Born in Dallas, Texas, Joe has lived all over the USA and sampled the best of American BBQ along the way. If there’s one thing Joe’s passionate about, it’s creating the best jerky possible, and he’s been kind enough to share this delicious meat treat with us in the UK.
Using only the finest British Silverside beef, Texas Joe’s creates juicy, moreish jerky, as well as mouth-watering brisket, ribs, and pork. By taking a no-fuss approach, Joe has set himself apart from many other food vendors in the UK and constantly strives for authenticity. Let’s find out how he’s come this far on his BBQ journey.
Q: What first encouraged you to bring traditional Texan BBQ to the UK?
A: Passion. BBQ is a part of our lives in Texas and we are very passionate about it. I had been to just about every BBQ joint in town and always left feeling a bit let down. So I bought a backyard smoker and started doing it the way I grew up with; low and slow over oak wood, with a simple and honest flavour profile.
We took the fruits of our labour down to Camden Town Brewery and everyone was really excited. This turned into a weekly event where we would smoke brisket, pork and ribs. As excitement grew about it, we were offered residencies as pop-ups in local pubs. My whole journey of food is about sharing a taste of home with the people of the UK. It’s great to get feedback and see the whole thing gain momentum.
‘BBQ is a part of our lives in Texas and we are very passionate about it.’
How is jerky made?
Jerky is one of the oldest methods of preserving meat. In the old days it would be heavily salted and then literally hung out to dry in the sun. We have moved on a bit now and our jerky is made in a state of the art facility in Scotland, using all British meat. The first step is to take a whole joint of lean beef, like topside, and trim off any fat. Then you slice it into slices about 1/4 inch thick.
You then make up a marinade, and let it soak for 24 to 48 hours to really get a strong flavour. After that, it’s laid onto racks and can go into a dehydrator, oven, or smoker where it cooks at a very low heat for about 6-8 hours. During the process you lose almost 50 percent or more of the original weight. It takes 223 grams of meat to make 100 grams of our Original Jerky.
Q: What are some of the main qualities that we should look out for when trying jerky?
A: Well that’s a matter of personal taste really. Back home in the States a lot of people prefer their jerky to have a tougher bite where in Europe they seem to prefer a softer bite. What I always look for is a good solid flavour. You still want to taste the meat but you also want a real kick of spice as well. It’s also important to know where your meat is coming from and what cut it is. Always look on the pack to make sure it is solid pieces or strips of meat, and not chopped and formed or minced and processed.
‘My whole journey of food is about sharing a taste of home with the people of the UK.’
Q: Do you have a recipe that you always turn to, when you need a proper meal?
A: Well you can’t really beat a proper steak. I keep the seasoning simple. A good quality cut from your local butcher with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Q: Why do you think food from the US has become so popular in the UK?
A: I think it comes down to simplicity, honesty and quality. The classic American diner fare of hamburgers and hot dogs have been perfected over the years. Now, a new group of passionate cooks have elevated these simple dishes to new heights. They take inspiration from the rich culinary history of America and its melting pot of cultures, flavours, and foods and elevate it by using the best ingredients.
Some things, like BBQ, have been perfected to such a level over time that there really isn’t much of a need to change anything. It’s perfect just the way it is.
Serving up traditional Texan BBQ and jerky, Texas Joe’s is dishing up at food stalls across London, so check out their Twitter and Facebook to find out more.
Now, head over to our interactive State of Food hub to discover the signature foods of all 50 US states and plan the tastiest road trip ever!