This weekend marks the opening of the general firearm season for whitetail deer in Texas. Take a drive on just about any highway across the Lone Star State this Friday evening and you will be hard pressed not to see a pickup truck loaded down with hunting gear bound for a deer lease somewhere. Alot of those hunters will be meeting up with friends or family for an entire weekend of hunting and fellowship. Some of them might even have a meat smoker in tow, ready to be fired up for some deer camp cookin'.
Here in Texas, one of the favorite cuts of meat to cook on the smoker is beef brisket. For those of you unfortunate enough not to know what brisket is, let me explain. (I used to think everyone knew what a brisket was, but one time on vacation I encountered a family from Ohio that thought I was talking about a type of bread.) It is a cut of meat taken from the breast section of a cow, beneath the first five ribs and behind the foreshank. See chart below.
Brisket requires long slow cooking to make it tender, and the best way to accomplish this is by smoking it for an extended period of time. There are several methods for smoking a brisket, but I prefer to place the cut of meat in an aluminum roasting pan and cover it with a dry rub. I then build a fire in the firebox of my smoker and place the tray of meat on the grates inside. Some people use Hickory or Pecan wood, but I prefer to use Mesquite which is readily available in our area. In fact, the Mesquite wood I usually use comes from my deer lease. I decided to buy a brisket this past Sunday and I cooked it up for my family. I allowed this one to smoke for about 15 hours yesterday. I sliced it up this evening and it turned out really well. Drizzled with my favorite barbecue sauce this is hard to beat! We will be eating sliced brisket and chopped beef sandwiches for several days!
What is your favorite deer camp cuisine? Let me know what you and your hunting party like to dine on back at camp.