A nice sizzling steak, grilled to perfection on a garden barbecue and served with a few sides, something to drink and then eaten in good company is, for many, a key definition of summer. Not that, of course, the barbecue necessarily has to be put away at the end of the season.
In this relatively-slim book that is richly illustrated with excellent, mouth-watering photographs by Tim Turner, the reader is able to immediately see a number of barbecue-friendly recipes for steaks and their all-important side servings. The book is deceptively small when you consider the number of recipes and variations on a theme that you can make from the contents. This reviewer has mixed feelings about what is THE best kind of barbecue book. Is it the all-or-nothing beasts that will probably have the answer to everything and anything, or are these small-subject specific guides better. So far the jury remains out, a hung decision, as both, in reality have their place.
The great thing about the subject-specific guide is that it can really focus on the core essentials - no need to tell you about the different types of grills available, how to set them up and so forth. That being said, you still do get a lot of grilling advice and tips that are tailor-made to the ingredients to hand. This book, starts by looking at the grilling fundamentals, firstly by explaining what to look for in a steak. Cooking a steak on a barbecue is going to be different than in a frying pan, regular oven or sous vide. The cuts of meat are examined and explained in lovely photographic detail so you need not be embarrassed by a perceived lack of knowledge when other recipe books call for a try-tip and you are left scratching your head in bemusement. It doesn't help that different countries can also have different names for the same cut! Who thought grilling was necessarily so simple? It is not difficult but to get the best results you should put a little bit into the preparations.
Straight onto the recipes, nearly a hundred meaty different ones ordered by the cut of meat you have to grill (see, there was another reason for the mini meat lecture) and the range of the recipes is quite good when you consider you have a common ingredient. Many of the recipes can be further amended to through the various subsidiary ingredients. Each recipe is quite clear and simple to understand, broken down into stages and mixed in are various tips that can be useful for that dish and often for grilling generally. To help keep you inspired and focussed there is a nice photograph of the finished, served dish too.
After all of that meaty goodness you might need something to go with it and here there are many simple-to-prepare side dishes or sides as they are known. Rubs, marinades and sauces then follow with their own recipes. The book is finished off with further education in the shape of grilling guides for steaks and vegetables, general safety tips and a generous, comprehensive index to boot.
This book and others in the series work well together. This reviewer takes the position (when buying books on their own account) that if you find a few good recipes that you might want to try again, a book of this price is well worth it. Here we suspect you will find rather more than a few...