FOOD : Dr. Barbecue : Rich Davis Gave Up a Medical Career for One That's (Happily) the Pits

RICH DAVIS,interested in food in general and barbecue in particular, abandoned a medical career to become a barbecue expert. A former medical school dean and practicing child psychiatrist, Davis made the switch after creating a new Midwestern-style barbecue sauce, called K. C. Masterpiece, which he eventually sold to the Kingsford Co.

Nowadays, when he's not on the road demonstrating the knack of barbecuing, Davis joins his sons in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kan., operating the K. C. Masterpiece Barbecue and Grill Restaurant.

Of the following recipe from his new book, "The All American Barbecue Book," co-authored by Shifra Stein, (Random House/ Vintage Books, $9.95), Davis says: "This recipe won first prize at the Colorado Beef Growers' Contest, using a whole beef tenderloin, and first prize at the American Royal Barbecue Contest in 1980, using a whole pork tenderloin."

RICH DAVIS' BARBECUED WHOLE TENDERLOIN 3 large pork tenderloins or 1 whole, well-trimmed beef tenderloin (6 to 7 pounds total)1 cup soy sauce cup toasted sesame oil3 large cloves garlic, minced1 tablespoon ground ginger1 teaspoon MSG (optional)Barbecue Sauce

Place tenderloins in single layer in glass or enameled pan or large sturdy plastic bag. Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and MSG, blending well, and pour over tenderloins. Cover pan or seal bag well and let marinate overnight in refrigerator, turning occasionally.

Arrange coals, sprinkled with moistened hickory chips, in indirect heating pattern (around sides, but not directly underneath food) in barbecue grill with lid. Let coals burn down to low (225 degrees to 250 degrees), place tenderloins on grill, and barbecue with lid closed, turning and basting with marinade every 15 minutes. Add coals and hickory chips when needed. Pork should cook about 1 1/2 hours, and beef should be cooked until done to taste preference. Slice meat and serve with Barbecue Sauce. Makes about 8 servings.

Note: For indoor barbecuing, tenderloins may be roasted at 300 degrees in oven. Follow previous directions for turning and basting. Use a meat thermometer for best results.

Barbecue Sauce cup soy sauce cup toasted sesame oil1 (19-ounce) bottle Kansas City-style barbecue sauce

1 clove garlic, minced Combine soy sauce, sesame oil, barbecue sauce and garlic in small saucepan and heat thoroughly. Makes about 2 cups sauce.

Food styled by Norman Stewart; props styled by Laura Kahn. Tiles from Tugend Tile, Venice; plate and bowl from Pottery Barn; flatware from Lynne Deutch, Ltd.

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