You know, simply chatting to people really can lead to remarkable things.
I was fortunate enough to meet John Mueller at the recent Gettin Sauced festival in Austin a few weeks back. He was offering folks samples of the JMueller sausage that will be featured when his new store opens at 1502 s. 1st on September 26th. I expressed to him how disappointed I was that I would not get a chance to try his brisket before I headed back to Australia (which happens tomorrow, boo hoo).
A few days later, a magical direct message over twitter let me know that John was offering me the chance to sample JMueller brisket before I leave. The time and place for exchange were arranged, and I figured I would get a little package with a few slices to taste. Clearly, I underestimated the “everything is bigger in Texas” rule, as John handed me over an ENTIRE brisket. All my bovine dreams had come true.
I quickly called the housemates and told them to get out the paper towels and High Lifes – I was headed home with brunch.
I hauled the huge package up onto the kitchen counter. Housemate Emily was particularly thrilled that it came in a Hobby Lobby bag.
The peppery, smokey scent wafted up into the kitchen. A finished brisket truly is a beautiful sight to behold.
Finally the cutting began. Immediately, a rich red smoke ring was revealed and the pepper crust flecked around the board. Head cutter, Housemate David, said he barely needed to cut the brisket at all, it was literally falling apart underneath the knife.
Mueller uses only salt and pepper on his briskets, and cooks them for approximately 6 hours, which is relatively fast by BBQ world standards.
The verdict? An incredibly moist, and brilliantly cooked brisket. The point of difference is the heavily peppered crust. In some respects, the presence of the pepper overrides the “umami” flavour of the meat. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but won’t appeal to all tastes. If you’re into pepper steaks and sauces, you’ll LOVE this brisket.
When the new store opens on South First, BBQ lovers can also expect to find a full menu with brisket, homemade hot sausage, beef short ribs, pork ribs, turkey breast, pork loin and specials of prime rib, pork chops and t-bones.
JMueller will also feature two types of BBQ sauce – a thin, spicy one and a thicker sweet one. The sides are also an interesting offering, a little left of centre from typical options. Potato salad, chipotle coleslaw, beans and baked squash, all of which are made fresh by John himself.
When asked if there will be forks available to customers (since they’re frowned upon in Lockhart), Mueller replies “ha… I do things more in the Louie Mueller tradition, yes we allow forks “.
Not that you’ll need a fork to get through that moist brisket…
(plus next post I’ll show you a badass breakfast recipe using leftover brisket!)
*Possibly the most embarrassing part of this post was getting a reply from John telling me we cut the brisket upside down. I claim Australian ignorance.