Hill Country BBQ

4/10/14 11:24am - Well you cannot get more authentic Texas BBQ than this joint.  The owner Dan Hill (the Hill in "Hill Country")  is a former rodeo bull rider back in the day before whoosy vests and helmets.  Pictures of rodeo, bulls and cowboys cover the walls.  But it gets better, this rodeo bull rider is also a guitar playing troubadour.  He leads gospel every Saturday night and they're closed on Sunday.  And if that weren't enough he is a formidable pitmaster.  His clientele includes none other than George & Barbara Bush.  I would say Dan Hill is livin' the Texas dream.

I scored Hill Country BBQ an 87 out 100.  This Reserve Grand Champion Texas BBQ to the max.

Smoke:  Today was hickory.  Dan says wood is wood.  He is not married to any particle smoke.  In his pile was post oak, hickory, pecan, water oak(?), and cedar?!?!.  Dan explained he can smoke with any wood and often does.  He claims he has used sycamore and wee-sash! (maybe he should have worn a helmet).  The key is the wood must be bone dry.   He split a hickory stump and I thought the splitter was going bust apart the wood was so dry.  He uses a ancient rusted steel barrel pit that has been smoking none stop for 7 years!  He has another steel fire pit where he reduces the everything to coals.  Texas primal!

Brisket:  Very Good.  An impressive 5/16in smoke ring beneath a beautiful black bark.  I got both the lean and moist cuts.  The lean was tough of tender and required a knife, but the moist was pull apart perfect and fat rendered well.  Surprisingly the smoke was mild.  Could not detect a noticeable rub but these slices were not lacking in flavor.  No sauce needed.

Ribs:  Very Good.  A cake soft perfect tender rib.  Clean bite and clean bone.  Once again the smoke was mild and I was wishing for some more flavor from a rub.  Dominant flavors was pork and smoke.  No sauce needed.

Sausage:  Very Good.  I really enjoyed this link. A medium ground pork sausage with traditional spice and a little extra special yummyness I could not detect.  Maybe it was its freshness, their facebook page has a picture of "homemade" sausage.  Maybe it was little extra salt or garlic but its flavor was different enough that it was unique.  Mild smoke.  No sauce needed.

Sauce:  Very Good.  A thick tangy sweet sauce of the Kansas City style variety.  Nothing here needs sauce but this stuff enhances the flavor so don't skip it.

A must stop for all meatheads.    

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