Book review, by Janie Manzoori-Stamford
Pitt Cue Co
By Tom Adams, Simon Anderson, Jamie Berger and Richard H Turner
The Pitt Cue Co story is pretty well documented but for those of you who don’t know, the American barbecue concept started life in 2011 as a street van under a very leaky Hungerford Bridge – I know, I got wet there on many a rainy summer’s day. Savvy social media skills, coupled with a killer menu of the most satisfyingly slow-roasted meats, meant it soon gathered a dedicated following and a permanent home in London’s West End followed quickly after.
But the postage stamp-sized restaurant means that in the interests of fairness it operates a very on-trend no reservations policy and lengthy queues are still pretty much guaranteed. So when I heard that its founders were releasing a cookbook, I was thrilled. How utterly marvellous, I thought. I can recreate its infamous pulled pork every weekend should I feel like it and mine will be a smokey, barbecue kind of culinary heaven.
Sadly no. This is not a book for the keen home cook, unless the keen home cook is equipped with some pretty nifty kit. Don’t misunderstand me: there’s a lot that can be made in a domestic kitchen, such as the condiments, sides and cocktails. But a simple hot grill over burning embers will not really suffice when barbecuing a pork shoulder for 14-16 hours at a set temperature (see opposite). My lot in life will be forever to queue hungrily on the corner of Newburgh Street to get my Pitt Cue fix.
However, the pro chefs out there – those endowed with all manner of Big Green Eggs and Josper Grills – should find this book a must, if only to stand out from the crowd of bad examples of pulled pork and sticky ribs that threatens to be the zeitgeist. This book should be a bible to those wanting to deliver something mind-blowing.
The collection is comprehensive, covering drinks, snacks, meats, sauces & rubs, slaws & sides and concluding with “sweet stuff”. A pad of Post-Its to hand to bookmark all the cross-referencing will make lighter work of wading through it, but that’s easy enough to live with.
Many of the recipes do take a fair amount of effort, particularly for food that tastes so divinely effortless, so if you really must make only one thing from this book, make it the Pickleback: a shot of bourbon chased (or backed, if you will) with a slightly smaller shot of pickle brine. Sure, it sounds a bit weird, but it’s simplicity and superb in equal measure – believe me! *hic*
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
If you like this, you may enjoy these:
● Hawksmoor at Home by Huw Gott
● Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food by Tom Kerridge
● Ginger Pig Meat Book by Tim Wilson & Fran Warde