Jane Grigson's is an essential reference if you want to learn about and make pates, terrines, rillettes, confits, galantines, and many other French delights, in addition to curing hams and making your own sausages.

It's not a beautiful book: illustrations are limited and purely informational, the layout and type have the straightforward, no-nonsense nature of an old textbook. I have the 1969 edition, and the one pictured and linked above is a 2008 re-release of the original text and art, so it may have a more modern layout but I think there is no escaping the copious copy - Ms Grigson provides a lot of useful and interesting information to accompany the recipes.

I have made many things from this book, but very often they are not the sort of things I would serve to non-foodie family and friends. When they ask what it is, well, as they say it is what it is. 

My most recent successes from this book were rillettes and confit d'oie, which I served to my cholesterol-tolerant friends at the Old Colony Club. The club had recently enjoyed a Colonial Tavern Dinner that featured three roast geese, stewed pumpkin, and similar fare. I was the lucky inheritor of a great quantity of goose fat and the three carcasses. What does one do with three goose carcasses? With Jane Grigson's Charcuterie, the question is not a difficult one.

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