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Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste, and Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking Hardcover – May 5, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Lang is serious about being serious, and that starts with his credentials. His career began at Le Cirque; he then moved on to Daniel, Carnevino in Las Vegas, and a stint as a private chef. Along the way, he opened Daisy May's BBQ, one of Manhattan's best barbecue shacks. Thus, with four-star knowledge, he brings pork, beef, lamb and the lowly chicken to the open flame with a mix of science, anecdote and a wide array of seasonings. The chapter on pork begins not only with a look at the importance of fat but also the importance of collagen and the differences between commodity and heirloom pork. There's an interview with Dave Arnold of the French Culinary Institute that explores the relation between heat and meat and why foods stick to hot surfaces. His recipe for a marinated wet-aged rib eye explains that the wonders of Worcestershire sauce have to do with the flavor-enhancing qualities of anchovies and tamarind. Nearly every entry is composed of several brief preparation recipes, since each meat is uniquely paired with a seasoning combination for specific reasons. Before cooking the spit-roasted spring lamb, for instance, one must make a basting butter, seasoning blend, herb bundle and glaze. Even something that looks simple, like the delicious classic, burnt ends (a take on barbecued brisket), involves a mustard paste, a seasoning blend, a wrapping mixture and a finishing sauce. Seriously. (May)
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In his introduction, Lang immediately lays out some confrontational assertions: “Barbecue does not just mean the slow-cooked, smoke perfumed meats of the South. It also means the charred, juicy direct-grilled meats . . . what I’ll call ‘Yankee barbecue.’” He applies himself just as rigorously to this high-heat, backyard grilling as he does the indirect, leisurely methods of traditional barbecue, which leads to a nicely balanced book that may offend some purists but could well become the go-to resource for those who only care about the divine marriage of meat and fire, no matter the form. He goes on to outline the fundamentals in a remarkably thorough manner, covering grill types, differences in smoking woods, and blueprints for marinades, brines, and sauces. Each subsequent chapters focuses on a certain meat, including a discussion of their barbecue-friendly characteristics, tips on selecting the best cuts, and a wealth of recipes that should be comfortable for most dabblers in outdoor cooking. An enlightened guide that cares more about killer food than long-held beliefs. --Ian Chipman
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Top Customer Reviews
In 2005 I did a podcast interview with Adam and I have read his detailed posts to the forum. I have never actually meet Adam in person. However, I know a little bit about Adam. He knows how to cook and not only that, he knows what happens to food when it's cooking and can explain it to you. The book really focuses on layering flavors. So, when people taste food cooked the way he explains it, they are in for taste treats, one after another.
With all my 14 years of daily exposure to the wisdom of some of the top barbecue cooks in the country and all the cookbooks I have read, you would think I would have a good grasp of the situation. But, in reading this book I am learning a lot of new things.
I don't hand out these compliments lightly. This is not just a "low and slow pure barbecue" cookbook but he carries his knowledge of "pure barbecue" (he has won prestigious "pure barbecue" awards to back this up) into all levels of outdoor cooking. There is a lot of direct grilling and indirect smoking information. I don't care if you're an expert cook or a beginner, you will get a lot out of reading this book.
I love the way he builds flavor profiles by layering the ingredients and the steps of the cooking process, using some procedures that many barbecue purists frown on when making barbecue. It's pretty amusing reading the recipes that call for foiling as a step to making good barbecue. Whatever works to make the best barbecue he can, Adams isn't at all bashful about doing it. I like that!
I also love that there is no "I'm a better barbecue cook than you" ego written throughout this book, unlike a couple of those written by a self-titled "dr" of bbq. This book reads like Adam's sitting out on the deck with his feet propped, having a cold one with pals and talking Que. No sarcastic anecdotes here.
With over 100 barbecue related cookbooks in my arsenal as reference and many cooking techniques I thought were pretty sound, Serious Barbecue has me rethinking some of the ways I make barbecue. A must own barbecue book!
I bought Serious Barbecue: Smoke, Char, Baste and Brush Your Way to Great Outdoor Cooking, because both my husband and I love to barbecue. I make my own sauces--and they are miles better than any commercial sauce--but was ready to try some new recipes.
I have flipped through the book and recognize recipes that I have already had at the restaurant--and will definitely make them. Some winners include Short Ribs with Fleur de Sel, sticky drumsticks, and Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Banana and Brown Sugar.
I like the different cooking methods Lang employs, and intend to try all of them this summer.
Keep in mind, however, that many of these recipes take time and many ingredients to make. The short ribs, for instance, require several steps to make. Lang believes the BBQ is best when the ingredients are added in stages--this makes for complex flavors and an unbeatable texture. The ribs first get a mustard moisturizer, then a seasoning blend, next a wrapping mixture, and finally, the finishing dressing.
So you don't cook from his book when you're in a hurry. My plan is to have a few BBQ parties this summer and cook from the book.
If you enjoy BBQ, buy this book! You will be amazed at the difference the proper cooking method and homemade sauces make to your food.
By the author of the award winning book, HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT: BEAUTIFY, DETOXIFY & ENERGIZE YOUR LIFE, YOUR HOME & YOUR PLANET.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book will teach you how to BBQ and Grill world class food after just a few attempts.Read more