Celebrating Barbecue: The Ultimate Guide to America's 4 Regional Styles

Overview

Like jazz, barbecue is a uniquely American original, and few subjects ignite more passion, excitement, controversy, and competition. In Celebrating Barbecue, Dotty Griffith, restaurant critic for The Dallas Morning News, gives readers the lowdown on real barbecue, identifying the four great regional styles of American 'cue (Carolina, Memphis, Texas, and Kansas City), as well as what Griffith calls "micro-styles" like Santa Maria Beef Barbecue or St. Louis Barbecued Snouts. Though reducing barbecue to a set of ...

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Celebrating Barbecue: The Ultimate Guide to America's 4 Regional Styles of 'Cue

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Overview

Like jazz, barbecue is a uniquely American original, and few subjects ignite more passion, excitement, controversy, and competition. In Celebrating Barbecue, Dotty Griffith, restaurant critic for The Dallas Morning News, gives readers the lowdown on real barbecue, identifying the four great regional styles of American 'cue (Carolina, Memphis, Texas, and Kansas City), as well as what Griffith calls "micro-styles" like Santa Maria Beef Barbecue or St. Louis Barbecued Snouts. Though reducing barbecue to a set of rules and specifications is, as Griffith says, "like teaching a cat to bark," Celebrating Barbecue attempts (and succeeds!) in doing just that, beginning with the history of barbecue, defining each region's preferences for meat, fuel, and seasonings. There are classic authentic recipes for slow-cooked meats such as Texas Brisket and North Carolina-Style Pulled Pork, with cooking temperatures, seasonings, woods, and techniques (including fail-safe techniques for bad weather or uncooperative equipment or fuels) explained in detail. Griffith includes recipes for mops, rubs, sauces, and marinades, as well as sources for ready-made flavor enhancers. A full complement of appetizers, sides, and desserts rounds out the more than 85 recipes. Menus are provided for each regional style so you can create your own barbecue feast. Travelers will find lists of barbecue restaurants, cook-offs, and festivals, and stay-at-homes will find the best places to mail-order 'cue, as well as a directory of pit masters and a section on cookers.

Opinionated and informed, Celebrating Barbecue is written with wit, passion, and verve. A pleasure to read and to cook from, it's the only book you'll need to enjoy this most American of foods.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
W. Park Kerr founder, El Paso Chile Company, and distiller, Tequila Nacional BBQ: it's not about a food, it's about a lifestyle. In Celebrating Barbecue, Dotty tempts, teases, torments, and slow-cooks us through the world of 'cue. She leaves me with four questions: Memphis or Kansas City ribs, Old-Fashioned Banana Pudding or Fried Fruit Pies for dessert, how soon can I get the grill going, and does she offer home delivery?

John F. Mariani food and travel columnist for Esquire magazine; author of The Encyclopedia of American Food & Drink and coauthor of Grilling for Dummies A lot of grilling books have gotten away from where the real focus on outdoor cooking should be — celebrating barbecue — which just happens to be the title and great appeal of Dotty Griffith's delectably comprehensive and rigorously authentic book on America's greatest contribution to the culinary arts.

Paul Kirk author of Paul Kirk's Championship Barbecue Sauces Celebrating Barbecue has what I look for in a cookbook. It's not just a barbecue cookbook, it's history and tradition. It's a celebration of some great food and gives you the means and direction to achieve great barbecue yourself. It will be one of my prized cookbooks in my collection of over two thousand.

John Egerton author of Southern Food: At Home, on the Road, in History Dotty Griffith deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for attempting to bring the warring tribes of American barbecue into a demilitarized pit zone for a serious exchange of meats and sauces. Only the most narrow-minded true believer could resist her ecumenical appeal to the higher virtues of pan-American 'cue.

Michael LeMaster of the Pit Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse Yee-haw! Celebrating Barbecue is a hoot and holler!

Smoky Hale author of The Great American Barbecue & Grilling Manual Celebrating Barbecue reeks of barbecue aromas and of Dotty Griffith's reportorial skill and writing expertise. Her enthusiasm for barbecue glistens and gleams like the glaze on a gorgeous goody from a gourmet's grill.

Jim White CBS Radio Dallas, The KRLD Restaurant Show with Jim White Celebrating Barbecue is filled with great recipes and 'cue rivalries. Get ready to take a delicious journey of discovery across America for the best barbecue you ever wrapped your lips around!

Jim "Trim" Tabb of Tabby's Dotty Griffith very effectively blows aside the smoke of barbecue to show how eclectic this old and controversial subject can be.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781451627640
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 1/1/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 963,907
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dotty Griffith is the dining editor and restaurant critic of The Dallas Morning News, and has judged numerous recipe contests. She is the author of nine cookbooks, including The Texas Holiday Cookbook, and has written for magazines, including Gourmet and Travel & Leisure. She lives in Dallas, Texas.

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Read an Excerpt

from Carolina Barbecue

A MUSTARD-BASED CAROLINA SAUCE

South Carolina-Style Barbecue Sauce

In South Carolina, the sauce for mopping during cooking or for seasoning cooked meat is yellow with mustard.

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup white vinegar

3 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup yellow mustard

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 teaspoons black pepper or to taste

2 teaspoons salt or to taste

Combine all the ingredients in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to combine. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 months.

Makes about 3 cups.

Western North Carolina (Piedmont)-Style Table Sauce or Dip

This sauce is used as a table sauce for pulled or chopped pork plate or sandwich, ribs, chicken, or any other smoked meat.

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar

1 cup ketchup or tomato sauce

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or to taste

1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce or to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. When the mixture boils, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Remove from the heat and cool. Serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 months.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

"Ribs are ribs, but ribs aren't barbecue in the lexicon of North Carolina."

— BOB GARNER, NORTH CAROLINA BARBECUE

South Carolina-Style Table Sauce or Dip

This is a classic table sauce for pulled pork.

1 1/2 cups yellow mustard

5 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup tomato paste

3 tablespoons cidervinegar

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste

1/2 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or to taste

1. Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. When the liquid begins to pop and bubble, lower the heat as much as possible. Simmer for about 5 minutes just to dissolve the sugar, stirring frequently.

2. Remove from the heat and cool. Serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator up to 2 months.

Makes about 2 cups.

Pan-Fried Chicken

Fried chicken is often served as a sidekick to barbecue at restaurants in the Carolinas.

2 1/2 to 3 pounds small chicken drumsticks, thighs, or wings or a combination

Salt as needed

2 cups all-purpose flour or as needed

2 teaspoons black pepper or to taste

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Vegetable oil or shortening for frying

Cream Gravy (recipe follows), optional

1. Rinse the chicken and place in enough heavily salted water (about 2 tablespoons salt per pint) to cover. Soak for at least 1 hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the chicken and rinse; drain again.

2. In a heavy plastic bag, combine the flour, 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, and paprika. Add the chicken, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat evenly with the seasoned flour. Remove from the bag and place on wax paper; do not allow the pieces to touch.

3. Pour oil into a large heavy skillet to a depth of about 2 inches. Heat the oil to around 325° to 350°F.

4. Carefully slide the chicken pieces into the hot oil, a few at a time. Do not crowd the pan. The chicken should have room to float without the pieces touching. Cook the chicken until it is browned on one side, then turn and brown the other side. Do not turn more than once or twice. Drain the pieces on paper towels and keep warm.

5. To test for doneness, pierce a leg or thigh at the thickest part. The juices should run clear. Serve with cream gravy if desired. May also be served at room temperature.

Serves 6 to 8.

FAIL-SAFE TECHNIQUE: While the chicken cooks, preheat the oven to 350°F. As the pieces are removed from the skillet, place them on a shallow baking sheet. Do not allow their sides to touch. When all the chicken is fried, place the pan in the oven for about 10 minutes. This ensures that the chicken is thoroughly cooked and will be hot when served.

Cream Gravy

Cream or white gravy, made from pan drippings and milk or cream, is the universal go-with for Southern fried chicken, although not necessarily along with barbecue. Still, it goes against my common sense to offer a recipe for fried chicken without the option of cream gravy.

1/3 cup drippings from frying chicken or vegetable oil

1/3 cup leftover seasoned flour used to coat chicken or all-purpose flour

2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups milk or half-and-half

1 teaspoon salt or to taste

1 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

Dash of red pepper sauce, optional

1. From the skillet used for frying the chicken, pour off all but 1/3 cup of the oil used for frying. Do not discard any of the fried bits left in the bottom of the pan. If making gravy without frying a chicken first, go ahead and use a clean skillet and fresh oil, but don't expect the gravy to be as good. Browned bits from the bottom of the frying pan give it flavor and character. So does lots of black pepper.

2. Over medium heat, use a wire whisk to stir in the flour, preferably the seasoned flour used to coat the chicken. If necessary, use fresh flour but, as with the oil, the gravy won't be the same.

3. Continue stirring and cooking until the oil bubbles and froths and the flour just begins to brown. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly stir in the milk. Use the wire whisk to break up any lumps. Return the pan and reduce the heat to low. Continue stirring and cook until the gravy begins to thicken. Season to taste with the salt and pepper; add the red pepper sauce, if desired. If the gravy seems too thick, add more milk or water to thin it to the desired consistency.

Makes about 2 1/2 cups.

Copyright © 2002 by Dotty Griffith

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Table of Contents

Contents

PART ONE

An Invitation to Die

Me and 'Cue

Barbecue: Past, Present, and Future

The Right Stuff

Using This Book

PART TWO

Carolina Barbecue:
Where Vinegar, Tomato, and Mustard Factions Wage Taste Wars

Memphis Barbecue:
Dry vs. Wet Ribs, or The Town of Pork and Bones

Texas Barbecue:
Here's the Beef!

Kansas City Barbecue:
Where East Meets West

Wild Cards:
Santa Maria Beef Barbecue, Owensboro Mutton Barbecue, St. Louis Barbecued Snouts, and Playing Chicken

Hot Bites and Sides

Sweet Endings:
Pies, Cakes, and Other Regional Favorites

SOURCES

Barbecue Associations

Barbecue Contests

Classes on Barbecue

Barbecue Publications

Sources of Ingredients

Sources of Equipment

On-Line Sources

GLOSSARY

BIBLIOGRAPHY

LIQUID AND DRY MEASURE EQUIVALENCIES

INDEX

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