Even Platefuls of Delicious BBQ are Legendary in the Lone Star State
Texas is a big state and the BBQ found in the state is as diverse as the state is big. In fact, Texas BBQ is an entity all it’s own. No matter which part of the state they are from, Texans will insist their BBQ is the best in the state. Whether it’s a gas grill, smoker or charcoal grill they are using, they will swear by it. Should it be charcoal, gas or wood to fuel the fire. If it’s wood should it be pecan, oak, or mesquite. Do you use logs or wood chips with charcoal? So many questions and so many different opinions. We haven’t even gotten to dressing the meat yet!
Some believe dry rub is the only way to go. Use it to rub all over the meat and let it sit before cooking. Others believe marinading the meat is best. Most marinades are acid based to help tenderize the meat before cooking. And most all have concocted their own special sauce for mopping the meat while it cooks. Of course the sauce is used to pour over the meat at the table too. But never, ever ask for the secret sauce recipe, cause you will most likely offend the pit-master.
Then there are all the wonderful condiments and sides that should go with the BBQ to add to its flavor and complexity. In the South part of the state it’s the salsa and guacamole. In the east it’s the spiced pickles and relishes. In the panhandle it’s the baked beans and potato salad and up North they like deviled eggs and slaw.
In addition, the beverage of choice will probably be a cold Texas beer to go with the meal. Whether it is a cerveza, a long-neck or a new craft brew, it is the best drink to go with BBQ. If you want something non-alcoholic, then it is probably going to be sweet tea no matter where you live in the state.
As a local influencer in San Antonio and Texas I get quite a few cookbooks to review every year. I really like this one because it has lots of information about two of my favorite topics, Texas and BBQ. For answers to all the questions above plus recipes for barbecuing just about anything, you need to get your hands on a copy of Texas BBQ (Oxmoor House, April 4, 2017, $19.99), a new full-color cookbook that rounds up 115 of the best smokehouse recipes the state has to offer. From the editors of Southern Living, this ode to Lone Star flavor highlights diverse barbecue styles from east to west and panhandle to coast. You’ll learn how the pulled pork of East Texas is different from the spice-rubbed beef of South Texas and how the beer-poached grilled sausage of Central Texas varies from the garlicky grilled sausage of Southeast Texas.
No matter which way you grill it, Texas BBQ has a taste of it all. This Texas sized cookbook also has recipes for rubs, sauces and spreads, spectacular sides and some sweet endings to boot! This book is a plethora of Texas recipes, most with beautiful full-color images that will have your lips smacking just looking at them. They have included a metric equivalent chart to convert standard U S measurements. So this book is a great gift for giving to family and friends outside the United States.
With 188 pages, there is much to learn and deliciousness to try between the covers of Texas BBQ. I have included a couple of recipes here for you to try your hand at making and then sink your teeth into. Once you do, I am sure you are going to want to get your own copy.
Recipes excerpted from Texas BBQ by the editors of Southern Living. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Pork Chops with Apricot-Mustard Sauce
Award-winning chef Tim Byres knows a thing or two about the cowboy cuisine that became part of Texas’ unique culinary identity. “It was the Wild West,” Byres reminds us. “As a result, Texas food at its core is gritty. It’s loud, unapologetic, high in flavor and heart, and it’s all served on a plate big enough for ranch hands to devour after a hard day of working.”
Hands-on 10 minutes Total 3 hours, 50 minutes, including sauce Serves 8 to 10
1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup Texas Meat Rub
1 (71⁄2- to 8-pound) bone-in pork loin roast
1. Rub the Texas Meat Rub over the roast. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
2. Light 1 side of grill, heating to 325° to 350°F (medium); leave other side unlit. Place the pork, bone side down, over unlit side, and grill, covered, 2 to 21⁄2 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 145°F.
3. Remove the roast from grill, and let stand 20 minutes before cutting into individual chops. Serve with the Apricot-Mustard Sauce.
Hands-on 5 minutes Total 25 minutes Makes about 2 cups
11⁄2 cups dried apricots
3 cups water
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1. Bring the apricots and 3 cups water to a light boil over medium; reduce heat, and simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until the apricots are plump and soft. Stir in remaining ingredients, and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Process the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. (A regular blender may be used. Let the sauce cool slightly before blending.) Add additional salt to taste.
Texas Meat Rub
Hands-on 5 minutes Total 5 minutes Makes 12⁄3 cups
1⁄4 cup table salt
1⁄4 cup ancho chile powder
1⁄4 cup garlic powder
1⁄4 cup onion powder
1⁄4 cup seasoned salt
1⁄4 cup ground black pepper
2 tablespoons paprika
Stir together all the ingredients until well blended. Store in an airtight container up to 1 year.
Potato Salad with Sweet Pickles
Potato salad is adored throughout the South, but no two recipes are exactly the same. In Central Texas, picnickers enjoy their spuds with onion, dill, and mayonnaise or German-style with a vinegar or mustard base alongside traditional Deutschland fare.
Hands-on 20 minutes Total 1 hour Serves 8 to 10
1 (4-pound) bag large baking potatoes
21⁄2 teaspoons table salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
3⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 hard-cooked eggs, grated
1⁄2 cup chopped celery
1⁄3 cup sweet salad cube pickles
Garnish: chopped fresh parsley
1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water to cover and salted with 1 teaspoon of the salt for 40 minutes or until tender; drain and cool 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, pepper, and remaining 11⁄2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl.
3. Peel the potatoes, and cut into 1-inch cubes. Add the warm potato cubes, grated eggs, celery, and pickles to bowl, and gently toss with the mayonnaise mixture. Serve immediately, or, if desired, cover and chill.
**Full Disclosure: I received a copy of Texas BBQ in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% mine.