Praise the Lard

In Murphysboro, Illinois, lies world-famous 17th Street Barbecue. It’s no surprise that the lives of Mike Mills, a Barbecue Hall-of-Famer with four World Champion titles and three Memphis in May Grand World Champion titles, and his daughter Amy revolve around family and barbecue. In their latest cookbook, Praise the Lard (aptly subtitled Recipes and Revelations from a Legendary Life in Barbecue), the father-daughter duo shares family barbecue traditions, recipes, tips and more. Stories of the generations of family members like Mama Faye and Mike’s older brother Landess Mills fill the pages. Chapters, divided by dish type and occasion, lead barbecue enthusiasts through the basics, such as “High Holy Days,” focused on dishes feeding large, hungry crowds, and “Praise the Lard,” dedicated to a do-it-yourself whole-hog experience. Recipes such as Mills’ champion Legendary Baby Back Ribs with his signature Apple City Barbecue Sauce (made with cane-sugar ketchup and grated apple peels) can be made with easy-to-follow instructions, from prepping the meat to setting up the smoker to serving. Praise the Lard is for barbecue-lovers of all levels who are ready to immerse themselves in Mills’ wisdom.

By Mike Mills and Amy Mills,