Recipes

Raise Your Steak Game

If you’ve never heard of the reverse sear, then the best steak of your life is still in your future. Ever since I first used the reverse sear method, I haven’t cooked a steak any other way. It’s that good. And simple. What is a reverse sear? The name sounds a little odd, but it’s derived from the other way of cooking a steak, which is to sear it first, then finish it over lower heat until it…

Toasted Sugar Ribs

Brown sugar, white sugar, and honey are all common sweeteners in the pitmaster’s arsenal. They’re great in a pork rub or on chicken to accelerate the browning of the skin. In fact, sugar might be the most popular ingredient in commercial barbecue rubs, which is why I was excited to learn about a new way to use the sweet stuff. Last month, Serious Eats published a story by Stella Parks about toasted sugar. It’s a method of…

Tootsie Tomanetz’s Pork Steak

Tootsie Tomanetz has been cooking barbecue for fifty years, an art she didn’t start practicing professionally until she was in her thirties. When she began her career in Giddings, offset smokers weren’t nearly as popular as they are today. Then, barbecue was cooked directly over wood coals, and that’s the way she’s always done it. When she and Kerry Bexley opened Snow’s BBQ together in 2003, Tomanetz insisted on direct-heat pits. Bexley set to building…

Have a (Beef) Heart

I grew up with an aversion to beef offal. My mother would basically force-feed us beef liver, and I couldn’t stand the stuff. I still can’t, but when I asked a rep from 44 Farms about cuts they had a hard time selling, beef heart was near the top of the list. They sell so little of it that they offered me some to try for free. (You can find some at your local butcher shop…

The Rib Sandwich

Perhaps you’ve seen it on a menu and have been too embarrassed to ask if what you’re ordering is a sandwich full of bones. That’s understandable. “Rib sandwich” does sound like a dental episode waiting to happen, and while yes, it does have bones, it’s often the best deal at a Texas barbecue joint. In Central Texas—or any joint that sells meat by the pound—it’s easy enough to get just one rib, but plates and sandwiches are…

A Glossary of Casings

Smoked sausage is a pillar of Texas barbecue. We talk a lot about the staggering sausage varieties—pork, beef, fine-grind, coarse-grind, hot guts, jalapeno-cheese, macaroni and cheese—but what’s discussed less frequently is what we stuff those fillings into: the casings. Last week I went on a barbecue tour with Greg Mueller of World Casing Company, a New York-based casing company specializing in natural casings. Mueller, who lives in the Houston area, is the sales rep for the South region, including…

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