OF TEXAS BARBECUE COOKBOOK
Recipes and Recollections from the Pit Bosses
By Robb Walsh
Chronicle Books, $18.95 ISBN 0-8118-2961-8
cookbook about barbecue that doesn't include "finger-lickin," "finger-licking,"
or even "lick yo fingers" anywhere in the text?
we're in luck, because this summer's best barbecue book is also
free of clichés. And Texas barbecue, Lord knows, has spawned enough
clichés over its saucy ways.
Robb Walsh at the National Barbecue Association last February. He
told the story of the beginnings of this book, starting with the conflicting
tales of real barbecue.
love to argue about barbecue, Walsh says, in part because so many
regional styles claim to be the "real barbecue. " If you believe the
dictum that "barbecue is cooked slow and low," then visit the Kreuz
Market in Lockhart, where prime rib roasts are cooked at 600F over
a fire of post oak buried in a brick oven.
is dressed only with salt and pepper and smoke - not even a drop of
red sauce. Is
it Texas barbecue?
it is, and so is the BBQ made of pork shoulder smoked over open pits
of pecan wood in South Texas. So is the Mexican migrant workers' informal
BBQ of beef seared directly over coals of mesquite wood in West Texas.
one can really be sure of the definition," Walsh writes. "But the
best way to preserve our traditions is constantly disagree about what
Texas barbecue really is."
ground can be found in the wonderful recipes for Texas barbecue and
side dishes that fill most of the book's 11 chapters. The first chapters
cover history and tools for BBQ, the last chapter serves as a road
map to find the legends on your own time in Texas.
mostly work as intended, from simple fare such as a barbecued cabbage
(cored, buttered, seasoned, wrapped in foil and tucked into a corner
of the smoker to cook for several hours) to barbecoa, the cooked cow's
head that makes true Tejanos salivate while other lesser mortals swoon
in disgust (Remember Elizabeth Taylor fainting in GIANT?)
tackle the terminology of ribs, brief bios of the pit bosses, musings
on meat from beef to wild game, plus a glossary and index. Don't be
misled by the book's title - the pit bosses of Texas barbecue have
plenty to teach the rest of America about food. It's both a regional
history, and a cookbook for all of us who love to eat.
of Texas Barbecue Cookbook delivers both a practical cookbook and
a guided tour of Texas barbecue lore, giving readers straightforward
advice right from the pit masters themselves. Their opinions are outspoken,
their stories sometimes outlandish and hilarious.
archival photography looks back over more than 100 years of barbecue
history, from the first turn of the century squirrel roasts to candid
shots of Lyndon Johnson chowing down on a plate of ribs. A list of
the best barbecue joints and a month-by-month rundown of the most
influential statewide cook-offs round out this glorious celebration
of barbecue found deep in the heart of Texas.
most often shows up in the advice for Texas BBQ technique, such as
"Relax, go have a beer, and let it cook slowly." But there
are good recipes for drunken beans, rib mop sauces, and plenty of
dishes that pair well with beer.