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Gordo Legally Smokes In A Restaurant

Reds True BBQ and withstanding the heat in the kitchen

Written by . Published on June 19th 2014.

Gordo Legally Smokes In A Restaurant

THE best smoked dish Gordo has ever had? Easy, smoked lobster at Les Pré d’Eugénie in South West France, a three star Michelin owned by a genius called Michel Guérard. It was twenty-seven years ago, with a young Gordo being shown around the kitchens by the Le Mâitre.

This being Manchester, the burgers here sell in their hundreds. Every day. But more and more of the clients are trying out Red’s raison d’être, the low and slow dishes.

Gordo spied a chimney, leaning against the back wall, reaching precariously up into the roof, made of bricks that looked like something out of Hansel and Gretel. 

It was wobbly with mortar dripping out of every crack and at the bottom it held a makeshift barbecue oven, a simple affair that was an opening, with no door and a grill eight inches above the floor where wood was burning slowly. 

Gordo asked what this was for. It turned out that it was Le Mâitre’s personal project for smoking lobster. He, and a couple of the chefs, had built it themselves. He had tried various methods over the previous two years trying to perfect the dish, but each time the process ruined the crustacean. Bear in mind that Chef Guérard insists that he will only take females at around 1lb 2oz. He is that finicky. 

Reds: the smoke generator


Reds: the smoke generator


Gordo had had the dish one hour earlier. It was a marvel.  

“So,” asked the young fat food botherer, “how did you make it work?” 

“Well, after two years of trying,” explained Guérard, “we did something different. We poached the meat in butter with some fine herbs; at the same time, we briefly smoked the shell of the lobster. Then, we scooped the meat into the shell. It worked perfectly.” 

It certainly did and Gordo can picture that dish arriving at his table that day as if replaying a video with smell-o-rama.

Last week, Gordo and six Mancunian writers sat down to a dinner of smoked suckling pig at the new restaurant, Reds True BBQ in Albert Square.  The pig was as black as coal, the skin having, in this case, been discarded. This meant the remarkable process Reds’ founders had spent months over in America learning, could impart a smoky flavour into the meat itself, usually treated as second fiddle to the crispy skin and the delicate white creamy fat beneath. 

It was a remarkable result, with everyone at the table enjoying something they rarely come across, a totally new dish.  

Gordo defines contentment in a photograph


Gordo defines contentment

One week later, Gordo had asked the Pit Master at Reds to show him the process they used and Gordo found himself knocking on the delivery entrance door to the restaurant having been baffled by the front door being locked. It was early, the pit crew having been at it since 5:30 that morning.

Reds True Barbecue, as it is called, is not at all like you would expect. The grill is only used at the last minute to crisp up the cuts that have been through a process that can take many hours.  

Beef Long Four More Hours To Go - Copy %282%29


Beef Long and four more hours to go


A dish that Gordo and the Editor, Schofield, always order is called Beef Long (pictured at the top of the page). These are beef ribs, a good deal larger than pork ribs. The meat is usually boned and rolled into a cut we call brisket here in the UK, then boiled with aromatics for a two or three hours. Served with hot English mustard, it’s a historic dish. 

The American method used at Reds is to first of all rub the ribs, bone-in, with two types of sugar and salt, then mustard. Garlic, onion powder, fresh rosemary and a few other ticklers that Gordo has promised not to divulge are added. Something like twenty-four hours later they are placed on the revolving shelves in the low and slow smoker. These, imported from America, are called ‘Fast Eddy’s’ and are manufactured by Cook Shack. Reds buy and import them into the UK. They are a remarkable piece of kit. 

Here is what Schofield said in his scored review;

‘It costs £15.95 for two people or £10.95 for a single rib. Get the £15.95 one because you won't want to stop eating it. The dish arrives as a pair of ribs and is thick and perfectly barbecued after being dry rubbed, marinated and then smoked for up to eight hours over hickory and 'fruit woods'. 

‘The flesh flakes like a dream and is covered in a rich sticky barbecue sauce that enhances without shouting the meat down. There's lush fat in there too, which adds a raw grace.

‘The whole thing is a thing of beauty in a dark world. Ok the meat is essentially an offcut but so what, the care and attention makes this pauper a prince.’

You can read the whole review here.

Chickens, baby back ribs, St Louis spare ribs, pulled pork and Texas brisket are treated in a similar manner.



Now, this being Manchester, the burgers here sell in their hundreds. Every day. But more and more of the clients are trying out Red’s raison d’être, the low and slow dishes.

Gordo recommends that you do as well. Having understood the process, the fat one is looking forward to the next suckling pig, washed down with a Goose Island Honkers IPA.

Just a quickie. Gordo spied the rib eye steaks in the chiller whilst he was being nosy. They cook these on the barbecue grill over hot coals. He hasn’t tried them but they look brilliant.

Many thanks to the Pit Guys; Gaffer Clint, Tom Freestone, Luke Birchall and Mike the Beard. Respect.

You can follow Gordo on Twitter here.

Pitmen1Firepit stars


More firepit stars

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13 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJune 19th 2014.

Mike the Beard, how very modern day Manchester.

Henry VJune 19th 2014.

forget the beard, those beef longs are bloody amazing

AnonymousJune 19th 2014.

he takes it off when he is cooking

tulipamaJune 19th 2014.

Leave Mike alone, he needs the beard for his pet ferret

AnonymousJune 19th 2014.

How many of the miserable bastards on here are going to the next supper club? I wana meet some of ya!

GordoJune 19th 2014.

I am!

AnonymousJune 20th 2014.

Beards give ugly men a chance.

AnonymousJune 21st 2014.

Smile!! Life's not that bad.

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