BBQ 25 by Adam Perry Lang, as Interpreted by BBQ, Esq.

10 Mar

Several years ago, Chef and BBQ cook Adam Perry Lang wrote a book called “Serious BBQ.” It is an excellent barbeque and grilling method and cookbook and approaches the cooking and grilling process from a very detailed perspective with some innovative techniques (herb bundle, flavoring the cutting board with melted butter or oil and herbs and spices before cutting the meat, and others). The only real drawback is that Mr. Lang (or “APL” as he is sometimes called) is a culinary school-trained chef, who was introduced to barbeque by ranch hands on a ranch where he served as private chef to the owner. As a trained chef, he makes use of an exhaustive list of ingredients, flavorings and spices. I would have to take a large bag to Penzy’s to get the dry spices that Mr. Perry has at his disposal, then go who-knows-where to get all of the fresh herbs. So, while the book is an educational and entertaining read, it has its limitations in terms of practicality.
Hearing these comments, Mr. Perry took heed and about a hear later released “BBQ 25” which is a compilation of 25 recipes and techniques from Serious BBQ that are slimmed down in terms of ingredients and techniques. I have had Serious BBQ since it was released, but despite having purchased a couple copies of BBQ 25 for my friends Steve Blake and Bob Fite of Jiggy Piggy BBQ team fame, I only recently purchased a copy of the book for myself. The book is constructed almost like a children’s book in that it is printed on heavy stock with a moisture resistant finish. The binding is designed so the book will lie open so that you can read the recipe without the pages trying to turn themselves. The recipes are slimmed down in terms of the number of ingredients and the techniques are simplified (I now have the option of brushing oil on my meat with a regular brush rather than an herb bundle made by wrapping fresh herbs around a wooden dowel), but the book does make the reader want to fire up the grill and start cooking. That should be the goal of any good grilling and barbeque book after all.
Ever since I got a copy of Gary Wiviott’s excellent book “Low and Slow” right after it was published, I’ve been wanting to do a “serial cook” – kinda like Julie Powell’s goal to cook her way through Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” – but I’ve never gotten around to it. However, I decided that 25 recipes was a manageable goal considering how often I cook outdoors and the number of cookers I have at my disposal. So, I decided I would cook my way through BBQ 25 and tonight is Night #1.
I’m not necessarily cooking the 25 recipes in the book in order. To night for example, I am cooking entry number 2: Rib-Eye, T-Bone & Strip Steaks Cut over 1″.  The recipe and technique are pretty straightforward: (1) Season with salt and pepper, pressing the seasoning into the meat and dabbing the edges of the meat on the seasoning board to collect any excess; (2) “glisten” the meat with canola oil; (3) direct grill the meat; (4) baste the meat with oil and/or butter infused with some dry spices and fresh herbs during cooking; pull at the correct temperature; and (6) rest then pour a board dressing on the cutting board and slice the steak, turning the slices in the board dressing to add flavor.
So that’s what I am going to do tonight. I have a nice 1.5″ choice grade New York Strip thawed and in the refrigerator. I am going to cook the steak on my Weber 1992 Model Performer kettle grill using briquettes and pecan chunks. I am going to vary the APL technique in one way: I am going to “reverse sear” the steak. That is, I am going to cook the steak over indirect heat , at about 325 degrees (basting it as Mr. Lang directs, about every 5 minutes), until the internal temperature of the steak gets to about 110 degrees. Then I will set the steak aside and let it rest while I bring the grill back up to about 450-500 degrees, adding some lit coals if necessary. Then I will put the steak back on the Performer over the high direct heat, for about 2 minutes a side to sear each side and form a crust, pulling the steak when the internal temperature gets to about 120 (the internal temperature of thick steaks continue to rise by up to 10 degrees, in my experience, after they come off the grill).  By cooking the thick steak this way, I hope to end up with a steak that is a perfect dark pink medium-rare from one side to the other (without the band of gray on either side of the steak that would signify that while the middle of the steak turned out medium-rare, the edges were, in fact, medium-well) and a well-seasoned crust on both sides.
I’ll let you know how it turns out!

 

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One Response to “BBQ 25 by Adam Perry Lang, as Interpreted by BBQ, Esq.”

  1. Phellepa March 10, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Post pictures!!!

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