This year’s High Holiday season was accompanied by a wave of stories suggesting celebrants smoke their Rosh Hashanah briskets, Texas-style. But for local Jews who adhere to religious dietary restrictions, the chance to go whole beef – or at least whole chicken – with their barbecue interests comes next month, when Synagogue Emanu-El hosts its third annual kosher barbecue competition.
According to organizer Debbie Rothschild, all cooking supplies are provided by the synagogue to prevent a team from wheeling in a rig which previously held a pig. “But we can accommodate everyone,” she stresses. “Last year we had 12 cookers donated.” The synagogue also orders the ribs, briskets, fish and chickens directly from a kosher purveyor. Continue reading
Home Team BBQ this weekend unveiled the fruits of owner Aaron Siegel and executive chef Taylor Garrigan’s recent study trip to Austin, Tex: Brisket, beautifully fatty, smoky and tender — if a cut below what the pair likely encountered in Hill Country.
The brisket I sampled at The Alley on Saturday night was the unfortunate victim of inexpert slicing, a problem all-too-common even in the Lone Star state, as my friend Daniel Vaughn’s recent Texas Monthly blog post attests. As Vaughn, the magazine’s barbecue editor, points out, there are several ways to slice a brisket, but none of them involve slicing with the grain. A brisket sliced with the grain acquires an unappealing, stringy pull, and is tougher than brisket sliced against the grain.
“That’s one of the things we’re dealing with,” Siegel says of the extensive staff training required to produce a perfect brisket plate. “We’re schooling everyone on how to serve it.” Continue reading