Roussow’s Restaurants Guide
JP Rossouw, the man behind independent restaurant guide, Roussow’s Restaurants, knows good food.
Although his work requires him to spend a lot of time eating out, he is also a keen home chef and loves outdoor cooking. Having heard about the Big Green Egg, he had to have one.
When did you first hear about Big Green Egg?
Marc Kent from Boekenhoutskloof has an Egg and he’s a huge fan. He’d told me about the many dishes he cooked but I’d never actually tasted anything cooked on an Egg, so I had to try for myself.
What was the first thing you cooked?
I started off with a 4kg rack of prime rib. I wanted to experiment with the ‘low and slow’ Southern style cooking and this seemed like a good vehicle. I cooked it on a metal baking tray with some basic seasoning for a long time. It was delicious – there was a bit of a crust on the rib and the meat was exquisitely tender and moist.
How often are you using the Big Green Egg?
I love cooking outdoors so I’m using it weekly, sometimes more often. At the moment I’m working on perfecting my pizza. I make everything from scratch, get the Egg to its hottest setting and use the plate setter and pizza stone. What I love is the way that the Egg makes a really authentic tasting, smoky flavoured, crisp pizza. No other domestic cooking product can produce a pizza that tastes every bit as good as one cooked in a traditional, wood-fired pizza oven.
Do you find the Egg easy to use?
Definitely! It’s one of the major drawcards for me. I have young children so I don’t have the time or attention to constantly fiddle and check when I’m cooking. With the Egg, I just add the charcoal, fire it up and in 20 minutes it’s ready to cook for hours. It’s also comforting to know that the Egg is very well insulated so the heat is confined and the outside of the Egg doesn’t get too hot.
Do you use it for entertaining?
The Big Green Egg is perfect for entertaining. It has its origins in the Southern US and it’s perfect for those slow cooked Southern dishes like pulled pork, brisket or the prime ribs I’ve mentioned. That style of cuisine is becoming something of a trend in South Africa, and my guests have been known to get quite green with Egg envy when they taste a meal cooked this way.
Is the price a deterrent?
It costs more than a traditional braai but that’s because it’s so much more than a traditional braai. It really is the Rolls Royce of outdoor cooking.
It’s also super-durable and won’t rust or fall apart. Given how much I use it and how well it performs, I see it as a good investment. It’s something that the serious outdoor cook shouldn’t be without.