Smoked, soft and succulent. So must be the typical barbecue meats from the South of the United States that has been conquering fans in Brazil for about five years.
The technique called “low and slow”, which uses low temperature and long baking, caught the attention of professionals and amateurs: it entered establishments ranging from snack bars to steakhouses, gained specialized addresses and was the subject of courses, festivals and even YouTube videos.
For the first time, this national market welcomes a Texas-born representative. It is Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, a network with 550 stores in the United States that is expanding in Asia and Brazil.
Brought by businessmen Cyro Xavier and Bruno Galucci, the brand will open its doors in São Paulo in the second half of September. The plan is to inaugurate two other São Paulo units in the first half of 2022 and then open them to franchises — the partners foresee 110 stores in ten years.
Such expectations are due to the connection between Brazilians and meat. “Everyone likes a good barbecue here. There is a big gap to grow fast”, guarantees Bruno.
Grilling vs. BBQ
Americans divide the barbecue between grilling and barbecue (BBQ). The first consists of grilling and is similar to what we traditionally consume in Brazil.
Meats quickly come into contact with intense heat, such as coal or gas, and become crispy on the outside. In the North of the United States, the process, also known as “hot and fast” (in translation), is often used with hamburgers and sausages.
In the southern states, such as Texas, barbecue predominates, whose concept is to subject the cuts to the smoking of fruit wood. The pieces are baked for about 12 hours at a low temperature and “seasoned” by smoke. By breaking down the collagen, the fibers that were once firm almost fall apart.
Brisket: The Texas Front Commission
While some southern locals extol the pork, in Texas, one of the biggest cattle producers in the US, the ox is king.
The state’s specialty is called brisket. The cut extracted from the pectoral muscles is subdivided into flat, thin, and point, which has a generous amount of fat.
As it withstands the impact of 60% of the animal’s weight when walking, the chest is known for stiffness. Therefore, it is up to the barbecue chef to use the time and heat in his favor to reach the desired texture.
Before roasting in the pit (smoking equipment), the meat is coated with dry spices. The mixture of herbs and spices, which varies according to the region’s tradition, results in a desired dark crust, called bark by the Americans.
Dickey’s pitmaster Arthur Fumis explains that central Texas only uses salt and pepper.
Brazilians who try it usually like it first because they remember the termite, also roasted for hours on the barbecue.”
While smoking, beef brisket is still smeared from time to time with a combination of vinegar and fat to ensure moisture.
According to Arthur, a perfect brisket maintains the structure in the cut, but it breaks easily in the hands of customers. Check out how to prepare American-style beef brisket at home here.
Are there beans there?
the typical smokehouses from the United States light the coals at dawn to be able to serve the public at lunchtime.
Ready-made meats are distributed on a counter. On one side are the attendants and on the other the consumers, who often form lines to check the preparations of the most established addresses there.
Sold by the kilo, the cuts are combined on the tray according to the customer’s taste. Brisket, pork ribs, beef ribs, pulled pork, sausage and more are accompanied by the typical barbecue sauce.
To add substance, mac n’ cheese, creamed spinach and potato salad are good. “In Brazil, we make cubes with potatoes and mix them with mayonnaise. The Texas one is more like a rustic puree with a mustard taste,” says Arthur.
Very popular, the barbecue bean resembles our soupy beans, but with more consistency and spices. In addition to the sauce that bears the name, it has cumin, onion, garlic and jalapeno pepper.
“It’s one of the most common side dishes for the barbecue. It has a spicy and bittersweet flavor,” explains the barbecue chef, who gave the recipe of the two Texan darlings to Our.
Click on the images below and learn how to do it:
Texan Potato Salad
View full recipe
View full recipe
For those who are still not so open to Texan flavors, Dickey’s cuisine in Brazil will offer the traditional Brazilian double of rice and farofa. Among the meats, the “tropical” representative will be the termite.