I spent the weekend barbecuing in the rain. Sure, Winter might not be the best time to break out the Webber and smoke some meat, but having lived in a San Francisco apartment without access to a yard for a couple of years, I’ll take any opportunity I can get. I spent the past few days away at my parents vacation home in Sea Ranch, and despite Mother Nature’s best efforts to keep me cooped up inside, I decided to brave the elements and experiment with an old recipe that I’ve been meaning to try for a while now.
When it comes to barbecue, for me, it doesn’t get much tastier than a good pulled pork sandwich topped with a tangy, vinegary coleslaw. I’ll order them whenever and wherever. In fact, on a business trip to North Carolina, I spent nearly $40.00 on a round trip taxi to a local BBQ joint claiming to have the best pulled pork in all of The Carolinas. However, having spent so much time dedicated to finding the ultimate pulled pork sandwich, it recently donned on me that I’d been neglecting another hallmark barbecue staple — the BBQ Beef Sandwich.
Now, what you see above is by no means authentic or traditional in any way, shape or form. This recipe is an adaptation of one from America’s Test Kitchen’s, Cook’s Country for a knock-off, quick riff on the beef-centric barbecue of Texas. Knowing that I’d be missing the slaw found on its pulled pork cousin, I decided to whip up a batch of creamy coleslaw studded with rich blue cheese – one of beef’s best friends – as a crunchy condiment. Placed atop some fluffy brioche hamburger buns I found at the local market, I was left with a sandwich that was instantly catapulted into the ranks of some of the best I’ve ever made. Smoky, saucy and beefy, these sandwiches pack huge flavor. This recipe is great for a crowd and can be prepared well in advance of service once you have the smoking out of the way.