When you think of Texas cuisine, what comes to mind? There’s quesó, kolaches and klobásníky – pigs in a blanket, chili, sans beans, obviously and three zillion varieties of tacos. Then, of course, there’s Tex-Mex, Mex-Tex and barbecue.
Texas Monthly’s Barbecue Editor Daniel Vaughn has noticed how Texans have been mixing things up lately.
On the ways Tex-Mex and barbecue have been coming together:
It’s a really nice thing that’s happened in Texas, as two of our favorite cuisines, Tex-Mex and barbecue seem to be coming together in man different barbecue joints across the state.
On what is happening now in barbecue joints:
Using smoked meats in a purely Tex-Mex context is something that is unique to newer barbecue joints in Texas.
On what multitudes Tex-Mex contains:
The idea of a barbecue joint making flour tortillas, as they do at Valentina’s Tex-Mex Barbecue down in Austin, or at Flores Barbecue in Whitney – they’re taking pork and turning it into smoked pork carnitas with a smoked salsa verde for their tacos. [They’re] taking smoked brisket leftovers and using that to make a smoked brisket carne guisada. These are things that are only going to happen when you’re truly melding these cuisines together.
On great places for Tex-Mex barbecue:
Killen’s Barbecue down in Pearland – they have fantastic barbecue for lunch, and for dinner they have a lot of unique items, one of them being a short rib tamale… [Tejas Chocolate + Barbecue] is in Tomball, Texas, on the northwest side of Houston. They took all of the elements of a great chile relleno and ground them up and put them into a sausage casing.
Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.