Texas-Style Wings

The first and most important step in making authentic Texas­-­style barbecue is a great “mop.” The mop, so called because it is usually applied with the household apparatus of the same name, is basically a marinade, basting sauce, and dipping sauce all in one. Real Texas barbecue masters mop several dozen chickens, slabs of ribs, and briskets at a time, so they need an actual string mop to handle the task.

In a large sauté pan on a medium­-­high flame, add the olive oil and butter. Add the onion, garlic, and shallots, and sauté until transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoe purée, tomato paste, 1⁄2 cup beer, the water, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce and heat until simmering, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the brown sugar, chili powder, mustard powder, cumin, and cayenne; simmer for 30 ­minutes.

Remove the barbecue sauce from heat, pour into a bowl, and cover, reserving 1 cup of the sauce in a separate medium­-­size bowl. Add 1 cup of beer to the reserved 1 cup of sauce to make a barbecue mop; mix ­thoroughly.

Grill the wings according to the method described on page 19, basting the wings periodically with the barbecue mop. During the last 10 minutes of cooking (with the lid closed), baste the wings with the full­-­strength barbecue ­sauce.

Serve the wings hot off the grill with the remaining barbecue sauce on the side.

Marinade and Dipping ­Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive ­oil

1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted ­butter

1 white onion, finely ­chopped

5 large garlic cloves, passed through a garlic ­press

3 shallots, finely ­chopped

11⁄2 cups canned tomato ­purée

1⁄2 cup tomato ­paste

11⁄2 cups ­beer

1⁄2 cup ­water

3 tablespoons ­vinegar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire ­sauce

3 tablespoons brown ­sugar

1 tablespoon chili ­powder

1 teaspoon mustard ­powder

1 teaspoon dried ­cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne ­pepper

30 chicken wings, small wing joint ­removed

Serves 4 (with barbecue sauce left ­over)

[This post originally appeared in Wing It! (Clarkson Potter)]

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