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Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes and Recollections from the Pitmasters, Revised & Updated with 32 New Recipes! Paperback – April 19, 2016
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
Not every cookbook would include a recipe that begins, Dig a pit 3-feet-deep, 4-feet-wide, and 40-feet-long. But this is Texas and, given 300 pounds of brisket, there is no more invigorating an experience than this kind of open pit barbecuing as championed by Walsh in his collection of barbecue memoirs, trivia and history. A newspaperman at heart, Walsh interviews the top pit bosses across the state and shares their secrets: Harley Goerlitz instructs beginners on a simple Pork Shoulder while Bubba Hodges offers Egypt Brisket with a mop sauce of vinegar, ranch dressing and Lone Star beer. For the politically astute, there are Barbecue Sauce offerings from both Lady Bird Johnson and Barbara Bush, not to mention Senator Lloyd Bentsen Highway Rice Salad, a democratic blend of Texmati rice, chopped vegetables, yogurt, pecans and cilantro. Most interesting is the exploration of cultural influences across the prairie, including a surprising look at the German and Czech political radicals who landed in Texas in the mid-1800s, and the smoked meats they brought with them. For those who prefer motoring to grilling, Walsh includes a fine list of barbecue joints all along the Barbecue Belt, as well as different meat markets and a calendar of some of the major cook-offs held throughout the state.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"In 2002, Robb Walsh's Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook hit the sweet spot for lovers of smoked meat. The book was part travelogue, part instruction manual, with a side of history thrown in. Texans hit the road, book in hand, searching out the pitmasters profiled in its pages. Then they went home and attempted to master the smoke ring. Now Walsh is back with a new edition (Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook, updated edition, by Robb Walsh, Chronicle Books, $22.95), promising updates and 32 new recipes. If your old copy is worn, tattered and splashed, it's time to trade up. If you are late to the barbecue and don't know the likes of Bryan Bracewell, Vencil Mares and Lorenzo Vences, consider it an investment in your education." -Cathy Barber, Dallas Morning News
"The original edition was valuable and groundbreaking. This updated version is even better." -Jim Shahin, Washington Post
"My original copy of Legends of Texas Barbecue has been with me since the beginning. It's badly worn with dog-eared pages and plenty of grease and BBQ sauce stains. A lot has changed since those days, and Robb Walsh has been there to help shape and document the evolution of Texas barbecue. This new edition is a must-have." -Aaron Franklin
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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I know how to make a wicked set of ribs. My brisket is pretty fair. And pork is hard to mess up unless you dry it out or burn it. But I am always looking for inspiration, and that is an area where this book excels.
While this book is a very good recipe book, it is also much more. It is a history of Texas BBQ. The pictures are awesome and so are the stories at the start of every chapter. The sidebars on many pages give insight, wisdom, and just some cool stories about BBQ. You almost feel like you are sitting down listening to these BBQ legends as they share their secrets of cooking great BBQ.
Now most people familiar with BBQ know that you cook it "low and slow", using temps in the 200 to 250 degree range and you do that cooking using indirect heat. It would seem that is not always the case for good BBQ. Many of the pictures show pits dug in the ground and they are cooking over direct heat. They tell of cooking beef shoulder clods at 500 degrees for 4 hours. What? Too hot? Too fast? I guess not.
There are some pages in the book that discuss the important topic of "sauce, or no sauce"? Well I love sauce, but I have also eaten a lot of really good BBQ that did not have a drop of sauce. Then there are the dry rubs to add flavor. Sometimes simple, sometimes complicated, usually a secret recipe, and they all taste great. Some of these legends from the book only use a little salt and pepper to season the meat. And it still tastes good!
The one thing I am taking away from this book is there are many ways to cook good BBQ. And they all turn out some great BBQ.
I've lived in Texas all my life except for a few years away in college but have only recently been introduced to the fabulous smoked meats of the legendary Central Texas meat markets. That experience and Walsh's articles have turned me into a barbecue fanatic and that's why I bought the book. If nothing else, reading the book -- and I found it hard to tear myself away from it, finishing it in one night -- has speeded up my timetable for acquiring a serious smoker for my patio.
I noted a few factual errors, one so glaring it raises questions about the reliability of other facts in the book. Walsh makes reference to Texas entering the Union as a slave state "in the 1850s." Texas, of course, entered the Union in 1845.
There were a few typos also but my main disappointment with the book is that it is less complete than I would have liked. I would have enjoyed even more history and more recipes and more interviews with pitmasters. The book reminds me more of those 'cookbooks' which are published just to complement TV series, eclectic samplers of a cuisine or chef's style as much intended for the coffee table as the kitchen. (Come to think of it, a TV series based on this book would make fascinating viewing).
For those whose eyes glaze over at any mention of Texas, I offer this line from the Introduction: "This book wasn't written to claim some kind of barbecue supremacy for Texas." Arguments over whose barbecue is best, who legitimately can use the word, etc., are juvenile and a waste of time. There's too much good barbecue out there to enjoy, from the Carolinas to California, to waste time arguing.
I give this book a very good rating, 4 stars. Whether you live in Texas, plan to visit, or are just interested in the history, techniques and recipes, it's a good book to have around. I'd welcome more books like this offereing the same informative look at other barbecue styles from coast to coast.
But, back to barbeque. This book has it all. The photographs are quite funny (mmmm... big hair). The sidebars tell great stories. And the recipes are generally simple enough that you can handle them (although when the recipe starts out saying "go buy a cow's head", you know you're in for an adventure). You may find yourself referring to a map to figure out where all these obscure towns are to plan your next drive across the state to visit all these great barbeque pits. That's my plan.