“Texans barbecue beef. These three words are often used to sum up the Texas barbecue experience,” Robb Walsh writes in the introduction of Legends of Texas Barbecue
“I understand why this knee-jerk explanation has become so popular; it reduces a long, complicated saga into a pat one-liner that no one can really disagree with,” he writes. “The real story of Texas barbecue is far more bewildering.”
And, like “a feisty mutt with a whole lot of crazy relatives,” the state’s barbecue scene is constantly revolving, the award-winning Texas food writer and cookbook author writes.
This is why he has revised and updated his original 2002 book by the same name.
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The newly released Legends of Texas Barbecue, subtitled Recipes and Recollections From the Pitmasters (Chronicle, $22.95) includes 100 recipes from around the state, of which 32 are new — and not just for beef.
From Uncle Kermit’s barbecued cabbage, supplied by a cook-off competitor in Taylor, to Art Blondin’s chipotle-marinated ribs from a restaurant owner in Florence, and Gerardo’s barbacoa de borrego from Gerardo’s Drive-in in Houston, the recipes — and stories behind them — celebrate Texas’ rich culinary heritage.
Walsh profiles popular pit-masters, such as Austin’s Aaron Franklin, and lists six of Texas’ most talked-about “wait-in-line joints” — Dallas’ Pecan Lodge makes the cut.
Fort Worth’s Angelo’s Bar-B-Que and Railhead Smokehouse are included in “Ten in the City,” a list of the author’s favorite big-city places.
He includes Railhead’s recipe for barbecued bologna sandwiches, and admits, “I thought this sounded like a horrible idea until I tried it. Barbecued bologna on a bun tastes like barbecued hot dogs.”
Railhead’s barbecued bologna sandwiches
Makes 4 sandwiches
“At the Railhead Smokehouse in Fort Worth, these sandwiches are served with french fries and cold beer,” Walsh writes.
- One 1-pound whole bologna (large size)
- 4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
- Barbecue sauce of your choice
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 8 slices dill pickle
1. Set up your smoker for indirect heat with a water pan. Use wood chips, chunks, or logs, and keep up a good level of smoke. Maintain a temperature between 250 and 300 degrees. Smoke the bologna for 1 hour over indirect heat. It should have a little char on the edges and swell until it is about to burst.
2. Spread the cut sides of the toasted buns with the barbecue sauce and place the bottom half of each bun, cut-side up, on a plate. Cut the bologna into four thick slices, and place one slice on each bun bottom. Top with the onion and pickle slices, dividing them evenly, then serve immediately.
Nutritional analysis per sandwich: 501 calories, 35 grams fat, 29 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams protein, 67 milligrams cholesterol, 1,525 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 63 percent of calories from fat.