Beef

Milk or meat? For modern cattle ranchers, the answer may be both

Texas is moving quickly toward primary day – but where are the debates? Why there’s been a decline in an election institution.

What the families of Uvalde victims are expecting as a grand jury examines law enforcement’s response to the Robb Elementary shooting.

Why Collin County seems to be playing an outsized role in Texas politics right now.

On Texas ranches, you’ve got dairy cows and bovine raised for beef. But the distinctions may be blurring. We’ll hear about a different sort of “cattle crossing.”

And concerns about the bestselling video game “Palworld,” which looks like “Pokémon” but plays like something much more grim.

Smoked Beef Barbacoa

Barbacoa, from Sunday traditions to everyday goodness, barbacoa continues to evolve and surprise us. In this episode, we talk barbacoa basics before chatting with Joel Garcia, owner and pitmaster at Teddy’s Barbecue in Weslaco, Texas. Joel shares his barbecue and barbacoa story and how smoking beef heads takes barbacoa to the next level.

Texas Standard: October 29, 2021

Was the Governor on the right track with the COVID-19 plan until a change of course? A case study in the politics of the pandemic. Other stories we are tracking: an ambitious effort to reduce poverty in North Texas. And questions over how to gauge success, or quite the opposite. Also the Houston Chronicle’s Chris Tomlinson on that other major factor in climate change that Texas has an outsized role in. And a serious role reversal: the noted Texas lawyer who joined the priesthood. And remembering an ugly chapter in Texas history that many North Texas locals would rather not revisit. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: September 29, 2020

A Texas county sheriff has turned himself in to the county jail he oversees after an investigation of evidence tampering in the death of a Black motorist. The sheriff of Williamson county indicted on felony charges stemming from the destruction of video evidence in death of Javier Ambler. This after a police chase filmed for a so-called reality TV show, we’ll have the latest. Also, where’s the beef? For many in this pandemic, its being shipped to the front door, causing ripple effects across the supply chain, we’ll explain. Plus disappearing Coronavirus data for schools and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 21, 2019

House speaker Dennis Bonnen could be leaving sooner than anyone expected, so says Texas tribune co-founder Ross Ramsey. We’ll have details. Other stories we’re following: a backlog at a major DPS crime lab. The problem: worker turnover. Also, money going up in smoke? What to do about a surplus of natural gas. And is Texas more southern or western? Scholar H.W. Brands invites readers to rethink what they know of the latter, in his epic history of the American west. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

The Texas Crutch

By W.F. Strong

I like that Texas is so famous for certain things that those things carry the Texas brand all around the world. Like Texas toast, for instance. Or Texas Hold ‘em poker. The Texas two-step. Texas-style brisket. And even within the specialized world of backyard chefs, the brisket has a sub-specialty technique known as the Texas crutch. This technique allegedly originated in Texas, and therefore carries the Texas name throughout the barbecue world.

I’m going to teach you about this technique over the next three minutes. It may come in handy this summer when you are slow-smoking a fine brisket over the required 15 hours and suddenly need to hurry it along without ruining it. This is merely a suggestion. I know all too well that you don’t mess with Texas and you sure as hell don’t mess with a Texan’s brisket. So I go gently forth with this option.

Suppose, for instance, that you have invited people over to the house to eat at 8 p.m. You remember saying, “Y’all come on over for brisket at 8 p.m. and y’all bring the neighbors. Plenty for everybody.” But now it’s 5 p.m., the brisket has stalled and you realize it won’t be ready until probably 10 p.m. or later. Time for the Texas crutch.

The point of the Texas crutch is to speed up the cooking without losing the holy grail of tenderness. So what you do is get some foil or butcher paper and fashion it into a big, sturdy boat that will hold liquid. Put your brisket in the boat and then pour about a half a cup of apple juice into the boat – not over the brisket because it will rinse off the rub. Some people use bourbon or beer or red wine, but apple juice is preferred because of the enzymes that work diligently to tenderize the brisket.

The next step is to cover the brisket completely with foil or butcher paper and put it back to cook. Crank up the heat to about 250 degrees or 275 degrees, and let the apple juice and heat work their dual-action magic until the core of the brisket is 200 degrees, or twice the outdoor temp of the average Texas summer. Then take it off and let it rest an hour. Now you will have splendid, tender, awesome brisket that all those friends and neighbors will rave about and beg for seconds. The only problem is they will want you to do it again next week.

I love knowing about the technique and using it when I must, but I love even more knowing that in the book on brisketology, there is a chapter called “The Texas Crutch.” I enjoy knowing that the Texas name is on things that travel ’round the world, serving as a kind of advertisement for our culture. It’s our one-of-a-kind branding. And that branding is priceless. A manager at H-E-B told me that products sell much better if they have the Texas star or Texas flag or “Made in Texas” on them. And that branding works just as well in the Mexico H-E-Bs as it does here at home. And if we could trademark the Texas name and symbols, license and sell them, I’m sure we could make enough each year to buy a brisket for every family in the state for what I would call National Texas Brisket Day. Might need some beer and ice cream to go with it. Wonder who could help us out with that?

Texas Standard: April 29, 2019

The state of Texas to to pay half a million in legal fees and rescind its plan to check the citizenship of registered voters, we’ll have the latest. Other stories we’re watching: how what’s happening in the Texas oilfield resembles a certain superhero-filled hollywood blockbuster. Also, the part of Texas’ death row seldom heard about on the news. Plus Abilene rediscovering a chapter of its history many would like to forget. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: May 16, 2017

Spy satellite photos made public plus a disturbing allegation against Syria that raises the specter of war crimes, we’ll explore. Plus reporting on the border has always been a challenge, but now it’s deadlier than ever, and some fear a shadow of silence spreading over Mexico. We’ll explain. Also Texas set to become the first state to test a new policy permitting states to withhold funds from groups like Planned Parenthood. And police seizures of personal assets: cars, money, you name it, without proving any underlying crime. A new push in Texas to end what critics call highway robbery. And how do you lose 46 million dollars? A newspaper helps Texas’ biggest city find lost money. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: March 25, 2016

Too dangerous. That’s the basic message from a Texas university now banning study abroad travel to a European country. Details on the Texas Standard. Also the influential role of the Texas State Board of Education… or maybe it’s not so influential. Plus… how something simple could help more shelter pets across the state find homes. Dating the cousins of your high school friends… or the high school friends of your cousins… the challenges of rural love life… even with modern technology. And it’s Friday!! That means it’s time for the Typewriter Rodeo and a wild week in Texas politics… on Today’s Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 29, 2015

The eyes of Texas are on a military and political showdown between global superpowers in the south china sea. Who’ll blink first? And a Texas city ordinance on the ballot- getting national attention as battle lines harden over Houston’s anti-discrimination plan. Also a 19th century problem for cattle ranchers now a 21st century crisis? Where’s the beef, indeed! The app called Yik Yak? Yuck, say civil rights groups, we’ll explore the controversy Plus Jurassic park on a much smaller scale: as Texans try to resurrect a long gone chicken. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: June 25, 2015

Nearly a million Texans will not lose Obamacare subsidies. A dissenting Scalia renames it SCOTUScare. Much more just ahead on the Texas Standard. Also from the supreme court today, what’s being called a major victory for fair housing activists in a case from Texas. We’ll explain. Need a ride? There’s Uber and Lyft…Need some gasoline? A Texas entrepreneur has a plan…we’ll hear about it. With high meat prices, Briskets increasingly on the back burner. Barbecued clod anyone? Texas Monthly’s Barbecue editor joins us to stoke the flames… Plus—what do texans really think of Jade Helm? All that and more…

Green Room: Nolan Ryan

Sure, Nolan Ryan’s known the world over as one of baseball’s all time greats, but few realize that first and foremost, he’s a rancher! Ryan’s childhood passion for beef led him to put together a new cookbook. In our conversation with one of today’s most famous Texans, Ryan talks about his childhood, great ballpark eats, plus some tips for your own summer grill.