Charred & Scruffed

Adam Perry Lang. Artisan, $24.95 (280p) ISBN 978-1-57965-465-8
Gas grill owners need not bother with Lang’s down and dirty third book of barbecue. As the proprietor of New York’s Daisy May’s BBQ and co-owner (with Jamie Oliver) of London’s Barbecoa, propane is not in this chef’s vocabulary. His methodology employs high heat from fired-up coals combined with a raised grate and lots of flipping, or else clinching, a boxing term he reinterprets to mean placing cuts of meat directly onto the coals. Clinching, while being the ultimate solution to flareups, is not as manly as it sounds: the process begins with using a hair dryer to remove the coals’ excess ash. But a 10-ounce clinched strip steak is done in just nine minutes and is infused with “an intense blast of superheated flavor” as the juices steam directly back into the steak. Add a soaked plank of cedar to the mix and the results include clinched and planked rump steaks, lamb racks, or lobster tails, with the wood bringing additional layers of flavor and color to the meats. The scruffing referred to in the title involves roughing up the meat to create extra tears and ridges thereby increasing the surface area where flavorings can seep in. It’s a technique that works equally well with some vegetables, as in his scruffed carbonara potatoes, where bite-sized chunks of Yukon Gold soak up a lightly seasoned egg sauce. Agent: Lisa Queen. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/16/2012
Release date: 05/01/2012
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