Winter is a quiet time for restaurants so an ideal time for us to take a holiday after a busy season, says Garry Watson, chef proprietor of Gordon’s Restaurant in Inverkeilor.
This year I was fortunate to visit a good friend who lives in Houston Texas.
I enjoyed an action-packed time, from the hustle and bustle of Downtown to many visitor attractions including the NSG football stadium and the mind-blowing NASA Johnson space centre.
However, with Texas having an appetite that’s almost as big as its footprint and me a chef who never switches off the foodie radar, I was keen to sample local culinary delights.
With many different eateries I found the vast style of food was based on great tasting comfort food, from three grilled barbecue plates, buffets of regional Mexican cuisine, pecan pie or the most amazing Wicked donuts.
Breakfast is also an experience in itself. However, my highlight was at a house party where the host took barbeque/smoking extremely seriously – a cooking culture in Texas. He passionately prepared a beef brisket from scratch, timing every part of the process to perfection, from butchery, marinade, cooking and resting.
There were even digital temperature probes inserted into the meat to give him the exact core temperature, keeping all the guests in mouth-watering anticipation. Eventually he carved the brisket across the grain for further tenderness, then served with a cumin spiced piccalilli style dressing. The final outcome was delicious!
However, secretly in my mind, I couldn’t help thinking how this could taste even better using Scotch beef brisket from here in Courier Country. Regardless of how great and precise a cook you are, we are all at the mercy of the raw ingredients. It doesn’t matter where in the world you eat, you’ll never sample better produce than Scotland’s.
It’s not just the cut of meat that determines how tender it is, it’s also how you cut the meat. First find the direction of the grain and cut across it through the fibres and shorten them rather than cut in the same direction that they run. This makes it easier to chew through.