To sauce or not to sauce; that is the question. The old-timer Texas brisket fans ate their brisket nekked. The dry rub and smoke gave the flavor. My ribs need no sauce, but I have to admit that I often slather on some Dinosaur sauce. The problem with sauce on brisket is that most of the commercial BBQ sauces are too sweet for brisket. For brisket, you need savory and to hold off on the excessive heat. The sauce should compliment the meat.
Sauces are one of those items on which BBQ enthusiasts enjoy disagreeing. I prefer traditional BBQ sauce for ribs and Eastern North Carolina BBQ sauce for pulled pork. Don’t confuse tomato based North Carolina BBQ sauce with real Eastern North Carolina BBQ sauce. True North Carolina BBQ sauce is simply vinegar infused with red pepper flakes. With pulled pork, add some collards, corn bread and hush puppies and you have heaven on earth. In Western NC, they add some ketchup to the sauce and you start the slippery slope toward traditional BBQ sauce.
One of the advantages of sauce is that it moistens tough and dry brisket and brisket is difficult to make tender and moist. To be on the safe side, I prepared some sauce. But what sauce to prepare?
I decided to try Texas BBQ Juice. This sauce is inspired by the sauce they make at Cooper’s Old Time Bar-B-Que in Llano, Texas. This sauce can be used as a mop while cooking and a BBQ sauce when eating. I’m not mopping, but I am eating.
This is not BBQ sauce as most people think of it. Most BBQ sauce has a heavy tomato sauce base with plenty of sugar and some spices. This is a brown sauce which Cooper’s actually refers to as a pepper sauce.
I halved the recipe and replaced the green bell pepper with a poblano for some additional spice and used maple sugar in place of the brown sugar. I also inadvertently did not half the beer, oh well. The first taste before it simmered was HOT. After simmering for 15 minutes, the flavors melded and smoothed out. It should be even better tomorrow after aging in the frig over night.