With spring no longer on the horizon, and summer looming just ahead, you may want to get in that last bowl of chili before the weather gets too warm. Or maybe you should consider a road less traveled. As longtime Texans know, it can get tough to find a good bowl of red once the temperatures start to climb into the triple digits.
But Daniel Vaughn says it shouldn’t be that way. In fact, as the barbecue editor of Texas Monthly, at TMBBQ.com, Vaughn has made a culinary discovery that could mean chili year-round, and all over everything.
“I talked to Arnest Robins at Evie Mae’s BBQ, up in Wolfforth, Texas, outside of Lubbock, and he makes a great brisket chili,” Vaughn says. “I just started seeing it in more and more BBQ joints across the state, but it was always just relegated to its own bowl, and I thought ‘this got to be a lot more versatile that that’.”
Vaughn started suggesting some unusual conjunctions to make chili available at any time of the year, such as adding chili to a baked potato or french fries. But the most appealing to him was chili on a sliced brisket sandwich.
“It goes down quite well,” Vaughn says. “A lot of these BBQ joints got leftover brisket, and one of the great things to do with that is to make a brisket chili.”
Vaughn suggests putting the typical barbecue sauce aside and putting chili and cheese on top of the brisket, just as if it were a chili cheeseburger.
“The first place that I ordered it – and they looked at me a little funny, but they were like ’yeah, no problem’– was a place called Burger Fixins, up in Celina, Texas,” he says. “It was a burger joint that happened to serve some BBQ too, and I said ‘can you fix me up a chili cheese burger, but instead of the burger, give me some sliced brisket?’. And they were like ‘oh, absolutely’.”
Vaughn felt truly influential when Evie Mae’s posted a photo of a brisket sandwich covered in chili and cheese as a new item on their menu.
“There’s no frito pie season, right?,” Vaughn says. “But man, a frito pie with some brisket chili on it…”
Written by César Lopez-Linares.