When it comes to manning a grill, my skill level barely exceeds decently charring burgers or putting some marks on ready-made links. If you put me in charge of a smoker, I wouldn’t know the first thing for making a meat that falls of the bone. So, when I want real barbecue, I leave it to the experts.
On the commute home, Rusty’s Ribs N’ Bbq food truck is hard to miss – with it being fire truck red and spewing a smoky aroma. Serving heaping portions of meat and Southern-style sides in Styrofoam and foil, Rusty’s gives you a genuine outdoor barbecue experience. Not to mention, with their closing hours being “until we run out of food,” you know you’re not getting results of a typical restaurant’s mass production.
At the beginning of the weekend, we picked up a pint of brisket that came with Rusty’s homemade barbecue sauce. With a hankering for something smoky, saucy, and cheesy, I did what anyone should do in such a predicament – turn it into a grilled cheese.
Using sharp cheddar and jalapeno Monterey jack, this sandwich was beyond bold in flavors; yet somehow the smothered brisket still managed to be the star.
Brisket Grilled Cheese
4 slices of thick and/or dense bread (we used a rye)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 – 1 ½ cups brisket, pulled
barbecue sauce, to taste
2 Tb butter, melted
1 tsp minced garlic
salt & pepper, to taste
Warm a skillet on your stovetop over medium heat. Mix together the butter, garlic, and salt & pepper. Brush butter mixture onto both sides of each slice of bread before placing in the skillet. When ready, flip one slice bread and top with a ½ cup of cheddar cheese, half the brisket, drizzle with barbecue sauce, and top off with ½ cup of pepper jack and then the second slice. Grill to golden and crisp.
Serve warm with your favorite sides.
(Note: Before we share Zach’s beer pairing, I’ll briefly mention that though he is not a self-proclaimed beer connoisseur, he does know how to spot a good beer. He finds that most reviews are singular experiences; understanding that everyone has their own tastes and styles. He defines his purpose on H&N is to simply introduce you to a new brew so you’re encouraged to expand your own palate. There are no stars, numbering systems, or favorites lists – just good tasting beer.)
To complement this meal’s barbecued red meat and sharp cheeses, Zach chose Anchor Brewing’s Brekle’s Brown. Since we ate indoors, the heaviness and malted flavor was a choice pairing for the bold sandwich. If we were out in the summer heat, a better option would be a lighter brown ale, such as Newcastle.
Happy Memorial Day — Remember those who gave their life to serve.