Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Barbecue University

Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue Birthday Menu

Steven Raichlen’s Barbecue Birthday Menu

Call it a busman’s holiday. When my birthday rolls around in this blustery month of March (don’t try to guess when or how old), I’ll celebrate with, what else, a barbecue.

And being the hands-on, DIY, control freak kind of guy I am, I’ll probably cook it myself.

Oh, I’ll have help from son-in-law Gabriel, the master mixologist of the family. I’m thinking something smoky, like an Oaxacan Manhattan—made with mezcal. (Gabriel also grills a mean skirt steak for carnitas.) I hope daughter Betsy will whip up a batch of her famous brownies—meltingly soft and incredibly fudgy. No, they’re not smoked or grilled, but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming.

If son Jake—newly minted chef-owner of Der Kommissar in Brooklyn were in town—he’d loosen our belts with his astonishing smoked brisket bratwurst.

And if my wife were manning the grill, she’d cook rack of lamb—rubbed with Mediterranean spices, super-crusty on the outside and the rosy pink of dawn in the center. But smart man that I am, I’ll excuse her from dinner duty and call in my chips later.

That leaves yours truly to prepare dinner, which is just fine, because few things give me more pleasure than firing up a few smokers and grills.

The menu? I’m thinking some Raichlen’s greatest hits from my years traveling the world’s barbecue trail.

I didn’t pick a dessert as I suspect there will be a cake—or maybe the aforementioned brownies. I just hope they don’t light the full number of candles. That would put out more BTUs than all the grills on my terrace!

What’s on your barbecue birthday menu this year? Share your recipes and photos with us on the Barbecue Board.

Join the Discussion