If you’re planning to host a corporate or family event in Dallas – or even a wedding! – give some serious thought to serving barbecue. Why? Because the Lone Star State dishes up some of the most flavorful smoked and grilled meats in the nation. There are a handful of different ‘cue styles here, from the sweet, fork-tender meats of East Texas to the Mexican-influenced barbacoa of the state’s southern regions and the classic dry rub of Central Texas. Here are five of our favorite BBQ must-haves for your next event.
1. Fatty Brisket: According to Texas barbecue expert Aaron Franklin, a whopping 70% of Texans prefer “moist” beef brisket over its leaner counterpart. Basically, a brisket is made up of two parts: a “flat” leaner muscle and the “point,” a heavily fat-marbled section covered in a fat cap. Though weight-conscious Americans might be tempted to order lean brisket, the latter is more tender and flavorful. Let’s be honest, J.R. Ewing and his family wouldn’t have been caught dead with the lean stuff. So, order your brisket moist and live a little!
2. Cole Slaw: The Salt Lick BBQ chain, based in Driftwood, TX, offers Central Texas style slaw that many BBQ connoisseurs swear by. Made with a vinegar base, their slaw is tangy and crisp, leaving nary a trace of sauce after the last bite. This is the type of slaw you’re after if you want a true Texas vibe. That being said, creamy mayo-based slaw is more popular with crowds from outside the state, so if you’ve got some non-Texan guests it’s safer to stick with the original.
3. Pork ribs: Second only to brisket, pork and beef ribs score big with Lone Star crowds. These aren’t the sauce-slathered babies found at a certain national chain named after a hot pepper. Like most Texas-style meats, ribs here are typically dry rubbed with a potent combination of spices and smoked over a wood fire (oak and pecan are preferred). Serve your guests savory pork ribs with a side of BBQ sauce and they will be talking about your event for months – just make sure to have wet wipes on hand to avoid the dreaded “sticky hand” problem!
4. White Bread and other Fun Freebies: Head to any respectable barbecue joint in Texas and you’ll see a bar with free fixings. Beyond just condiments, there are veggies including pickles and onion slices to wake up your slow-cooked meats, plus a stack of white bread slices because… well, it’s Texas tradition. If you’re dishing up barbecued meats at your next company retreat, family reunion or wedding celebration, consider adding pickles and white bread or rolls to the menu for tradition’s sake.
5. Texas Caviar: You can’t go wrong with classic American sides like mac n’ cheese or baked beans. But if you really want to infuse your next Dallas event with authentic Southwest flavor, feature a regional dish like Texas Caviar. Most chef’s recipes include black-eyed peas, peppers, tomatoes, onions and hot sauce; like this version from Food Network’s Down Home with the Neelys.
There’s no better venue for a BBQ event than Southfork Ranch, iconic exterior filming location of the long-running TV series Dallas. With more than 300 acres, professional meeting rooms, ballrooms, outdoor venues and more, the ranch offers everything you’ll need to make your next corporate event or family celebration memorable. Barbecue meals are prepared on-site by Southfork Ranch’s chefs, and can be customized for your tastes. View sample menus here and request info online or contact us at 972-442-7800 today to get the BBQ party started.