Fans of a saucy sandwich, step up. In collaboration with barbeque joint Smoky Sue’s, Broadsheet is giving readers the opportunity to order a special menu item for one month. The BBQ Hoagie is a pillowy soft white roll filled with tangy slaw and pickles and a slice of smoked brisket, slathered in Bull’s-Eye Smokey Bacon Flavored BBQ Sauce.
The sandwich’s appeal is in the balance of bold flavours. “The zestiness of the slaw and pickles and the richness of the brisket really complement each other,” says Smoky Sue’s co-owner Owen Brown.
The sauce – always an integral element of American barbeque – delivers a classic Texan hit of smoky bacon that “marries well with the beef”, says Brown.
With its melt-in-your-mouth meats, tangy slaws and smoky flavours, American barbeque is a very different beast to the Australian tradition of throwing a couple of snags and a prawn or two on a beer-soaked grill. “Low and slow” is the guiding principle of authentic American barbeque.
“We’re used to cooking quick and fast on a gas barbeque, searing prime cuts of meat like your Scotch fillet and T-bone, whereas your American style of barbeque is more about the length of the process and the smoke kissing the meat,” says Brown.
In the US, barbeque typically refers to tough cuts of meat, like pork shoulder and beef brisket, slow-roasted over a firepit, a method of cooking that breaks down the connective tissue and renders the meat tender. It’s a tradition that varies from region to region and is particularly strong in southern states such as Texas and Kentucky.
At Smoky Sue’s, which has the tagline “Barbecue done different”, Brown has tweaked tradition. First, he cooks the meat in a sous-vide technique, before hickory smoking it in a Yoder Smoker imported from Kansas.
The brisket in the BBQ Hoagie is seasoned with a Texan salt-and-pepper rub before cooking – a process that takes a full day. Cooking at a low temperature over a long period – “we’re talking 275 Fahrenheit, or 160 degrees [Celsius], for 11 to 12 hours” – ensures the meat comes apart like “butter” once it’s done, says Brown.
For anyone trying their hand at American barbeque brisket at home, Brown’s advice is not to rush it. “Rather than following a strict protocol, make sure you’re cooking it to tenderness. And like any good piece of meat, let it rest before you start carving it,” he says.
For the seasoning, start with a salt-and-pepper base before adding extra elements like onion or garlic powder, and choose a sauce that packs a punch, like Bull’s-Eye Smokey Bacon. “It adds depth of flavour – a zing and sweetness which offsets the salt-and-pepper rub,” says Brown.
The BBQ Hoagie is available from Smoky Sue’s from October 21 to November 20.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Bull’s-Eye BBQ Sauce, available at major supermarkets in the sauce aisle.