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(Courtesy Photo) Author Steven Raichlen will talk about his new book "Man Made Meals" on May 17 at the Kings English Bookshop.
Barbecue guru steps away from the fire, into the kitchen
Interview » Steven Raichlen shifts to indoor basics in new cookbook.
First Published May 13 2014 08:18 am • Last Updated May 15 2014 09:10 am

Steven Raichlen is a barbecue king.

He has authored 29 books, most of which are focused on grilling, including "The Barbecue Bible," "How to Grill" and "Planet Barbecue!" He also has hosted "Primal Grill" on PBS and is the founder of Barbecue University, which offers courses on live-fire cooking.

At a glance

Raichlen on guy food at King’s English Bookshop

Barbecue guru Steven Raichlen discusses his latest cookbook “Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys.” Followed by a question-and-answer period and book signing.

When » Saturday, May 17, 1 p.m.

Where » Kings English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Cost » Discussion and Q & A are free; but for $24.95 guests can get a copy of the cookbook and a bowl of “Really Good Beef & Pork Chili” with cornbread. Food can be bought separately for $4.95.

Really Good Beef & Pork Chili

Despite the lengthy instructions, you can make this chili from start to finish in 1 hour. Shop for a pure chile powder rather than a blend, and preferably one ground from ancho chiles. The addition of bittersweet chocolate to this chili may sound bizarre until you learn that the Aztecs made hot chocolate with cocoa beans and chiles.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 pound beef tenderloin tips, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 pounds lean ground beef or bison

1/4 pound ground pork

1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped

1 poblano pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 to 3 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1⁄3 cup pure chile powder, or more to taste

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 quarts beef or chicken stock (preferably homemade or use a good no- or low-sodium store-bought brand)

1 (12-ounce) bottle beer, light or dark —your choice

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce, preferably organic

2 cans (about 15 ounces each) pinto beans, preferably organic and low sodium, rinsed and drained in a colander

2 cans (about 15 ounces each) kidney beans, preferably organic and low sodium, rinsed and drained in a colander

1 tablespoon (packed) dark brown sugar, or more to taste

1 to 3 teaspoons Tabasco sauce

1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, such as Baker’s (the budget choice) or Scharffen Berger (if you’re feeling flush)

Coarse salt (kosher or sea)

Toppings such as grated cheese, chopped onions, sour cream etc., optional

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Add diced tenderloin and cook until browned on all sides, 4 to 6 minutes, stirring often. Work in several batches as needed so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Transfer browned tenderloin to a large platter.

Working in 2 or 3 batches, add ground beef and pork and brown over high heat, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer ground meat to the platter and pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat from the Dutch oven.

Add onion, poblano, jalapeños, and garlic, reduce the heat to medium-high, and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the chile powder, cumin, black pepper, oregano, and cinnamon. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Stir in the stock, beer, and tomato sauce. Let chili simmer gently over medium heat until the tenderloin cubes are very tender and the chili is richly flavored, 30 to 40 minutes, stirring from time to time. (Reduce the heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer.)

Stir in the pinto and kidney beans, brown sugar, Tabasco sauce and chocolate. Let the chili simmer gently until thick and even more richly flavored, 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding salt to taste and more brown sugar, chile powder, cumin, and/or Tabasco sauce as necessary; the chili should be highly seasoned.

You can serve the chili now or let the flavors develop for a few hours or even days in the refrigerator (let cool to room temperature, cover the Dutch oven, and refrigerate. Reheat over medium heat).

Servings » 8

Source: Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys

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But with his 30th cookbook — "Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys" — Raichlen steps away from the flames and into the kitchen, helping men with the basics, from chili for the family to chocolate beer brownies for date night.

Raichlen will be at Kings English Bookshop in Salt Lake City on Saturday, May 17, to discuss and sign his new book, released May 6 by Workman Publishing for $24.95.

"This is the first time in a while, that a cookbook of mine hasn’t dealt with barbecue," said Raichlen during a recent telephone interview. "But this book was really listening to readers on my website and on tour. Not everyone is as crazy as I am and fires up their grill seven nights a week."

About 20 of the 300 recipes in the book, however, are for the grill, he said. "I can’t completely turn my back on my constituents."

When you were writing "Man Made Meals," did you have specific male audience in mind?

Guys and the women who love them. I wrote it for the precocious teenager; for the college kid in a dorm; the newlywed; the young dad who needs to understand the magic of pancakes on Saturday morning; and older guys who may want to start a hobby or are divorced and need to know how to cook. When I was a kid, men didn’t cook at all. But my dad and I had men’s night where we would cook. Some of my fondest childhood memories were formed during that period. Today, there has been this whole food revolution with men cooking, but there is still a certain discomfort. Guys tend to get stuck in same three dishes. Hopefully this book will jostle everyone out of their comfort zone.

What makes something "Guy Food?"

Big flavors. The book includes a list of 26 of my favorite flavor blasters like anchovies, fish sauce and smoked paprika. Guys like alcohol — there’s a chapter devoted to cocktails; and we also like cooking tools like immersion blenders, smokers, torches anything that involves an element of risk and danger. There’s a recipe for "Dirty steak" where you stick the t-bone directly on charcoal, a dish inspired by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. There’s also smoked gazpacho, chicken with a brick, salmon on a plank — stuff that’s cool.

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Did you get any advice from other cooks?

I did a series of interviews with food dudes: chefs, actors and activists, (including Stanley Tucci, Michael Pollan, Mark Bittman) about their food philosophies. They offer an interesting perspective on food attitudes. One of the questions I asked everyone was, "What is your go-to seduction dish?" And every one, almost to a tee, said what you make is less important than knowing how to handle yourself in the kitchen. Women find it incredibly sexy.

Not counting barbecue, what’s your favorite things to cook and eat?

Ceviche, raw fish, there’s a recipe in the new book. I also make these Belgian beer brownies that are super amazing. I’ve been married a long time and whenever I make a batch of those, the evening has a happy outcome. If the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, then a way to a woman’s heart is with chocolate.

Have you ever been to Utah?

I’ve been to Salt Lake City several times and always had a great time. My first trip, I arrived late at night and I woke up to this incredible view of the snow capped mountains. I thought, "How have they been keeping this a secret?"


Belgian Beer Brownies

These brownies pass three acid tests for world-class guy food: great taste; easy to prepare; and women find them irresistible. The twist here comes with the addition of beer — more precisely, a haunting cherry-flavored ale called Three Philosophers from the Belgian-style Ommegang brewery in Cooperstown, N.Y. The ale, which is available in Utah only through special order, adds a subtle malty, fruity flavor and virtually guarantees moist brownies. You can make equally awesome brownies with kriek lambic (a Belgian cherry beer), chocolate stout or Guinness stout.

1 cup Three Philosophers ale, or 1/2 cup stout*

2 ounces really good bittersweet eating chocolate

1 cup unbleached all-purpose white flour

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

5 ounces unsweetened chocolate

4 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Confectioners’ sugar (optional), for dusting the brownies

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

If you are using ale, pour it into a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil the ale until it is reduced by half (to 1/2 cup), about 5 minutes. Place the reduced ale in a heat-proof bowl and let it cool. If you are using stout, there’s no need to boil it down.

Coarsely chop the bittersweet chocolate into 1/2-inch pieces and place in a separate bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of the flour and toss to coat the chocolate (this keeps the chocolate from sinking to the bottom of the batter).

Wipe out the saucepan, then add the butter and melt it over low heat. Brush or smear a little of the butter all over the inside of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Refrigerate the pan to chill it for about 5 minutes, then sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour inside the baking pan, shaking and tilting the pan to coat the bottom and sides.

Add the unsweetened chocolate to the melted butter in the saucepan and melt it over low heat, about 4 minutes, stirring with a rubber spatula.

Place the eggs and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk to mix. Whisk in the reduced ale or the stout and the vanilla, salt, and the melted butter and chocolate mixture. Stir in the remaining flour and the bittersweet chocolate chunks. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and place it in the oven.

Bake the brownies until the top is puffed and firm to the touch, 20 to 30 minutes. A skewer or toothpick inserted in the center will come out mostly dry — a little stickiness is OK.

Remove the brownies from the oven and let cool in the pan to room temperature. Cut the brownies into 12 rectangles for serving and dust them with the confectioners’ sugar if desired.

*I’ve also made the brownies with oatmeal ale and Guinness stout. When using stout, there’s no need to boil it down by half — just use 1/2 cup).

Servings » 1 dozen

Source: Man Made Meals: The Essential Cookbook for Guys

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