Texan steak is a kind of brand, like Italian pizza, Hungarian goulash and Mexican tacos. Visiting Texas and not trying a local steak is simply unacceptable, of course, if you are not a vegetarian. In fact, it will be hard for vegetarians in Texas. Still, instead of organic health food stores that occupy the streets of California and New York, meat is fried almost everywhere, and the air is filled with such flavors that it will simply force you to pick up Enterprise car rental in Austin Texas and visit steak houses and barbecue joints of the state.
So, do you want to experience Texas like a local? Then learn some important information concerning BBQ…
Texan barbecue cooking features
The main difference between a Texan barbecue and others is that it’s cooked on low-temperature charcoal. The ready time of a standard steak is from 12 to 16 hours. If you remove the meat from fire too early, then you won’t get the legendary taste of Texan steak. Such a long cooking time saturates the meat with a nice smoked taste and aroma. Hazelnut is used as wood for coal in the eastern part of the state, oak is used in the central part, and mesquite is used in the western part.
(photo by Artizone)
Probably nobody will argue that a good meat is the guarantee of a perfect barbecue. Most steaks are made from beef, which is very conducive to the growth of local agriculture. Most often, steak is a piece of brisket, and thanks to the patience, experience and skill of local chefs, this rather complex meat becomes incredibly tender and juicy. For those who live meat to be harder, beef ribs is the ideal solution. However, it’s worth giving advice: if you want to look presentable (without barbecue sauce on 70% of your body), the ribs are unlikely to be a good choice, since you still need to bite into them.
The fans of other Texas meat also have something to taste. Almost everywhere in the menus you can find pork ribs, chicken dishes and even game – steaks from wild boar or deer. In addition, all kinds of sausages are very popular too.
Before cooking, the meat is well-flavored with a mixture of spices and dried herbs, and sometimes marinated in various sauces. One of the most popular marinades in Texas is made from vegetable oil, vinegar, lemon juice and mustard.
(photo by Jazz Guy)
Sauces that are served with meat vary from region to region. At the same time, every part of the state, and sometimes every restaurant, constantly argues about whose sauce is truly Texan. For example, cooks at Kreuz Market restaurant claim that their meat is so juicy and tasty, that you don’t need a sauce for it – they will only spoil the taste, while the chef of Stubb’s Barbeque, on the contrary, believe that its special secret sauce gives the meat its unique flavor.
To add or not to add sauce is your own preference. But please don’t ask for ketchup – nobody will serve it to a good Texan steak.
(photo by Wally Gobetz)
In Texas, side dishes are usually served in a separate plate. In restaurants, it can be beans, potato salad and onion rings. At market barbecues, you are likely to be offered simpler snacks – fried onions, pickled cucumbers, tomatoes and cheese.
How to eat it?
(photo by Nicola Albertini)
The first question that comes to your mind when the waiter brings you a huge, good portion of meat, especially if it’s on the bones and well flavored with sauce, is “How to eat it and not get dirty?” Just accept the fact that there’s no answer to this question. But anyway, we advise you to stock up with napkins in advance and not to wear white clothes.
Meat can be eaten with both hands and fork. If you order steaks and sausages – grab a fork, and if you decide to taste ribs or chicken wings – you can’t do without hands. By the way, some restaurants don’t offer appliances at all. For example, the philosophy of Kreuz Market claims that you don’t need any appliances, because you have your hands.
What to drink?
If you want your dinner to be 120% Texan, you have two options – alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Beer lovers are advised to take local ale, Shiner Block, or the world-famous Guinness. Those who still get behind the wheel can order Dr. Pepper soda.
Where to eat it?
Barbecue is an iconic dish in Texas, so you’ll be able to try it in almost any roadside or city café. If you travel on Route 66, be sure to stop at the following embellishments:
- Red River Steakhouse situated at 305 E Washington Ctr Rd in Fort Wayne;
- Big Texas Steak Ranch, which is at 7701 Interstate 45 Access Rd in Amarillo.
Speaking of major cities of Texas, tasty steaks are served in Pecan Lodge in Dallas – at 2702 Main St, and Rudy’s BBQ in Austin – at 11570 Research Blvd.