A Spicy Perspective

We love our yearly visits to Texas. Yes- everything is bigger and better in this Lone Star State. When visiting Texas, there is no way to avoid the famous Texas barbecue. Then again, why would you want to? Texas barbecue is more than just a regional cuisine. Barbecue is a weekend activity, the passing down of family traditions, a community celebration, and a whole lot of Texan pride.

Here in Namibia, we share these special values and their love for family, barbecue, meat and extra large sandwiches!

This slow cooked leg of venison (or beef brisket) swims in a spicy barbecue sauce and is ultra-tender and finely chopped into small pieces. You never shred it if you are a true Texan-it must be chopped! But, to be honest, here in the Kalahari,we pull the meat apart with a fork… shredded venison! And we believe it is just as good! All a matter of perspective!

“Laughter is brightest where food is best.”

Irish Proverb

Hot,sticky, slightly sweet, fatty in a good way, dripping with sauce, melt-in-your-mouth, too-wet-for-the-bun-so-you-better-eat-fast awesomeness. Luxuriously rich, hearty sandwiches. Perfect for filling your hollow teenage son and feeding a crowd without firing up the grill or the smoker.

These barbecue sandwiches are super easy to make in the oven or in your slow cooker. Yes, the best comfort food at its most drool worthy. They’re also the ultimate stress free company dinner because the meat can be made days in advance then reheated for easy entertaining.

Dress them up or dress them down as you would like (or what your refrigerator allows). You can serve them plain with just a bun and smothered with barbecue sauce or add some cheese or tangy, light coleslaw or any other delectable and indulging toppings your heart desires!

Barbecue Leg of Venison Sandwich (or better know as Barbecue Brisket Sandwich)

INGREDIENTS

5 Pounds Leg of Venison/ Brisket

15ml (1 tbsp) smoked paprika

5ml (1 tsp) cayenne pepper

15ml (1 tbsp) mustard seeds

15ml (1 tbsp) coriander seeds

15ml (1 tbsp) cumin seeds

10ml (2 tsp) Maldon sea salt

2,5ml (½ tsp) whole black peppercorns

30ml (2 tbsp) brown sugar

olive oil, to fry

125ml (½ cup) beef stock

BBQ sauce

250ml (1 cup) tomato ketchup

100ml (1/2 cup) red wine vinegar

60ml (¼ cup) demerara sugar

5ml (1 tsp) Worcestershire sauces

5ml (1 tsp) chili

Salt and ground pepper to taste

12 slices ciabatta/bread of your choice, toasted/grilled

125 ml (1/2 cup) mayonnaise

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 140°C/280F

Place the paprika, cayenne pepper, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, sea salt, peppercorns and brown sugar in a pestle and mortar and pound to a coarse powder.

Rub the spice blend all over the meat and sear in a hot pan, in a little olive oil, until well browned. Remove from pan and place in a deep roasting tray. Pour over the stock, cover with foil and slow-cook in the oven until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily using a fork, 6-8 hours. ( Or you can now place it in your slow cooker for 6 hours. I add ½ cup of the barbecue sauce to my slow cooker along with 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce)

For the BBQ sauce, place all of the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer gently over medium heat, 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool before pouring into a jar and refrigerating until ready to use. This will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

For the sandwich, smear half of the grilled slices of bread with a little mayonnaise.

Place the pulled beef brisket in a small bowl and mix in the BBQ sauce until well coated (use only as much as you desire). Place a generous amount of BBQ beef on the bread slices and top with your desired toppings before sandwiching with the remaining grilled bread slices.

Serves 6 hungry boys

The meat needs to cook on low for a loooong time. Don’t try cooking it on high, otherwise the bbq leg of venison or brisket won’t turn out as fork tender.

Barbecue sauce

Make it sweeter: add more brown sugar.

Make it tangier: add additional vinegar at the end of simmering.

Make it smokier: add liquid smoke, ½ teaspoon at a time.

Make the seasonings your own: Like more garlic? Use more garlic. Like more mustard? Use more mustard. Like more bite? Add more chili. You can adjust all of the seasonings to suit your tastes and even add additional seasonings such as oregano or parsley.

Make it thicker: simmer the sauce for upwards of 15 minutes until it reaches your desired consistency.

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