Wednesday, July 18, 2012
The Ubon's BBQ Crew from Yazoo make what is truthfully called The Perfect Sandwich on Friday at Memphis in May. It is a celebration of community and friendship as teams flock to their tent to eat and talk shop. The sandwich is a simple thing really: smoked prime rib, pickle, onion, horseradish, mustard, and mayo on a hamburger bun. It is so simple, I ate about 3 of them and contemplated a fourth.
This sandwich has been haunting me. I lay awake at night wondering how long til next year's Memphis in May like a kid in April making his list for Santa. I may or may not be traveling through the Delta in a week or so, specifically so I can pass through Yazoo City for lunch and a Perfect Sandwich to go. A few weeks ago after over a month long drought since my last Perfect Sandwich, I broke down and decided to try and make one at home. I swapped out brisket for prime rib and made a few other tweaks. While the result was very good, it was no Perfect Sandwich. I should know better than to mess with perfection.
For the Brisket
1 4-5 pound brisket
Salt and Pepper - about 2 tablespoons each
Garlic - 2 cloves
A few bay leaves
Olive Oil - 3 good glugs
For the Sandwich
A soft well-made bun with a good crust (Maple St. Patisserie)
Real Horseradish (Whole Foods, among others)
Thin slices of white onion
To Make Brisket
The day before combine the salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic in a mortar and pestle or food processor until it becomes a paste. Stir in olive oil. Rub this mixture all over the brisket and park in the fridge overnight. This general technique comes from Donald Link's Real Cajun cookbook, but I replace the thyme with rosemary because it grows in my yard.
Remove from fridge and smoke over your wood of choice at 225 degrees for about three hours. Then wrap in foil and continue cooking for another 2 hours or so, or until the meat pulls away easily. Let rest, then slice across the grain.
To Assemble the Sandwich
While the brisket cooks, grate horseradish (you want a tablespoon) and garlic into a mixing bowl. Add a few squirts of mayo and Creole mustard. Stir to combine. taste. adjust if necessary. The taste should take your breath away. Toast the buns, slather on the horseradish mayo on both sides of the bun. Throw on a few slices of sliced onion, the brisket, and then some pickles. Eat one, then two more. Then drive to Yazoo City.