs covered the subject in detail, I would have to say this one is my favorite for the basics of boning a deer out. Once boned you can either process the meat into whatever cuts you prefer or continue with the subject of Volume 4, making jerky.

The DVD is divided into sections covering the aforementioned boning process, cutting and slicing the meat into the most efficient portions, seasoning and marinating, and smoking the final product. Given I have made jerky out of both deer and beef off and on for years, I found some of the differences in their methods interesting. First, rather than use just the hindquarters, they processed a wide variety of cuts off the deer. To make this work, the DVD turns cuts into slices, “nuggets,” and a ground meat jerky product. I have also never smoked my jerky, but rather use a food dehydrator. Smoking will obviously add a completely different flavor to the finished product. The DVD also mentions smoking African-style “biltong.” I suppose there is more than one way to make biltong, but the guys I watched in South Africa simply dried unseasoned raw meat strips in the sun. Let’s just say it was a bit gamier than what most Americans are probably used to.
I think this DVD is worth the price for the boning instruction alone. Making jerky out of the cuts is just a bonus.

review792.gifSilent Killing—Nazi Counters to Fairbairn-Sykes Techniques:
An Annotated English Translation of the Classic German World War II Manual

Soft Cover, 53 pages, $19.95
Paladin Press
Gunbarrel Tech Center
7077 Winchester Circle, Dept. TK
Boulder, CO 80306; 800-392-2400
www.paladin-press.com

There is a modern revisionist history of the British commando knife that states the weapon was actually created primarily as a confidence and morale builder. They offer the opinion that the British military never really expected their troops to use it in combat! Well, if this book is any indication, no one told the Germans that. They seem to have had a very real fear of people coming at them out of the dark with knives in their hands.

The original version was published in 1942 by the German command in occupied Norway. Paladin’s reprint offers both the German photos and text along with an English translation on the facing page. Frankly, the German counters for these knife attacks are a little simplistic. They all tend to involve blocking the knife with your hands and kicking the other guy someplace. But then most military hand-to-hand manuals are created around the need to teach a large number of people the basics in as little time as possible.

While you may not learn anything new in the way of counter-knife combat, the book is a very interesting piece of WW-II history that every collector of commando knives should add to their library.

edgekitchen.gifAn Edge in the KitchenThe Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives,
How to Buy Them, Keep Them Razor Sharp, and Use Them Like a Pro
By Chad Ward

Hardcover, 230 pages, $34.95
HarperCollins Publishers
10 East 53rd St, Dept. TK
NY, NY 1022; 212-207-7000
www.harpercollins.com

After being ignored for years, there have been at least five books on kitchen cutlery published in the last few months. Where Chad Ward’s new book, An Edge in the Kitchen, differs from earlier works is that it tends to focus on the knives rather than cutting skills. While Ward doesn’t ignore knife skills completely, he is more interested in selecting the right model and keeping it razor sharp.

Ward has divided kitchen cutlery into three primary groups, the “starter” selection in the $25 to $100 range, the “budget gourmet” in the $100 to $200 range, and the “big upgrade” where the sky is the limit. Like most modern kitchen cutlery buffs, he prefers the better grades of Japanese cutlery over the traditional German and French products. I totally agree with him when he states it is usually a mistake to buy a complete cutlery set, as there will always be several knives in the collection you never use at all. It is much better to buy one knife at a time to fill particular needs.

Where I tend to disagree with Ward and most of the other recent book authors is in their insistence on promoting a bare minimum of cutlery battery of two or three knives. I fully understand that more knives won’t replace the skill to use those you have, but there are many specialized styles that will make specific tasks much easier than a general-purpose tool.

The sharpening section is excellent but probably requires a little more time and effort than the average home cook is interested in spending on the chore. I’m glad to see Ward isn’t one of those web snobs that rejects the ChefsChoice electric sharpener, as I have long considered it ideal for the cook with no interest in learning how to hand sharpen.
Best book yet on this long neglected subject.

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