Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Southern Foodways Summer

In 2012, the Southern Foodways Alliance celebrated the "Summer of Barbecue" leading up to the annual symposium. This year's symposium focused on barbecue and was held in late October in the town of Oxford, Mississippi. I was one of the happy attendees, but before I made my way over from Texas I wrote a few posts for the SFA blog. I had a great time coming up with the subject matter that wasn't always so strictly about meat. If you're interested in perusing what I did last summer, here's the full list:

Deanville Sons of Hermann Hall: Pork steaks in Central Texas. 

Linked In: All beef links in Southeast Texas. 

Barbacoa: Cooking in a hole in the ground.

Dallas Pig Stands: Where the drive-in started. 

Barbecue, in a Word: The many spellings of BBQ. 

Israel 'Pody' Campos: A West Texas pitmaster. 

Anthropomorphic Cannibalistic Swine: Hogs dressed like people. 

A Barbecue Journal: Roy Perez keeps track of his barbecue. 

Smoking is Hazardous to Your Health: How pitmasters protect themselves. 

Breaking Coal in Jeddo, Texas: Making B&B charcoal. 

Brisket, Glorious Brisket: Great beef made simple. 

East Texas Hot Links: Not that good. 

Questioning ‘Low & Slow’: More than a few joints in Texas like it hot and fast. 

More Barbecue, More Better: The beauty of beef short ribs. 

Thanks again to John T. Edge for giving me that chance to find a new audience and for Sara Camp Arnold who provided her editing talent.

- BBQ Snob

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Rusty Jeep Hickory Pit BBQ

PORT ARANSAS: Rusty Jeep Hickory Pit BBQ 
118 Cut-Off Road 
Port Aransas, TX 78373 
Open ?

It was a fog covered road that led us up to Port Aransas from Corpus Christi. The fog was clearing as we made our way into town in search of some barbecue. A rusty Jeep sat opposite a red metal building with a drive-thru window. We pulled up and placed our order and soon we had some road food. Just a block away was the entrance to the ferry across to Aransas Pass. We had just enough time to scarf down a few bites before the short boat ride was over.

The eponymous vehicle

A dill and cucumber salad could have doubled for the soup course. A cold loose corn salad with diced peppers and onions and a vinegar dressing was much better. Huge ribs with a good level of hickory smoke were dried out from being cooked the day previous. Drier and flavorless brisket wasn’t worth the stomach space.

Rating *

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The Prophets of Smoked Meat

My friend, coworker and photographer Nicholas McWhirter and I have been working on a little project. We traveled over 10,000 miles across Texas and ate over 200 barbecue joints along the way. Then we put together a book about it called The Prophets of Smoked Meat, and Anthony Bourdain decided to put it into his new line of books. In fact it will be the first book released in that line. We're a bit excited. It's not out yet, and won't be until 05/14/13, but you can now pre-order a copy or fifty on Amazon. I had grand plans of releasing the cover art on this blog, but Eater beat me to it. Either way, I'm proud to say that Nicholas designed the cover that makes me hungry every time I see it.

Here’s the full description from our publisher Ecco:

Spare ribs. Smoked brisket. Fatback bacon. Pulled pork. Burnt ends. From the science of heat to the alchemy of rubs, from the hill country to the badlands, The Prophets of Smoked Meat takes readers on a pilgrimage to discover the heart and soul of Texas barbeque.

Join Daniel “BBQ Snob” Vaughn—host of the popular blog Full Custom Gospel BBQ and acknowledged barbeque expert—as he treks across over 10,000 miles to sample the wood-smoking traditions of the Lone Star state’s four distinct barbeque styles:

East Texas style, essentially the hickory-smoked, sauce-coated barbecue with which most Americans are familiar; Central Texas “meat market” style, in which spice-rubbed meat is cooked over indirect heat from pecan or oak wood, a method that originated in the butcher shops of German and Czech immigrants; West Texas “cowboy style,” which involves direct cooking over mesquite and uses goat and mutton as well as beef and pork; South Texas barbacoa, in which meat is smoked in an underground pit covered with maguey leaves.

Including recipes from longtime Pit-masters—many of whom reveal for the first time their secret family techniques—and new barbeque stars, The Prophets of Smoked Meat encompasses the entire panorama of Texas barbeque.

Illustrated throughout with lush, full-color photos of the food, the people, and the stunning landscapes of the Lone Star State, The Prophets of Smoked Meat is the new barbeque bible essential for neophytes and seasoned experts alike.

- BBQ Snob

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Each joint is judged on the essence of Texas 'cue...sliced brisket and pork ribs. Sausage is only considered if house made. Sauce is good, but good meat needs no adornment to satisfy. Each review can only be based on specific cuts of meat on that particular day. Finally, if the place fries up catfish or serves a caesar salad, then chances are they aren't paying enough attention to the pits, so we mostly steered clear.