Low & Slow: The Art and Technique of Braising, BBQ, and Slow Roasting

Low & Slow is the book for anyone who’s ready to go beyond grilling and master the craft of traditional barbecue. And not just barbecue, but braising and slow roasting, too—together the three pillars of low and slow cooking.

low-and-slow-cover_hresThere are a multitude of similarities between the cooking techniques known as braising, BBQ and slow roasting.  Cooking low and slow BBQ is often referred as “smoke roasting” so Low & Slow: The Art And Technique Of Braising, BBQ, And Slow Roasting is a great book for learning about turning meats into perfectly tender meals. I believe for someone to really become an above average cook, indoors or outdoors, it is important to understand why foods react the way they do when cooking. As one would expect from The Culinary Institute of America this cookbook is just as much about teaching as it is about recipes. The first section describes the differences and similarities between Braising, Barbecuing and Slow Roasting.  This is important information to know when you need to tenderize a particular cut of meat.  Not all meats react the same way so not all meats are suitable for all three of the cooking techniques. The “Meats For Low and Slow Cooking” is one of the best descriptions of what meats are suitable these types of cooking. With diagrams of the muscle structure of the cow and pig you should have all the information you need to selecting the style of cooking best suited for the specific cut of meat you have.

Founded in 1946, The Culinary Institute of America is an independent, not-for-profit college offering associate and bachelor’s degrees with majors in culinary arts, baking and pastry arts.

Ribs-Info-Box

Excerpted from LOW AND SLOW © 2014 by the Culinary Institute of America. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, all rights reserved.

There are sections on tools, fuels, cookers and just about anything else you’ll need to cook low and slow indoors and outdoors.  Don’t skip over these sections because you think you know it all.  There is valuable information that will help you understand more about the cooking process and why you need these tools. As you go through each section or each recipe pay attention to the “The Science Behind…” sidebars and the “Chef’s Notes” too.

One of most abominable habits of some backyard cooks is the act of boiling ribs.  I’m not sure who started this horrible habit, but I suspect it was the same guy who decided that “fall off the bone” ribs were good.  Thank you Culinary Institute of America for backing me up on just how wrong this habit is.

Low & Slow: The Art And Technique Of Braising, BBQ, And Slow Roasting is a great addition to just about any cookbook collection.  It’s educational without being overly complicated and the recipes are easily adaptable to all types of cooking. If you’ve ever wondered about the similarities between braising, BBQ and slow roasting this is a good book to learn from.

Low-and-Slow---Pig's-Ear-BBQ-Pork-Butt

Low & Slow: The Art and Technique of Braising, BBQ, and Slow Roasting
Author: 
 
Pig’s Ear is the section of Lincoln, New Hampshire where I grew up. This recipe is the amalgamation of a variety of different recipes that I have tested over the years. It is a little more complicated than the Braised Pulled Pork Barbecue Sandwiches with Coleslaw (page 25). While that recipe is bold, in-your-face spicy, and acidic, this recipe features a more complex layering of flavors that gives it depth.
Ingredients
  • One 8- to 10-lb pork butt, bone in
Brine
  • 2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Dry Rub
  • ½ cup chili powder
  • ¼ cup sweet paprika
  • ¼ cup smoked Spanish paprika
  • 2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly cracked black pepper
Instructions
  1. Rinse the pork with cool water and dry thoroughly. Trim any excess fat from the pork, leaving a ¼-inch layer.
  2. To make the brine: Combine the sugar, salt, garlic powder, cider, water, and Worcestershire sauce and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Using a brining needle or injector, inject the brine evenly around the pork butt, being sure to inject at varying depths. Use all of the brine mixture.
  3. To make the dry rub: Combine the chili powder, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, sugar, salt, black pep¬per, onion powder, garlic powder, Old Bay, and red pepper flakes.
  4. Rub the prepared yellow mustard evenly onto the pork butt, and sprinkle the pork with the dry rub. (The general rule is ½ ounce of dry rub per pound of pork.) Gently rub the dry rub into the pork, adding more rub as needed. Wrap the pork butt in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Reserve any remaining rub.
Notes
Excerpted from LOW AND SLOW © 2014 by the Culinary Institute of America. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, all rights reserved.
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