There are three things that almost every dad will enjoy…
BBQ, beef and beer. Those three items could land on the Father’s Day wish list of most dads in the land. Buying gifts for your father isn’t hard. Anything with a cord, motor, pull start or switch should do. But, how about something for the taste buds? A cookbook you say? Well, why not. Most men are backyard grillers and with the gift of BBQ, beef and beer all three come together in perfect harmony.
I realize finding that just right book could present a challenge. Thankfully, I am here to do the heavy lifting for you. I’ve sifted through some possible Father’s Day gift candidates and I’m leaving you with the best of the bunch. Your dad will be doing handsprings when he opens his packages on Sunday morning. I know I would be.
Twelve great books to show your dad how much he’s appreciated. With any luck you might be able to grab a beer with him as he stands by the barbecue and grills the steaks. Now, that’s a Father’s Day!
Is beer really an essential part of the BBQ process? I’ll let you decide.
TITLE: Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin’ and Chillin’ AUTHOR: Ted Reader PUBLISHER: FENN-M&S CUISINE: Barbecue
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Featured Ingredient: Hops Hops are the female flower clusters (commonly called seed cones or strobiles), of a hop species, Humulus lupulus. They are used primarily as a flavoring and stability agent in beer, to which they impart a bitter, tangy flavor, though hops are also used for various purposes in other beverages and herbal medicine. Hops were cultivated continuously around the 8th or 9th century AD in Bohemian gardens in the Hallertau district of Bavaria and other parts of Europe. However, the first documented use of hops in beer as a bittering agent is from the 11th century. Before this period, brewers used a wide variety of bitter herbs and flowers, including dandelion, burdock root, marigold, horehound (the German name for horehound means “mountain hops”), ground ivy, and heather. [Wikipedia]
First Impression First off, if you show me a cookbook that has the word beer in the title, I’m immediately interested. Second, if there are recipes using just about every descent brew on the planet, I’m hooked. Such is the case with, Beerlicious: The Art of Grillin’ and Chillin’. Ted Reader has done an amazing job of combining the fine art of grilling and the fine art of beer drinking into one fun read. There are lots of great beer and non-beer images. It will get your mouthwatering from start to finish.
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What You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents) Beerilicious
BBQ Seasoning Rubs and Sauces
Lamb, Veal, Game
Crustaceans and Fishes
Desserts and Breads
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The guys over at Beer America TV know their brews. In this episode they head out to central NY to the Southern Tier Brewing Company to review their Imperial Red. Check out what they think.
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Best of the Book (Our Favorite Recipes)
Orgasmic Onion Burger Seasoning
Pabst Blue Ribbon Hillbilly Basting Sauce
Beer Injected Bacon-Wrapped Scallops
Ron’s Beer Brined Artic Char
Nut Brown Gaucho Flank Steak Roll-up
Big Wheel Buttered Smoked Brisket
Cooper’s Lamb Ribs
Yellow Snow Rib Sandwich
Pilsner Urquell Van Gogh Chicken
Heeb’s Venison Beer Sausages
Rob McCann’s Grill-Baked Oysters with Beck’s
Leffe Brune Smoked Extra-Meaty Back Ribs
Amsterdam Natural Blonde Ultimate Hot Dog
Kronenbourge 1664 Poached and Grilled Halibut
When a book is crammed this full of dishes I NEED to make there will be a few that rise to the top. And, this is the case here. The Head to Foot BBQ Terrine with BBQ Sauce Jelly looks amazing. It also looks like an all-day (or two day) affair that will take some expertise and time to pull off. That being said, WOW! What a dish. TheShiner Bock Skirt Steak Churrasco is a recipe you can make for a descent sized crowd without being totally underwater. Skirt is a great flavorful cut and you can cook it up while still amusing your guests with your witty repartee. I love grilled turkey. And, the Harvest Grilled Turkeydescribed here seems be a dead on winner. Again, you can’t whip this together at a moment’s notice. But, if you plan ahead you should be rewarded. The way I see it, if it takes a little longer to make, it leaves more time for beer drinking. Not a bad thing.
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Special Features This book is loaded with some useful extras. There is a detailed chapter on BBQ equipment and grilling prep. This includes the discussion of charcoal types, steak cuts, internal temps and more. Even if you think you have a good grip on these things, this chapter is a great refresher course. An overview of grilling techniques makes sense here. There is more to a great BBQ then just slapping some meat on a hot grate (that’s not bad either). Smoking, braising, planked cooking and rotisserie methods are reviewed. OK, I’ll admit the list of Top 10 Places That I’ve Had a Beer may be a little hokey. It may not be terribly useful, but, it is fun and entertaining to read through. It did get me thinking about my own personal top ten. So, without any further ado here’s my list:
10 – Capt. Lou’s (with a Lake Michigan Perch Basket), South Haven MI
9 – The Beer Station, Paris France
8 – Any Grateful Dead Show Parking Lot
7 – Seven Seas Villa, Mammee Bay Jamaica
6 – While Tending the Grill
5 – Linda’s Tavern or The Comet, Seattle WA
4 – “The Patio”
3 – Any Major League Baseball Park
2 – The Siesta Key Oyster Bar, Siesta Key FL
1 – With Good Friends!
You should sit down and make your own.
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Conclusion This book is fun. That’s the bottom line. Page after page of recipes that you’ll drool over make it tough for any grill (or beer) lover to resist. All types and styles of beer are used here. Great photos accompany the dishes and it’s over the top book design make you wonder what will turn up next. This isn’t your casual backyard grilling cookbook. The recipes will take some effort. But, if you’re willing to put in the time, you will most certainly be rewarded. I was hooked when I flipped the page and saw a smiling face holding a cold bottle of Rolling Rock!