The outdoor meat season will soon be upon us, and Stéphane Reynaud’s book ‘Barbecue’ offers some charcoal-fuelled inspiration for those looking to avoid the clichés. The French chef mixes pork fillets with pistachio pesto, beef skewers with figs and saké, and threads monkfish on rosemary stalks.
Most recipes are straightforward, based on flavour-boosting marinades and interesting ingredient combinations. Reynaud suggests some unusual barbecue techniques, such as setting pine needles on fire in a pan with mussels – not something easily recreated in urban London.
The recipes are sprinkled with French ‘humour’. Meatballs with coriander, for example, are best eaten ‘with a golfer who has lost his ball’, while saddle of lamb can be enjoyed ‘with a delicate cyclist’. Saddle, yeah?
However, as innovative as Reynaud’s recipes may be, he is guilty of a serious omission: vegetarian recipes are virtually nonexistent here, with only one not-especially appealing option (a soya patty with asparagus).
On the other hand, the book’s mouthwatering photography will appeal to many – it stirred my deepest caveman instincts. The perfect book for the Fred or Wilma Flintstone in your life.
Anne Faber, Time Out London Issue 2179, May 24-30 2012