Just about everyone has a passionate opinion about barbecue. There's mostly pork with a vinegary sauce in the Carolinas; Memphis style, which can be either dry or wet rub but also with a pork emphasis; Kansas City style, which includes all meats but is most famous for its brisket burnt ends and barbecue sauce. Then there's Texas-style barbecue. Texas is big and includes diverse regions, and its barbecue reflects that. But the type most associated with Texas is beef barbecued dry rub style, so minimalist that sometimes sauce is not even present. This basic dry rub recipe is typical of Texas-style barbecue. Texas barbecue rubs are usually spicy and known for various ground chilies and cumin.
- 1/4 cup salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chili powder
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle pepper
- Thoroughly mix together all the ingredients.
- This rub is best if used right away, but if it is stored, use a container with an airtight lid.
Texas-Style Barbecue Meals
Texas dry rub is used on beef brisket and renders a smoky, spicy, spectacular meat you can really sink your teeth into. You can serve this without bread, right on the plate, with classic sides such as baked beans, slaw, potato salad or french fries.
But barbecued brisket is most often served as a sandwich, and this might come on a tasty hamburger bun or soft white bread. Heap the brisket high and add your sauce of choice -- or not. Just don't use Carolina-style vinegar sauce on Texas barbecue. That's blasphemy. Serve the same sides as with bare brisket if it's summer. If it's a chilly night, creamy potato soup is a good accompaniment.
A less common option is to make grilled barbecue sandwich. Make this much like a grilled cheese, in a skillet or panini press. Butter two pieces of white bread on one side, place plenty of brisket on one piece, butter side down, and top with barbecue sauce. Place buttered side of bread down in skillet or panini press and place second slice of bread on top of the brisket, buttered side up. If you are using a skillet, cook until browned on one side and turn; cook second side until it's browned to your liking. If you're using a panini press, put the lid down and cook until both sides are browned.
No matter how you serve dry-rub barbecue, a beer washes it all down in style. Bourbon's not bad either. If you don't like hard stuff, pick your cold beverage of choice -- just nothing chi-chi for this down-to-earth feast. No wine allowed.