This exploration of barbecue by Texas Monthly magazine barbecue editor Vaughn reads more like a love story than a cookbook. With a restaurant guide and collective bibliographies of the who’s who of pit masters and some of their secret recipes, Vaughn’s homage to smoked meat is full of cadence, and the accompanying photos are so luscious and seductive they will tempt even the least likely fan of smoky brisket, pulled pork, beef sausage, and ribs. In this first book in Ecco’s Anthony Bourdain series, Vaughn describes place by place the fare he encountered as he traveled throughout the state. According to the author, there are four major types of barbecue: East Country (smoky with sauce), Hill Country (cowboy style), South Texas (barbacoa, or whole cow heads cooked in pits), and Central Texas (rubs and indirect heat). Whether readers are looking to replicate these techniques, experiment with different woods, or take a trip to Texas for themselves, this book is likely to be the closest thing most will have to visiting the mecca of meat in person.
Verdict A great gift for the barbecue enthusiast and a gorgeous book for display.Jane Hebert, Glenside P.L. Dist., Glendale Heights, IL
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