Don Green cuts a chunk from his first brisket every Saturday morning. He chops the smoky beef, mixes it with a special-recipe honey chipotle sauce, and sandwiches it between two raw biscuits taken from a can and flattened in a tortilla press first. He pinches the edges of the dough together around the brisket before it goes into a deep fryer. The result is somewhere between tacos dorados and a British pasty. Green didn’t bristle too badly when I called them redneck empanadas, saying their popularity speaks for itself. “Some of my customers order them a half-dozen at a time,” he says.
There aren’t many Texas barbecue joints serving anything similar to the brisket biscuit at Green’s Texas Bar-B-Que, in Euless. Deep-fried rolls are a signature at Stringer’s Lufkin Bar-B-Que, but Green said the idea came from his many visits to the now-closed Rick’s Chicken Hut, in Euless, where he grew up. “With the chicken dinner was a fried, canned biscuit,” he remembers. His barbecue food truck, which is open only on Saturdays, is three years old, but Green has been in the barbecue business for far longer.
Don Green is the youngest son of Hubert Green, who founded North Main BBQ in Euless in 1981. Don worked for the family business, both at the restaurant and on the rib cook-off circuit, for decades. Hubert Green passed away in December 2017 on the same day as his second wife, Shari McKay Green. “[Shari’s] family ended up with it,” Don says, referring to the restaurant, which was known for its ribs and inexpensive barbecue buffet. “I’ve moved on,” Don continues. “Honestly, being able to start this trailer from a clean slate and not being bound to an all-you-can-eat buffet was refreshing.”
Monday through Friday, Don Green is a systems engineer for Dell, but on Friday evenings he loads Choice-grade Angus briskets into the Ole Hickory smoker mounted to his barbecue trailer. “It’s all about prep,” Green says of the key to his brisket. He trims off the excess fat from the surface, especially on the thicker, fatty end to get the brisket down to a consistent thickness from end to end. Trimming the fat before cooking cuts down on the time when it comes to serving. “Whenever it hits my cutting board, there’s zero waste and zero trim at that point,” he explains, but more importantly, “All the bark stays with it. All the flavor stays with it.”
The slices of lean brisket I got on a recent Saturday morning had a nice fat cap remaining and held on to plenty of the hickory smoke. They were also incredibly juicy, for which Green credits his method of covering them in plastic wrap when they come out of the smoker. Instead of the St. Louis ribs he smoked for so many years for North Main, Green switched to baby backs. They were tender, juicy, and had a good, smoky bark. The same can be said for the smoked chicken. The chicken sandwich, which I didn’t try, uses a boneless, skinless chicken thigh. He leaves the bone in and skin on for the smoked chicken thighs, which were delectably juicy. Green said he’s using the thighs to convert those who claim they prefer white meat.
An appetizer of pork-belly bites was the only item I didn’t enjoy. Thick-cut pork belly was smoked, then covered in barbecue sauce before hitting the warmer. The sauce was applied too thickly to set and became gummy. Thankfully, a few bites of the brisket biscuit made me forget all about it. Every barbecue plate comes with the same two sides: canned baked beans are doctored up, and the loaded potato salad is served warm. Green admits it’s not homemade—”It’s a commercial product,” Green tells me, quickly. “I’m a barbecue trailer, not a side trailer.”
If you want a taste of Green’s Texas Bar-B-Que, don’t wait too long after their 11:00 opening time on Saturday mornings. “I sell out every week,” Green says, “and that’s by design.” He doesn’t want any leftovers. The trailer hours are listed until 3 p.m., but the barbecue is often gone by 2:30. The brisket biscuits sometimes go even earlier, but the tender brisket, smoky ribs, and juicy chicken thighs aren’t a bad consolation prize.