Slow Fires: Mastering New Ways to Braise, Roast, and Grill by Justin Smillie is one of those books that you look at, drool over the recipes, and set aside for when you have a day or two to set aside to cook. The book itself is well organized and includes pictures of every single recipe in the book.
The biggest caveat with this book is that it is definitely not for novice cooks. Many recipes include hard-to-find ingredients that most home cooks wouldn’t have access to (like octopus or rabbit) … and they require a lot of time to make. These recipes definitely aren’t for weekday cooking. I’m not a novice cook, but honestly, I would probably use this cookbook once a year, if that, for a very special occasion.
However, the book certainly lives up to its name. It provides different ideas for incorporating flavor into food through braising, roasting, and grilling.
I had a hard time deciding how to rate this book. On the one hand, it’s not a very practical book for most people and unless someone loved to cook and was an experienced cook, I wouldn’t recommend it. On the other hand, it’s a nice guide for cooks who want to do elevate their cooking and aren’t afraid to spend a lot of time hunting down ingredients and then spending hours cooking. Based purely on the book itself and what it advertises (it never claims to be a book for novices), I would give it 4 out of 5 stars, but again, only for the narrow niche of cooks mentioned earlier.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books for my unbiased review.