Spice up your tailgating party with two hearty recipes from acclaimed barbecue restaurant The Salt Lick in Austin, Texas.
Nothing feeds a crowd—or warms them up—like a batch of brisket jalapeño poppers and meaty black bean chili.
To make the poppers, Salt Lick owner/pit master Scott Roberts chops a brisket then adds pickled jalapeños, dry rub mix (black and cayenne peppers, garlic powder and salt), barbecue sauce, breadcrumbs and American and Swiss cheeses. After scooping spoonfuls of the mix to form poppers, he deep-fries them. Easy!
The chili, which gets its intense flavor from smoked sausage, bacon, chipotle peppers, garlic and chili powder, is simple to make as well.
After sautéing the meat (The Salt Lick uses venison, but you can sub in beef or your favorite protein—or just leave it vegetarian), onions and garlic, the BBQ pro adds the sausage, peppers, chile powders, chicken stock, tomatoes and honey to a Dutch oven. He cooks it for just 45 minutes, adds black beans and simmers the chili for 15 minutes more. The finishing touch: a splash of lime juice.
Brisket Jalapeno Poppers
Makes about 20
Peanut or canola oil for frying
½ pound brisket, chopped
1 egg, whisked
3 tbsp. pickled jalapeño, chopped
½ tbsp. dry rub mix (recipe below)
6 tbsp. barbecue sauce
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
⅓ cup American cheese, shredded
⅓ cup Swiss cheese, grated
1. Heat oil in a deep frying pan or deep fryer to 350 F.
2. In large mixing bowl, combine brisket and egg and mix well. Add jalapeño, dry rub mix and barbecue sauce, and mix well. Add breadcrumbs in small amounts and make sure they are evenly distributed. Add cheeses, and mix well.
3. Scoop 1 tbsp. of mix to form poppers.
4. Fry in oil until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel.
BBQ Dry Rub
⅓ cup salt
⅛ cup black pepper
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
Garlic powder, to taste
Meaty Black Bean Chili
2 tbsp. bacon grease (or peanut or canola oil)
2 lbs. venison shoulder, cut into ½-inch pieces (or substitute with your favorite meaty protein)
Salt and pepper
1 large red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ lb. smoked sausage, chopped
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup plum tomatoes (2 medium), chopped
2 tbsp. tomato paste
½ tsp. chipotle pepper pureé
2 tbsp. ancho chile powder
2 tsp. pasilla chile powder
1½ tsp. honey
1 8-oz. can black beans, drained
1 tbsp. lime juice
Corn tortilla strips, optional topping
Shredded cheese or goat cheese, optional topping
Cilantro, optional topping
1. In large Dutch oven over high heat, heat the bacon grease or oil. Season venison (or meat) with salt and pepper, and sauté until browned, about 4 minutes. Remove meat and all but 3 tbsp. of rendered fat.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Sauté onions until translucent. Add garlic, and cook 2 minutes. Return meat to pot, add sausage, chicken stock, tomatoes and tomato paste, chipotle puree, chile powders, and honey. Increase heat until mixture boils, then cover and simmer about 45 minutes.
3. Add beans, and cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and add lime juice. Taste to see if any additions are needed. Serve with a sprinkling of cheese, tortilla strips and fresh cilantro.