Smoked in Texas

All the Sausages

Making sausage ain’t easy. There’s the trimming, grinding, seasoning, stuffing, and then the smoking. For barbecue joints, buying a few boxes of cheap sausage from your food distributor is a tempting prospect when compared to the hours required to make your own. But Texas is a place where smoked sausages are a part of our barbecue identity. Whether it’s from the Czech, German, or Beaumontian sausage making traditions, or it’s an innovative modern recipe, a good smoked sausage is the signature of…

Hot & Fast Beef Chuck Short Ribs

It was Valentine’s Day, and some neighbors – who have also been married long enough to stay away from restaurants on the 14th – agreed to join us for dinner. I picked up a couple racks of beef ribs and had planned to smoke them indirectly. After too many dinosaur rides at Jurassic Quest (we did it for the kids) and a late lunch, I was tight on time. Some experimenting was in order. I figured I’d see…

Pastrami at Pieous

Joshua and Paige Kaner opened Pieous in early 2013. They took over an old Cartwright’s BBQ building southwest of Austin on Highway 290. The plan was always to cook with fire, so a custom wood-fired oven was installed to cook the pizzas. A rotisserie smoker was left behind by the previous owners, so they decided to add house-made pastrami to the menu. Now about half of the customers add pastrami to their order at this…

Fran’s Brown Pig Pizza

Barbecue and pizza are two items that usually don’t join forces on a restaurant menu, but in the East Texas town of Daingerfield they’ve come together at Fran’s Barbeque and Pizza since 1971. Fran’s is named for Frances Neely. She was married to Dick Neely, and worked at the storied Neely’s in Marshall serving Brown Pig sandwiches. She took the recipe for the famous sandwiches to Daingerfield, and then she added a pizza oven. There’s a…

Smoking Sausages

The Rabrokers have been selling their family recipe German sausage out of Westphalia Market since 1963. The tiny town of Westphalia sits between Zabcikville and Lott on Highway 320 (about twenty minutes east of Temple), and the market is a great reason to take a detour. They make several kinds of sausage, but I was interested in the Famous Westphalia Sausage recipe. Pat Rabroker runs the place now. The last name may be familiar from a…

Smoked in Texas: Epicerie Cafe in Austin

Nothing about this bungalow with a French name screamed smoked meat. Well manicured ivy enveloped the Épicerie sign out front, and the interior looked more like a wine and cheese bar, but the menu had a different message. Smoked house made boudin and beef pastrami, a smoked goat sandwich special, and even a salad with a smoked tomato dressing. I could eat well, and get my greens. I learned of chef Sarah McIntosh’s smoked tomato vinaigrette in…

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