Chasing BBQ: A Texas Feast
For proteins, we experimented with a couple of different styles of brisket and we smoked beef ribs as big as Mike’s head. The list of Mike’s favorite Texas sides was nearly endless (it’s a big state!) so we chose a few classics, like corn casserole and banana pudding, as well as some with a twist, like smoked beets and beans with peaches.
While I didn’t get to sit down and eat the “real deal” like Mike did on his road trip, I can easily tell you my favorites of the Texas BBQ recipes we recreated. If my friends asked me to build a Texas BBQ plate of a meat plus three sides, here’s what I would choose:
Other than corned beef, I didn’t have a lot of brisket experience before diving into Texas BBQ. I also don’t have a smoker at home, so I wanted to see if I could figure out a realistic brisket recipe for those who want to experience a taste of Texas BBQ but don’t have all the equipment. The method I found— approved by Aaron Franklin of the renowned Franklin Barbecue in Austin, TX—can be done in your backyard with a charcoal grill, a thermometer, and a bit of patience.
Sounds fancy for a BBQ plate, doesn’t it? It’s actually super simple. Earthy, smoky, herby, and sweet…there are a lot of flavors going on with this side dish. Even the colors are gorgeous…ruby red beets, chevre that turns bright yellow with Bajan Seasoning, and a rich, dark balsamic drizzled on top. I guarantee you will impress a few guests with this one.
This side couldn’t be easier. It’s a tad spicy with our dehydrated jalapenos and a touch smoky with our bourbon barrel smoked black pepper. If you end up with leftovers (doubtful!), heat the grits up in the morning and top them with eggs for a hearty breakfast.
A splash of boozy bourbon and the sweet caramelized char from grilling the bananas take this classic Texas side over the top. Vanilla beans are an important part of this recipe; we used Madagascar “bourbon” vanilla beans to stick with the theme, but use your favorite type of vanilla bean. We boost the vanilla flavor by using our popular Vanilla Bean Sugar on the grilled bananas. The finishing touch of bourbon-infused whipped cream is the bomb…you might want to save some for your coffee.
Do you have a favorite regional BBQ recipe? Submit your original recipe to our test kitchen so we can share it with our Savory friends and family.