Adam Perry Lang has really carved out a wonderful little niche in the food world. He’s got the culinary street cred (Le Cirque, Daniel in New York City; and Restaurant Guy Savoy in France), but left that pursuit of Michelin stars to follow his passion for barbecue. As a matter of fact (and which makes many a bbq team growl in anger) in his first year on the national barbecue circuit, Adam won Grand Champion honors at the World Pork Expo and first place for his Pork Shoulder at the Kansas City American Royal (The World Series of BBQ). So it made perfect sense that he would open up Daisy May’s BBQ in New York to showcase his BBQ skills. Suffice to say he’s secured a loyal following of faithful BBQ lovers as well as endorsement from the queen of all endorsers, Oprah.
His new book, BBQ 25, a follow up to Serious Barbecue, is really great. OK, great is not the ‘greatest’ word to use when describing something, but it’s ‘great’ for everything it strives to be, which is, a simple and easy to use book of the top 25 recipes you would use actually use when BBQing at home. The first thing you notice is that the book resembles a children’s book. That is it has hard thick pages that are simple to wipe clean and because of their heaviness, they are essentially wind proof. Also, Adam realized that most of us drink beer (or some sort of cocktail) while BBQing and most likely will spill it (or a marinade or basting liquid) onto the surface of the book.
Here’s the breakdown of the 25 recipes:
1. Rib-Eye, T-Bone & Strip Steaks Cut Less Than 1″
2. Rib-Eye, T-Bone & Strip Steaks Cut Over 1″
3. Chuck Steaks & Leaner-Cut Steaks
4. Filet Mignon
7. Boneless Beef Roast
8. Beef Back Ribs
10. Pork Chops (Rib & Loin) Cut Less Than 1″
11. Pork Chops (RIb & Saddle) Cut Over 1″
12. Pork Tenderloin
13. Boneless Pork Loin/Bone-In Rib Rack
14. Pork Butt and/or Picnic Ham
15. Spareribs “St. Louis-Cut Ribs” & Baby Back Ribs
16. Lamp Chops (Saddle & Rib)
17. Leg of Lamb
18. Chicken Breast & Thighs (Bone-In)
19. Chicken Breast (Boneless, Skinless)
20. Whole Chicken (Spatchcock/Butterflied)
21. Chicken Wings
22. Grilled Fish Steak
23. Grilled Fish Filet
24. Hot Dogs & Other Cooked Sausages
25. Grilled Vegetables
Hands down, it’s a book you’d use. I BBQ’ed a boneless rib roast last weekend, which turned out superb and juicy, and the whole chicken butterflied recipe I used Tuesday night gave me new reason to cook chicken again on my Weber. The main thing BBQ 25 did for me was remind me that it doesn’t take too much to make an incredible meal on a basic grill (with direct or indirect heat). I plan on cracking this book open again soon, spilling some Stella on it just so I can wipe it clean, and making a great meal that’s full of intense flavor.
Here’s some additional background about Adam if you’re interested. He’s a consulting partner in Mario Batali’s Carnevino in Las Vegas, where he is responsible for sourcing all the beef and training the staff on proper cooking technique and his latest restaurant project takes him across the Atlantic where he is creating a completely unique grilling concept in London with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver called Barbecoa and opening in October 2010.