by Varud Gupta
Walking into an Argentinian grill, or parilla, might at first overwhelm the senses — the sight of succulent meats being passed around a table, the smell of vegetables caramelizing over coals, and the sounds of wine glasses clinking together for a “Salud!”
Argentina is famous around the world for its quality of meat. Free-range animals on large, fertile grasslands led to a gaucho(cowboy)-driven lifestyle. As the expertise of gauchos increased over the years, so did the variety of meats. Beef takes the center stage at Argentinian barbecues, but at any parilla, there might be upwards of 30 cuts of meat. Here are the highlights: (more…)
When it came to major fast food chains and barbecue, it used to be pretty simple:
The McDonald’s McRib sandwich. That was it. Period. End of sentence.
But in the past several months, McDonald’s cult-classic sandwich has a lot of company. Wendy’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut and Carl’s Jr. are just some of the chains that have offered barbecue-based products on their menus, sometimes also launching major ad campaigns to promote the product. (more…)
When it comes to barbecue, Chicago isn’t usually the first city to come to mind. “Chicago Style” barbecue is a questionable mix of techniques often involving a combination of dry rub, sauce, and usually some slow roasting or even boiling of ribs. Plenty of places just choose to incorporate a mix of other popular barbecue styles. Either way, I’ve had a lot of barbecue that doesn’t cut it, so I hope that my list of Chicago’s Best BBQ Spots will save you some time.
Like all Koreans, food was very important to my family when I was growing up in Los Angeles. No birthday morning went by without seaweed soup for good luck and every Lunar New Year was rung in with the meaty broth of a rice cake soup.
Meat was even more important because our family was in the meat processing business. And after traveling the world looking for the best beef, I’ve come to appreciate Piedmontese cattle so much that I introduced it at my restaurant, Star King Korean BBQ, the only Korean barbecue where you will find it. (more…)
This Wednesday, January 23, has been proclaimed Brunswick Stew Day in my home state of Virginia. A contingent of cooks from Brunswick County in southeastern Virginia will travel to the state capital and prepare 140 gallons of stew for the governor and General Assembly.
Brunswick stew is a slow-cooked, one-pot tomato-based stew, consisting of meats, usually chicken, or in more traditional preparations, rabbit or squirrel. Its ingredients also include many vegetables and legumes, such as lima beans, corn, tomatoes, and okra. Think of it almost as a hearty chicken chili. The stew is often made in huge batches in a cast-iron pot, and is said to be ready when it’s so thick that the paddle stands up in the middle. (more…)
In short, no. Mongolian barbecue isn’t from Mongolia, and it’s not really even barbecue, since it’s not cooked low and slow. Mongolian barbecue should really just be called Taiwanese grilling.
Mongolian barbecue first arrived in Taipei in 1951, where meats were stir-fried on large round griddles. This style of cooking was evocative of Japanese teppanyaki, which was also popular in Taiwan at the time. It was merely marketing that caused the Taiwanese to call this cooking method Mongolian barbecue. The first Mongolian barbecue restaurant in downtown Taipei, Ghengis Khan Mongolian BBQ, opened in 1976. (more…)
The distinction between brines, marinades, and rubs can come down to a few simple ingredients. For the barbecue aficionado, what to use when is second nature. But each has its own history, its own flavor possibilities, its own chemistry, and its own place in the barbecue world.
Brining meats dates back to ancient communities. Salt was a precious commodity, and its ability to preserve food (even for an extra couple hours) created a high demand. Landlocked areas with larger cities received salt from caravans traveling across Salt Roads. Brine is a saltwater mixture that adds extra moisture and flavor to the meat while it’s soaking, and helps meat preserve its moisture during the cooking process. Meat already has its own natural salts intact, but adding a higher concentration of salt outside of the meat allows the flavors and spices to be absorbed into the meat through diffusion. This chemistry process involves changing protein bonds in meat to where they allow extra water to get trapped inside, resulting in flavor and moisture in the finished product. (more…)
At LSU, tailgating is as important as the Fighting Tigers themselves. Some families hold onto tailgating spots for generations, passing them down from friends and family along with each tailgate’s own rules, traditions, and recipes. The food that LSU Tiger Tailgaters cook up on game day is legendary throughout college football, and it takes excellent chefs with some special equipment to get the unique Louisiana foods that are found around Death Valley.
A black cast iron pot is a tailgate stalwart. Craig Messer of the Chest Box Tailgate has used his custom fabricated pot for “several different types of jambalayas, gumbos, and alligator sauce piquant… We have also fried huge batches of freshly caught speckled trout.” Frying may be standard at any college tailgate, but the only place to find hot, fresh cracklins is at LSU. CBT always cooks a few batches in their black pot. This way, the pot is well seasoned for a jambalaya. The pot also serves a secondary function on the grill: as a windshield. (more…)
In the first episode of the new web series Chefs of Anarchy, Cooper, Ambrosio, and Joy Wilson set out to recreate the iconic pork dumpling, served by the thousands at Dumpling Man in New York City. Their solution? Braise the pig’s head — tongue, cheek meat, and ears for added crunch — and pair with a perfectly immersion circulator-cooked egg yolk so it explodes at first bite. Upon seeing the pig’s head, Lucas Lin, owner of Dumpling Man, was skeptical. “I don’t think our customer can handle an ingredient looking back at them,” he remarked. But after poaching the pig’s head dumplings in pork broth and searing them in lard (despite Cooper’s open-heart surgery earlier this year), Lin exclaimed, “they’ve been making dumplings hundreds of years, but none taste like this!” A version of the anarchized creation premiered last Friday on Rogue24’s fall menu. (more…)
For most Americans, barbecue season begins on Memorial Day and unofficially nears its end around Labor Day. Here in Louisiana, we keep our pits out all the way through football season, but then again, it never really gets cold. Serious ‘que lovers crave more than just a few summer months to keep the coals hot, so many take their love of slow-cooked meats on the road and enter the competitive barbecue circuit. (more…)