Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Texas-style in Memphis - Beef Brisket from Fat Larry's

The media loves conflict because it gives a story more of an edge. That’s why news stories that compare the barbecue in Memphis and Texas act like the two areas are locked in a bitter feud of pork versus beef as the proper meat for slow cooking. In reality, although pork is definitely the traditional meat used in the area you’ll find beef brisket on plenty of menus in the Mid-South and serious barbecuers respect the skill it takes to bring out the cut’s potential.

I mentioned in a previous review that you’ll see multiple Memphis In May whole hog trophies at Fat Larry’s. But you’ll also see a couple of first place awards for beef brisket from other barbecue competitions. It doesn’t matter if you’re working with a beef brisket or a pork shoulder, barbecuing uses the same philosophy as traditional French cooking. You use steady low heat combined with a lot of time. Whether you’re smoking meat in a barbecue pit or braising it in a pot of bone stock, wine and shallots, the goal is to turn tough, fatty cuts of meat into delectable servings of concentrated flavor. The beef brisket at Fat Larry’s is a perfect example -- tender, delicious and marbled with fat that melts in your mouth.

The only complaint I had, and I’ve noticed this on several trips to Fat Larry’s, was the cole slaw that was swimming in mayo. I know that slaw is an afterthought when people are deciding where to go for barbecue, but it is always a little sad to have one side item keep a meal from achieving perfection.

Fat Larry's on Urbanspoon

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