Food, Wine & Just Good Living With SaucyJoe

It started with a love of food, wine & fun and blossomed into a maddening pursuit of the best recipes, techniques, grills, smokers, wines, crafted beers, rubs, marinades and sauces... We do more than play with our meat though -- we review and discuss all things cooking, drinking, reading, laughing and living at SaucyJoe's.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Following that Texas Smoke

Having spent my young adult life in Texas (and still living Texas at heart), I couldn't resist the title of this book! John DeMers is a big time foody from Houston having been food editor of the Houston Chronicle and current host of Delicious Mischief a food and wine talk show on the Houston CNN affiliate. The title shows how much effort (and eating (and drinking)) went into this book. 14,783 miles of driving, eating, talking and drinking.
The book starts out with the County Line BBQ in Austin and ends with another member of that fine BBQ group, the State Line BBQ in El Paso. The diverse smoking methods of BBQ joints across Texas, and the diverse characters who stick their heads and hands into a variety of pits, boxes and high tech rotisseries make this an entertaining read. It's a people story and a smokin' story. There are a few tantalizing recipes at the end of the book. Plus, you get some basic education on how to smoke brisket, pork ribs and chicken throughout the book. Not a one of the 'smokys' gives away a secret, but all share their methods.
The king of Texas BBQ is the beef brisket. Every one of these places centers their smokin' around brisket. It is obvious from the first that beef is the reason to BBQ in Texas. Other states like Tennessee, Kansas and the Carolinas center around pork, butt in Texas, beef is IT! Low and Slow is the theme. Woods vary from Oak, to Post Oak, to Hickory to Mesquite (Don't forget Pecan!) based on the regions desires, yet there are many tales of a pit boss importing woods from WAY outside their BBQ region to get the flavor with which they cut their smokin' teeth.
One fun way to read this book is to sit in front of your computer, call up Google Maps and locate the BBQ restaurant described in the book. For those of you who are fortunate enough to live in Texas, find that joint right next door. For those of you 'smokys' who live out of state, set yourself up a travelogue for your next visit to the Lone Star State.
NOTE: This book goes quite well with a ZZ Top CD playing in the background, though AC/DC works well too.


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