Sunday, September 30, 2018

12 Bones Smokehouse: A Mountain BBQ Cookbook

12 Bones Smokehouse: A Mountain BBQ Cookbook is a reformat/re-release of a 2015 cookbook and manual featuring recipes from 12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville, NC. Due out 9th Oct, 2018, from Quarto Press - Voyager, this 2nd edition is 224 pages and available in hardcover format. (The 1st edition is available in hardcover, paperback and ebook formats).

There has, happily, been a resurgence in the pride and culinary legitimacy of regional foods.  This book is all about history and roots.  I grew up in Appalachia and many of these foods speak to my childhood and extended family gatherings. They take the tried and true old fashioned southern recipes and run with them.  There are spice and flavor combinations my grandmother would not have tried (blueberry!?) but which nevertheless do work.

The book starts off with an introduction covering tools, a little bit of history, and moves into general cooking methods, searing, brining and a remarkably unpretentious discussion of wood vs. gas. 

The next sections (the 'meat' of the book *har har*) cover meats with beef + pork together and seafood + chicken. These 2 chapters include a stunning array of rubs, preparations, treatments and good advice. Supporting and filling out the meats selections is a gorgeous array of BBQ sauces.  There are, of course, the required standards ('jerk' sauce, Memphis sauce, honey-chipotle) side by side with really eye popping originals (honey-cherry, blueberry-chipotle, penny cup coffee rub).

This is a full dinner cookbook and the remaining sections provide a snazzy array of sides and complementary dishes. Veggies, salads and pickles get their own chapter, followed by a chapter on sides (cornbread! <3).  The final chapter includes a lot of homemade southern delights. Pecan pie and key lime pie get pride of place, but there are also some innovative desserts which complement the BBQ star attractions. 

The book has a really specific and useful table of contents along with a good index at the end. 

Though the book is slanted toward the North American cook, I've been living in Norway for years and had no trouble gathering the ingredients for the recipes I tried. 

The photography is good with well presented appealingly styled food which is appetizing and completely unpretentious.

Five stars.  Really well done.  I did not do a side by side comparison with the 1st edition, so I can't speak to which of the recipes are original to this version.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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