Merv serves up the three Bs

They’re all im­por­tant to the for­mer Test crick­eter... luck­ily for him they all go well to­gether

Central Queensland News - - TASTE - BY Philip Dillon

BAR­BE­CUES, beer and bulls***. It’s what Merv Hughes does best. So it’s no sur­prise that the lat­est book from the lar­rikin for­mer Aus­tralian in­ter­na­tional fast bowler should carry that ti­tle.

What you see is what you get from the big man with the big mous­tache, so don’t ex­pect to see recipes that he couldn’t fol­low him­self in this book.

“Let’s put things into per­spec­tive,” Merv said.

“It’s a bar­be­cue cook­book.

“There’s cook­ing and there’s bar­be­cu­ing and you shouldn’t get the two con­fused.

“Dur­ing the sum­mer – be­cause it gets a bit cold in Mel­bourne dur­ing the win­ter – I look for easy ways to do things and an easy way to do things is on the bar­be­cue.

“It’s about hav­ing a few mates over talk­ing over a few things and hav­ing a few beers while we are cook­ing.”

Merv does un­der­sell him­self a bit be­cause the book does in­clude what looks like some mouth-wa­ter­ing recipes that your av­er­age bar­be­cuer might not be able to get right.

‘‘ I think the three Bs – bar­be­cues, beers and bulls*** is a fair re­flec­tion of what I get up to.

Those in­clude flanken cut short bar­be­cue ribs, blue cheese-stuffed ham­burger and bar­be­cue teriyaki tuna skew­ers.

But as the au­thor says, the book’s all about keep­ing things sim­ple and ba­sic.

“I wouldn’t say I am that suc­cess­ful. I am very ba­sic and I think what comes through in the book is it’s just about ba­sic cook­ing,” Merv says.

“I don’t think too many peo­ple are go­ing to be over­whelmed with the in­gre­di­ents or the recipes I have got in there.

“I just want to keep it nice and sim­ple.

“I think a lot of peo­ple get into cook­ing and get a lit­tle bit over­whelmed.

“They take a look at recipes and they have to fol­low it and it’s all too hard, so we just tried to keep it nice and ba­sic and easy to fol­low.”

Merv has writ­ten a few books since giv­ing up cricket and one of those was on a sim­i­lar sub­ject.

Now he is hop­ing his lat­est of­fer­ing will get your av­er­age Aussie out this sum­mer throw­ing a shrimp or a steak or even some teriyaki tuna skew­ers on to the bar­bie.

“I did a bar­be­cue cook­book I reckon it would have been about 20 years ago,” he said.

“I sup­pose a lot has moved on in 20 years in all facets of life and the same could be said about the bar­be­cue.

“So why not just update it? And I think that’s what I have tried to do.’’

As well as the cook­ing, Merv says it’s im­por­tant that the bar­be­cue is some­where to put the world to rights and he

reck­ons when it comes to talk­ing he is a cham­pion too. “The BS is what I am more known for,” he says with a laugh. “The name of the book should re­flect the au­thor and I think the three Bs – bar­be­cues, beers and bulls*** – are a fair re­flec­tion of what I get up to.

“If you go to some­one’s place and you don’t en­joy the food it puts a dampener on the whole day, so I don’t want peo­ple com­ing here and say­ing ‘he doesn’t know what he’s do­ing ... he’s cooked a bar­be­cue and it’s been no good’.

“You want peo­ple walk­ing away think­ing ‘if he has an­other bar­be­cue next week... I want to be there’.’’

And with this book your av­er­age bar­be­cuer might just be able to turn the heat up a lit­tle bit more and make their own cook­ing above av­er­age.

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