“All reet Kingy?’ says one beard.’Champion man,’ says the other and normally polite people that I know throw things at the TV screen in response. The Noocassell duo can certainly dramatically split opinions.

Personally I’ve always liked them. Yes the banter can get a bit much and much of it is toe-curlingly obviously set up, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them cook something I didn’t want to eat or talk to people whom I didn’t want to meet. 

They make a nice change from the pretty little middle-class girls the TV stations keep forcing on us; they don’t speak to camera through a permanent grin or live in elegant houses and apartments. I don’t really believe they ride everywhere on motorbikes of course, but I never thought the Two Fat Ladies, the last great cookery double act, went everywhere in their bike combo either.

The Hairys don’t try and flog us fad diets, although when one of them did go on a diet because he was quite clearly getting dangerously obese, he did it with grace and effectiveness and I think was more inspirational to men in a similar situation than any of the web based pseudo-scientists that keep popping up.

So here they are with a meat cookbook, because meat is what Northerners eat not the soppy foods we soft Southerners pretend to like. Kale? On ya bike, man. That’s not fair of course, but the lads do like meat and do say that’where they come from’ no meal is complete without it and this book is a complete guide to eating meat of all kinds and for all courses.

Starters could be a delicate frisee aux lardons,’ooh get you Kingy, speaking frog!’ or a roast beef and beetroot salad or even a rose veal tonnato. Or get a meaty soup or broth down your neck or a bacon and sweetcorn chowder or a beef pho, the lads also like spicy flavours.

Recipes come from all over the world, from Barnsley (pork chop) to China (pork stir fry), 120 recipes in all and not one I didn’t fancy. Roast haunch of venison with quince seems a little ambitious but pork cooked in milk, Italian-style, and steak and kidney pudding with smoked oysters sound right. There’s even a handy section on leftovers.

This chunky book is well worth a place on the kitchen shelf and it’s worth jettisoning a few of the other TV cooks overboard to make room for it. A treasure trove of excellent, beguiling, robust and remarkable recipes. Personally I never expected anything less. Howay the lads!

{ISBN: 0297867377}

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