For the dead of winter, “The Fat Kitchen” could not be more timely. It’s a guide to preparing and using animal fats, indulgently or sparingly, in all sorts of delectable ways. Not just any animal fats, though. The author, a food writer who lives in Vermont, insists on fats from pasture-raised creatures, preferably rendered at home. No industrial lard in her fridge. In a book as dense as a doctoral dissertation, she covers chemistry, health, commercialization, safety, traditions and cooking. She deals with butter only briefly because it’s so familiar. Tempting recipes include onion confit, rich chicken paprikash and roasted cabbage. Cakes and especially pastries made with lard and duck fat may open new horizons.

“The Fat Kitchen: How to Render, Cure & Cook With Lard, Tallow & Poultry Fat” by Andrea Chesman (Storey Publishing, $24.95 paperback).

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