There isn't any better barbecue than good Texas barbecued brisket, for which there is probably an involved ritual and special cooking methods. You can get some good barbecue in Brownwood and Waco. However, barbecued shredded beef makes a good sandwich, and is easy to prepare. You can choose the barbecue sauce that you use, whether sweet with molasses, based on tomatoes, or flavored with hickory or mesquite smoke. The best barbecue I ever had was a pork hickory pit barbecue in southern Indiana, many years ago, that I cannot reproduce or obtain these days. For this recipe, I used KC Masterpiece Mesquite barbecue sauce, made in Oakland, California (Oakland, California!), that does resemble Texas barbecue somewhat.
The beef was a flat-cut, lean brisket boiled for about 4 hours until tender. Let it simmer gently, and test until a fork will enter without too much effort. Let it cool, and then shred the beef as follows: cut in thin slices across the grain, then pick up a stack of slices and hold it vertically. Chop from one end and the meat should come apart in a reasonable semblance of shredded beef. Of course, we do not desire minute pieces, but ones of reasonable size.
Now put the shredded beef in a baking dish, and pour on a liberal amount of sauce. One normal brisket piece used practically a whole 1 lb. bottle of sauce. Mix gently, and put in a 250° (slow) oven for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the sauce is just bubbling. Don't get it any hotter than this, or the sauce will burn, which is not good.
Make sandwiches by putting hot barbecue on a freshly-toasted hamburger bun. It makes a nice meal accompanied by potato salad and sweet corn on the cob or as kernels. Note that it looks fat, but isn't. The meat is quite lean, and the sauce is not fatty (though it does have sugar).
If you can find some good Southern hickory barbecue, try it with roasted pork cut up into small cubes and such.
Composed by J. B. Calvert
Created 7 March 2003