UK BBQ Mag Spring 2016 - Page 51

Austin, is home to the legendary Franklin's BBQ and it an absolute must! Expect a 4/5 hour wait.....embrace it, chat to other people in the line! When we went we met people from all around the world! Grab a beer or a coffee from the amazing stall onsite and soak in BBQ history. You get small wafts of post oak smoke and grain fed beef as he opens the pits getting ready for service. When you finally get in and eat, it will be all so worth it. I think it was the best brisket I've ever eaten, perfectly moist, fat rendered, spicy from pepper, salty balanced with oak smoke, luscious rich sausage, tangy meaty spare ribs and amazing beef ribs. We were lucky enough to spend some time with Aaron and chat, then see the pits which topped it all off perfectly. Arrive well before 8am to join the line, take beer, chairs and sun cream if in the summer.

I didn’t even touch half of Austin but another must is Lance Patrik and the team at Stiles Switch. I spent a morning with Lance and his team, they are what I would love to achieve one day in my own place; cooking from the heart, sharing the load and producing some stunning BBQ. We talked processes, history and beer. Go see these guys they are making an amazing name for themselves and are up there with the best in my opinion! Try pit master Bill (legend) beans and just about anything and everything, oh and they have beer, lovely local craft beer!

For something a little different I'd say Coopers Old Time BBQ in Llano is a dead cert. If you can, do what we did, hire a small plane, and fly yourself there! YES i'd never actually flown a plane before, but that's a minor detail when you have Texas Kev ex US ARMY Colonel, helicopter pilot and general badass next to you!

The place smells different, I recall saying when I landed. As I thought from the smell they cook hot and fast over direct heat using mesquite that’s burnt down to coals in big pits, which gives off a different unique smell and flavour. Try the goat and the prime rib for something different and awesome. They are happy to talk shop and my highlight was when we asked them what temp they cook at or to, he burst out laughing and guessed at a temp then said its done when its done, a fork is a good indicator, I love this and feel over here in the UK in a culture of electronic probes and gadgets pit masters loose or never gain the art of how this craft should be, feel smell and touch. Inspiring to say the least!

If you are in Texas and have the chance, go to a local butcher or HEB and cook something yourself. We cooked some amazing meaty baby back ribs and took part in a chuck wagon cook put on and cooked at by a wonderful lady and now lifelong friend Sandra Julian. There I also met a guy called Alton Paris who makes the amazing Chupacabra rubs, marinades, sauces, jerky....the list goes on! The rub I now use on ribs is based on the Chupacabra rub (go look him up). We also had the pleasure of meeting local cowboys and ranch men....we drank bourbon and chatted over an open fire about meat, life and the grain vs grass fed argument and how most ranchers wont even think about antibiotics and steroids in their beef which was great to hear. If it happens to be deer season and you can, as we did, go hunting, I got my first deer, butchered it and cooked it there and then on a ranch, as a meat cook this is the ultimate experience and changes how you look at and respect produce.

Don't believe what you are told or hear, if possible go meet these people and find out for yourself, cooking with fire isn't a science a such and the more we can create our own spice blends and put our own spin on things the more diverse our own BBQ culture will become but still take inspiration from the greats.

Make sure to try some of Andy's food soon.

@andyslownslow

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