Summer is upon us, dear readers, and nothing says summertime like an old-fashioned barbecue. Barbecue has a rich and long history that has transcended from the creation of the first colonies in the past to the Fourth of July tradition that is near and dear to our hearts.
Barbecue is Big in Texas
Texas brisket is well known by anyone who visits the area and has its own unique southwestern style and flavor. Influenced by Native American roots, Southern barbecue tradition, Spanish cooking techniques, and German meat smoking techniques, Texas barbecue really is All-American.
The natives of the region now known as Texas, The Caddo Tribe, had always cooked their venison and other game over an open fire. However, the barbecue got interesting after the Spanish started staking claim over the area and influencing the cooking style with their own flair of spit roasted goat and lamb called ‘shepherd style’.
After the Civil War, beef was the main source of livestock in Texas, and the freed slaves that moved further west brought the tradition of the social barbecue, an event that fed hundreds of people at each gathering.
In the mid to late 17th century, a mass immigration of people from Germany and other Eastern European countries, to Central Texas lead to the introduction of a specific cooking technique. The butchers from Europe would sell their best cuts and keep what was left over to cook in a smoker. The Mexican migrant workers would traditionally eat the cheap barbecue on butcher paper with crackers or pickles on the side.
When sanitation laws were increasing in the early 1900’s, the barbecue cooked in a pit became less common and more people favored the German style of cooking in a smoker. If you want to read the history in more detail, click on the link here.
Texas Style Smoked Brisket
One of the most distinct styles of Texas barbecue is the brisket, a whole slab of beef marinated with mustard and various spices then trapped in a haze of the flavorful yet aromatic smoke of mesquite wood. The wonderful recipe that I found this amazing barbecue technique was written by Paula Disabrowe of www.epicurious.com. The recipe is in the link attached to the photo below. Happy Grilling!
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