Recipes

Raise Your Steak Game

Jun 13, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

If you’ve never heard of the reverse sear, then the best steak of your life is still in your future. Ever since I first used the reverse sear method, I haven’t cooked a steak any other way. It’s that good. And simple. What is a reverse sear? The name sounds a little…

Toasted Sugar Ribs

Jun 1, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Brown sugar, white sugar, and honey are all common sweeteners in the pitmaster’s arsenal. They’re great in a pork rub or on chicken to accelerate the browning of the skin. In fact, sugar might be the most popular ingredient in commercial barbecue rubs, which is why I was excited to learn…

snow's pork steak
Tootsie Tomanetz’s Pork Steak

May 16, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Tootsie Tomanetz has been cooking barbecue for fifty years, an art she didn’t start practicing professionally until she was in her thirties. When she began her career in Giddings, offset smokers weren’t nearly as popular as they are today. Then, barbecue was cooked directly over wood coals, and that’s the…

Have a (Beef) Heart

Apr 4, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

I grew up with an aversion to beef offal. My mother would basically force-feed us beef liver, and I couldn’t stand the stuff. I still can’t, but when I asked a rep from 44 Farms about cuts they had a hard time selling, beef heart was near the top…

The Rib Sandwich

Mar 28, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Perhaps you’ve seen it on a menu and have been too embarrassed to ask if what you’re ordering is a sandwich full of bones. That’s understandable. “Rib sandwich” does sound like a dental episode waiting to happen, and while yes, it does have bones, it’s often the best deal at a Texas…

A Glossary of Casings

Feb 29, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Smoked sausage is a pillar of Texas barbecue. We talk a lot about the staggering sausage varieties—pork, beef, fine-grind, coarse-grind, hot guts, jalapeno-cheese, macaroni and cheese—but what’s discussed less frequently is what we stuff those fillings into: the casings. Last week I went on a barbecue tour with Greg Mueller…

Puffy Pork Belly

Jan 12, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Not quite bacon, not quite chicharrones, puffy pork belly is the Goldilocks zone between the two, a dish that emerges when one makes the decision to deep fry a skin-on pork belly. I’ve written before about how much I love the crispy pig skin that gets chopped into the barbecue at…

Sausage Making, Freedmen’s Style

Jan 5, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

When a process is notoriously complicated and unpleasant, people tend to trot out a time-worn idiom: you don’t want to know how the sausage gets made. While the saying is especially useful when it comes to any political bureaucratic dealing, it’s a bit derogatory and it slightly diminishes the art of the craft,…

Prime Rib Primer

Dec 23, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Over the last few days, I’ve shared recipes for a from-scratch ham, a smoked fried turkey, and a smoked pork crown roast. Now for the mother of all holiday meal centerpieces: the prime rib. Aside from beef tenderloin, prime rib is usually the most…

Ugly Pork Crown Roast

Dec 23, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Pork crown roast is a popular cut with an inferiority complex. It wants to be taken as seriously as prime rib, thought it would probably settle for the respect of rack of lamb. Alas, a bone-in loin of commodity hog isn’t much to look at, so butchers dress it up by making…

Smoked Fried Turkey

Dec 22, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

I’m of the opinion that most foods can be improved when they’re smoked, and one of my favorite dishes that proves this proclaimed axiom is smoked turkey. We’ve got plenty of great options in Texas, all of which likely beat the oven-roasted turkey that your family overcooked at Thanksgiving. But when it…

Christmas Ham, Part II

Dec 21, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Do you have a ham brining in the refrigerator? No? Then go back to step one here. (Don’t worry. If you missed step one, there’s still time for a New Year’s ham.) For everyone whose ham is about to complete its salt-water bath, here’s what to do next.

Make a Christmas Ham

Dec 16, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Yes, really. Make a ham. From scratch. Don’t just reheat one from the grocery store like you did for Easter. You still have the time to get it on if you start now. After a seven- or eight-day brine, you can have one you can call your own on your…

Cracking the Cracklin’ Code

Nov 20, 2015 By Daniel Vaughn

Chicharrón, pork rinds, gratons, cracklins—call them what you like, but fried hog fat with the skin on is a wonderful thing. I recently attended a Louisiana boucherie (what is essentially a communal gathering where a whole hog is butchered and broken down; read more about it here), and I was…