If you fantasise over the perfect pork pie with a proper jelly layer and cut into each deli-bought version only to be disappointed, here is the answer. Independent, beautifully illustrated and photographed, Food DIY: How to Make Your Own Everything: Sausages to Smoked Salmon, Sourdough to Sloe Gin, Bacon to Buns by Tim Hayward is a great book for any serious food enthusiast.

The more we learn about factory farms, antibiotic and hormone tainted meat, and unscrupulous processes who put any junk into their processed meats, the more consumers are starting to reject shop-bought speciality items, and learning to make it themselves. The DIY food movement is certainly marching forward.

Not only does Food DIY give you some great food recipes, it is full of ideas, practical tips and background information on food. There are practical ideas about building your very own smokehouse, from a temporary cardboard construction to an elaborate brick structure; how to make your very own 5-spice powder; and even how to make biltong. On the recipe side, the book is divided up into  uniquely stimulating chapters salting, pickling, drying, smoking, baking and fermentation, pastries, preserving, outdoor cooking, butchery, and cheesemaking. In the salting chapter he looks at different ways of curing meat, including how to make an easy pastrami (see our recipe of the week). Our favourite chapter is the one on pastry, with its fabulous game pie, pork pie, and beef and pickled walnut pudding.

Tim Hayward is a food writer and broadcaster.  The publications he contributes to include the British financial Times, the Guardian food blog, and Radio 4 Food Programmes. He is also the publisher and editor of Fire & Knives, a quarterly magazine of new food writing. Apart from his journalistic work, he is the proprietor of the Fitzbillies bakery and restaurant in Cambridge. Food DIY is his first book.

Interested in buying this book? Visit – Red Pepper Books– The South African online bookshop, is able to offer you great prices on any book you are looking for, and they deliver to your door. Pay only R395 for this book (Recommended Retail Price = R420)  Red Pepper Books is offering Wickedfood Cooking School an EXTRA 10% off this book. Simply type in the promotional code WICKEDFOOD on the shipping page of the checkout process and your purchase will be reduced by a further 10%