|Brisket, ribs and cilantro sausage from The Slow Bone. (Photo by Jim Rossman)|
I stopped by The Slow Bone for lunch today and I was really happy with what I found on my tray. I started out with a two meat plate of moist brisket and ribs, but owner Jack Perkins told me he's been tweaking the recipe and grind of the cilantro sausage, so I adjusted to a three meat plate.
I have to say my first bite of brisket made me close my eyes, stop chewing and savor. The texture was right on and the fat was perfectly rendered. The combination of fat, meat and rub made for one of those perfect bites.
I've had really good brisket here before, but what I ate today was among the best I've eaten anywhere. Jack's brisket is ready to be in the conversation with the best joints in the state.
Jack attended the Texas Monthly pitmaster dinner at Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor last week and after talking to Wayne Mueller, he started thinking about the amount of smoke he was putting on his brisket.
The next day Jack tried brisket at John Mueller Meat Company, Mickelthwait Craft Meats and La Barbecue.
A common denominator was less smoke than he tasted in his own brisket. So Jack came back to Dallas and adjusted his smoke ratio.
"If the level of smoke on my briskets was at a 10 before, now it's about a 5 or 6," he said.
It's hard to judge based on one visit, so I'm going to have to make another trip or two to The Slow Bone over the next few weeks, but I'm not sure Jack has much room to improve on the brisket.
And in the name of completeness, the ribs were really well cooked, pulled away from the bone cleanly and were tender and moist. The cilantro sausage was much improved from my last try.
I have to admit I wasn't a fan when I tried it several months ago. It had a consistency of a boiled bratwurst instead of a smoked sausage. The latest version had a snappy casing, good feel when you chew and still had that cilantro bite.