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Secrets of the Patagonian Barbecue [Paperback]

By Roberto Marin (Author)
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Item description for Secrets of the Patagonian Barbecue by Roberto Marin...

"Forget the gas grill and ceramic briquettes," says author Robert Marin, who prefers the title "Grill Master" to Chef. "An 'asado' is not your typical backyard barbecue. When you go to your first one, expect to see something spit-roasting over an open fire." And expect to see them in this book, along with instructions on how to do it yourself. It does, of course, have tips and techniques for those who don't have the space, or the stomach, for such a commitment - tips on proper tools, lighting charcoal or wood proficiently, how to choose the best meats; and how to grill every cut and kind of beef, pork, lamb, goat, chicken, venison, boar, fish, and, yes, sausages and hamburgers. He doesn't forget about the marinades, side dishes, or desserts. There's also a small section on wine, beer and after-dinner spirits.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Wine Appreciation Guild
Pages   96
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 11.6" Width: 8.9" Height: 0.4"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 30, 2005
Publisher   Wine Appreciation Guild
ISBN  9568077324  
ISBN13  9789568077327  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > Culinary Arts & Techniques
2Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > General
3Books > Subjects > Cooking, Food & Wine > Regional & International > Latin American

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Reviews - What do customers think about Secrets of the Patagonian Barbecue?

The all-male, Patagonian chapter of the Slow Food movement   Sep 22, 2006
The Secrets of Patagonian Barbecue is for men. That said I'm sure many of you are thinking that this is another lame, reactionary, patronizing offering, gratis the pop-cultural backlash to the political correctness of the `90s. I too have little tolerance for neo-caveman displays found on the internet and TV, which are either frightening in their seriousness, or superficial and gratingly unfunny in their comedy. Spike TV ("TV for Men"), succeeding to a degree in interweaving irony into its animal noises, being one of the rarities.

But this book is sincerely for men. It says it right at the onset in its introduction: "Since the beginning of time, barbecue has always been the private domain of men." Chef Robert Marín (who actually prefers being referred to as "Grill Master") likens the Coleman grill to other old-school, male-specific, group therapies like a day at the ball game, or weight lifting; barbecuing is ritualized, role-play violence that releases aggression in a constructive way while promotes group cohesion. Beer lubricates that release and cohesion to a degree. Obviously I'm being tongue in cheek here, as is the book's introduction, but all we American stalkers of prepackaged tri tip have to do is take a look at the cover and the book's proposed "maleness" becomes less abstract. Is that a pig, head intact, being roasted on a spit? Yes it is. And it's apparently one of the ways Patagonian males release and cohere. (By the look of the BBQer they also take their role play very seriously. Note the rubber boots and pantaloons.)

The Patagonian barbecue, called asado, is an all-day affair. The use of wood, reduced to coals, is suggested, without fear or discussion of carcinogens. Pre-constructed "pits" are useful for this but a small hole in the ground will due--and the larger your backyard the better. The book goes into great detail about preparation (tools, varying forms of BBQ pits, etc.) and how to discern quality sides and cuts of meat, and the proper way to pike an animal. They don't employ a pole in the old style in this book, though I'm sure they wouldn't oppose the prudent use of one. What the modern griller in Patagonia chooses is this contraption that resembles a metal easel with a vertical, weight-bearing bar that rotates forward or backwards at its base, so one can tilt the meat nearer or farther from the fire without having to scoot the entire red-hot mechanism. It's doubtful Walmart carries them or that there's a Swedish version at Ikea, but it seems like a brilliant invention. With this the book spit roasts every sort of four legged creature. But in truth most of the book deals with cuts of meat, the sort all of us are familiar with, with plenty of regional flair, thrown right on the grill. There's also BBQ wine and food pairing tips. No kidding. The final, after-asado decompression section, instructs on how to wash the whole thing down with proper dessert wines, cognacs, brandies, and of course, cigars.

American sensabilities, the entire thrust of this cookbook, its philosophy really, is a natural extension of the Slow Food Movement in the States, begun by Julia Child and Alice Waters to name a few, that attaches the loss of the lovingly-prepared, communal, ritualized meal as an important factor in the degrading values of hearth, home, community and ecology. Master Griller Marín laments the city-dweller for his gas grill and the subsequently frenetic life he must lead. This is a cookbook that supports conscientious carnivorousness--with some shock value. It's the perfect gift for Dad.

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