Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The South's Best Butts Cookbook Review

The unofficial opening of summer BBQ season is on the books now, and it's the perfect time for the launch of this new cookbook by Matt Moore.

You may know him from his music, or you may remember him from my review of his previous cookbook, A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen. Now Matt has moved on to the next project, The South's Best Butts: Pitmaster Secrets for Southern Barbecue Perfection, offering up one of his favorite indulgences.

Now, first thing first, Matt wants you to understand the distinction between a cookout and a barbecue - the latter of which requires one primary ingredient in his opinion - meat, slow-smoked in some manner- and often pig in the form of a butt.

Every pitmaster across the south has their favorite method for preparing pork butt and usually spend many years perfecting their craft. Somehow Matt has convinced some of the best of them from across the south to share some of those secrets, tips and stories. Part cookbook, part travelogue, Matt gives you a peek into the kitchens of these pitmasters from all around the BBQ belt.

The book is divided into three parts - Fuel = Flavor, Smokehouse Stories and Recipes, and All the Trimmings.

Part 1: Fuel = Flavor. This chapter gives you a summary of cooking vessels, what fuels them, and offers up five basic mother sauce recipes from the different regions of BBQ south.

Part 2: Smokehouse Stories and Recipes. Matt visits restaurants in each of twelve southern states, beginning with Butts to Go BBQ in Pell City, Alabama and ending in Latta, South Carolina at Shuler's Barbecue. Each pitmaster shares their stories, history, and tips with us along with their butt rub recipes and methods.

Other restaurant specialties like the fatty, smoked chicken, wings, brisket, homemade deep-fried pork rinds, potato salad, creamed and deep fried corn on the cob, collard greens, BBQ beans, smoked bologna sandwiches, sauces and condiments are also included. Some regional favorites are offered as well, such as sauce piquant with sausage and tasso. chipped mutton, pulled pork tacos, kimchi and chipotle slaws, and fried banana pudding (yep, I said fried banana pudding y'all!)

Also featured are Johnson's Boucaniere in Lafayette, Louisiana, Bogart's Smokehouse in St. Louis, Missouri, Burn Co. Barbecue, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Heirloom Market BBQ in Atlanta, Georgia, Squealer's Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Que in Meridian, Mississippi, Helen's BBQ in Brownsville, Tennessee, Peak Brothers Bar-B-Que in Waverly, Kentucky, Bigg Butts BBQ in Leachville, Arkansas, B-Daddy's BBQ in Helotes, Texas and Wilber's Barbecue in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

Part 3: All the Trimmings. Here Matt offers up a wide variety of recipes beginning with Snacks & Starters like Barbecue Popcorn, Spicy Queso Dip, Pimento Stuffed Pickled Okra, Texas Caviar and Pig Skin Deviled Eggs, Sweet Potato Biscuits, Wings, Sauces and even Tamales, to name a few!

Sidekicks include Okra Fries, Cucumber Salad, Bacon Corn Hush Puppies, Bacon Bourbon Collards, Root Beer Baked Beans, Smoked Corn, Squash Casserole, and more.

Meaty Mains include Beer Can Sticky Chicken, Brunswick Stew and BBQ Spaghetti, along with other favorites like Mexican lasagna, Burnt Ends Mac 'n' Cheese, pizza, tacos, quesadillas, tostadas and tortilla pie, and even recipes for Cuban sandwiches, pork belly ramen, brisket pho and down south banh mi.

Matt rounds out the meal with some Sweet Things where you'll find recipes for Blackberry and Peach Cobblers, Grilled Banana Splits, PB&B Pudding, Caramel Apple Blondie Pie, Tennessee Whiskey Pecan Pie, Chocolate Pie and a Strawberry, Lemon, Buttermilk Icebox Pie with a Gingersnap Crust, among others.

The Condiments section wraps a bow around it all with some pickling recipes, homemade ranch dressing, hot sauce, salsas, relishes, pickled jalapenos and even a recipe for chowchow.

I know your mouth must be watering because mine sure is!

Newly released, you can pick up a copy of The South's Best Butts: Pitmaster Secretes for Southern Barbecue Perfection, online at places like Amazon, or at your favorite book retailer. We're giving away a copy too - to enter, read on!


UPDATE! Congratulations to "Granny D" who wrote:

"This sounds exactly like what my husband needs. He has inherited a couple of great pits over the years. Unfortunately he did not inherit the recipes or talent for using them. He has tried, but he definitely needs help. And he does not use the Internet so he can't google the help. He just wings it. And he gets so frustrated when his hard work turns out so-so. I'd love to win this for him. Thanks for the opportunity!"

Please contact me at with your full name and mailing address and we'll get your book right out to you. Thanks to all who checked out my review and entered for a chance to win, and remember you can pick up a copy to gift (father's day is around the corner y'all), or one for yourself online at Amazon or at your favorite local book retailer.

Matt has also generously offered to give away one free copy of The South's Best Butts: Pitmaster Secrets for Southern Barbecue Perfection, to one lucky Deep South Dish reader.


To enter, scroll to the bottom of this post below and leave a comment. Please note: It may take a moment for your comment to post, so please comment only once! Use your Google account, or select "Anonymous" or "URL/Name" to enter your comment, but if you do post anonymous, please leave a first name and last initial to identify yourself, in case you win.

This giveaway closes on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, at noon CST. One winner will be selected at random from the comments and will be announced within 1 to 3 days on the site at this same post. Winner will have 48 hours to check back and respond to claim the book. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only please.Thanks for reading and good luck!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of The South's Best Butts: Pitmaster Secretes for Southern Barbecue Perfection, and the offer of another copy, one to review and one to offer as a giveaway.

Don't want to wait? Hop over to Amazon, and purchase your copy today - you will love it!