Anchor-selection and anchor based recovery methods:
There are two methods of recovery that involve the use of an anchor - winching and manual winching via a come-along or hi lift. In all of these methods, precaution for cable snapping and/or anchor failure should be taken. Use a heavy jacket or blanket to dampen the cable should it snap. Never put a warm, fleshy part of your body near a cable, anchor point, or between the vehicles more than necessary. Use every foot of your winch controller's cord to get yourself away from the danger area.
Anchors come in many forms - other vehicles, trees, rocks, man-made objects, and purpose built anchors (such as the pull-pal).
When using another vehicle, ensure that you're using a quality recovery point(s). When using natural or man made objects, you need to take in to consideration what will happen if the anchor fails. If you snap a telephone pole or bring down a live power line, you're going to be in a world of crap...
You can reduce the chances of this happening by having equalized and redundant anchors. This is a principle best explained by rock climbers. Here's a link to a pretty clear explanation of how to build an equalized and redundant anchor. http://www.uoregon.edu/~opp/climbing...s/anchors.html
Using a snatch block will reduce the amount of strain on your winch and allow you to pull out heavier loads.
A come-along can often be helpful, even if you have a winch, to pull from directions that your winch cannot. Come-alongs can be used to stabilize an off camber vehicle or move a vehicle laterally.
A hi-lift winch can also be used as a come along. This article explains it well http://www.offroadadventures.com/articles/view/id/347