Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BBQ Book Review - Cooking the Cowboy Way

Title: Cooking the Cowboy Way
Author: Grady Spears with June Naylor
Published: 2009 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

When a copy of this book showed up in my mailbox, I thought here's another cookbook that's going to take great cooking methods that produce tremendous food and break them down into something you can cook on any given Wednesday night. As I made my way through the book, I was pleasantly surprised to find a recipe for baby back ribs that starts out, "If you don't have a smoker, get one." Those are my kind of directions.

Meat is obviously the feature. Sure, there are plenty of salads, desserts and spinach dishes, but any cookbook that works chicken fried steak in for breakfast is alright with me. What isn't heavily featured is Texas BBQ. Besides the aforementioned ribs, smoke braised short ribs, and an abomination entitled "oven brisket", Texas 'cue is left out. A large section on Kansas City BBQ helps to fill that void, and it brought back some very recent memories. You can learn to make the cheesy corn bake and hickory pit beans from Jack Stack, or try your hand at some lamb ribs. Top it all of with yammers from Gates Bar-B-Q. Unfortunately no short cuts were given on how to create burnt ends.

If all this sounds good, you may want to make your way over to Mr. Spears' restaurant in Fort Worth on 10/27 for "An Evening with Grady Spears" to chat with the authors and get a behind the scenes look at the kitchen.

- BBQ Snob

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Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.