There are endless ways to die with this cookbook — and so much animal fat that I expected each recipe to come with a doctor’s warning. You don’t even have to be particularly accomplished to do it; all levels of difficulty are represented. Sure, I could have cured my own pork belly, but damn it, my “vacuum-pack machine” is at the cleaners. I could have also tried to make my own terrine, which would include me deboning and curing a duck. I wanted something chic and simple, so that when I made my big reveal at my dinner party, I could brush off the oohs and ahhs with an easy, “Oh, this is nothing,” and not be tempted to curl under the table to nap while everyone else ate.

So instead of haunting eBay for a vacuum-pack machine or risking life and limb to debone anything, I turned to the… More…