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 leftovers.
Brisket Tamales – Perkins hired Mireya Perez, sister of his pitmaster Evan Rojas, to his kitchen staff to make tortillas (more on those in a bit) and tamales from scratch. The tamales are made with masa and chicken stock, and each one is stuffed with about a quarter pound of leftover chopped brisket. Truthfully, it’s not all leftovers these days. The tamales have been so popular, especially with a dab of house made siracha, that Perkins is now smoking briskets just for the tamales.
Frito Pie – More leftover brisket goes into this dish. The already smoked meat is chopped and used to make the chili. Then it’s poured over Fritos and topped with shredded cheese, but we’re guessing you already knew that part.
Chili Mac – This isn’t on the menu, but if you get a side of that brisket chili, and a side of mac & cheese, you can make your own. Just mix them together, and pretend you’re back in grade school.
Brisket Tacos – These aren’t neccesarily leftovers, but illustrate how Perkins tries to keep the menu lively. He has plenty of barbecue fans, but as he explains “I need you to come twice a week.” That’s why he’ll start making enough tortillas soon so that you can choose them as your bread option instead of the cornbread or hushpuppies. They’re made with bacon fat and rendered brisket fat, which might be why they taste so good wrapped around some chopped brisket. For now, the tortillas are just made periodically, but look for them on the daily menu soon.
Eve Sandwich – This is the brain child of newly hired chef Jeffery Hobbs. At Slow Bone they remove the two ribs at either end of the rack and chose not to serve them. They weren’t sure how to best use them, but Hobbs came up with the brilliant idea of pork rib spam. Smoked rib meat and fat are removed from the bones and ground into a batter. That batter becomes a pork rib terrine that is chilled, sliced and fried. Two slices are placed onto a long English muffin bun along with siracha mayo, greens, and Lemley’s tomato slices. The result is one of the best and most creative barbecue sandwiches I can remember.
If you’re looking to create some leftovers of your own, there’s a sausage class taught by Smoke’s Tim Byres tonight at Slow Bone. Call the restaurant for details. (214) 377-7727