Smoked in Texas

More than Leftovers at Slow Bone

When Jack Perkins opened the Slow Bone in Dallas last year, it was with a standard barbecue menu. Since then he’s been tinkering with ways to use up leftover meat. Perkins doesn’t want to serve you yesterday’s ribs, but throwing them out would be bad business sense, not to mention disrespectful to the animal. This no-waste goal has led him into some uncommon menu territory compared to most barbecue joints, but these aren’t your grandma’s…

A Tour of Houston Sausages

As one third of the Texas barbecue trinity, smoked sausage has important stature in Texas. Central Texas has its beef sausages, East Texas has got hot links, and you’ll find plenty of smoked boudin along the Louisiana border. In Houston, they have it all as J.C. Reid and Michael Fulmer showed me in a guided tour last week through the south side of town. There are still plenty out there still left to try, but…

Smoked in Texas: Pasta at Oak

Smoke has become a popular new ingredient in all kinds of cuisine outside of the barbecue realm. Chef Richard Gras of Oak in Dallas is pushing those limits. He is smoking pasta. Well, technically he is smoking flour over mesquite chunks, then using that flour for his house made pasta. The process was documented by Zagat in this video:   Last week, I went into Oak to get a taste of this pasta. The smoke…

Smoked in Texas: TJ’s Smoked Salmon

When you think of smoked salmon, it might be thin slices of rosy meat that come to mind. That’s the smoked salmon common on deli menus or vacuum-packed on a grocery store shelf which is generally a cured and cold-smoked product. Jon Alexis at TJ’s Seafood Market in Dallas does it a little differently, and it’s fantastic. Instead of cold-smoking, which is generally done at temperatures around a hundred degrees, Alexis hot-smokes skin-on salmon filets…

Smoked in Texas: Smoked Sturgeon Headcheese

In the video above, chef John Tesar of Spoon in Dallas raises the smoked-filled glass dome to reveal one of his signature dishes. It’s a headcheese made of apple wood smoked sturgeon. The presentation is dramatic, but the that’s only the beginning. The smokiness of the fish is deep. It seeps into the gelatin which allows the flavor to coat your mouth as it melts on the tongue. The dollop of caviar is an uneccessary…

Smoked in Texas: Southern Star Rauchbier

Schlenkerla in Bamberg, Germany makes what is probably the most famous smoked beer, or rauchbier, in the world. Recently they started selling it in the US, so I was able to get a bottle at my local Spec’s. On the same shelf was another rauchbier, but it came from just down the road in Conroe, Texas. Southern Star Brewery has been operating in Conroe, just north of Houston, since 2007. Their first foray into smoked…

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