Time to cross into our third state, Missouri, and head to Kansas City. For anyone that knows their barbecue, you’ll appreciate the melting pot that is this city. In terms of ‘cue, it’s probably most famous for Burnt Ends (thrice smoked nuggets of brisket) and its eponymous sweet molasses, tomato-based sauce.
Given our own sauces and rubs are launching in stores this summer, it was the perfect opportunity to give them the ultimate taste test.
We’d heard about a local craft brewery, Cinder Block Brewing Co. that was doing some good things with barrel ageing, plus the owner’s cousin ran a food truck, Back Rack BBQ, that pitches up outside the front door each day. Does it get any better?
A little smaller than 4 Hands Brewery, but no less creative in their approach to craft ales, we were given the tour by head brewer, ‘Bucky’. Imagine Double Rainbow Guy and Galifianakis rolled into one, and you’ve got our host.
He was sporting a fresh cut on his head. It turned out that the previous day he’d been working late in the brewery, stood up too quickly, and smacked his head on one of the huge tanks, knocking himself unconscious. Or at least that’s what he told the missus when he got home.
We spent a good few hours trying various different ales, from their Rivet Rye and Northtown Native session ale, to crazy concoctions aged in old Chardonnay barrels.
His enthusiasm was infectious, and before we left we agreed to hook up later at the brewery bar to really get stuck in. And Jesus did we. The night ended with drunken man hugs, and a firm pact with Bucky for him and his missus to visit us later in the year, and be part of our wolf pack. Dooooooooouuubbbbbllllleee Rainbow maaaaaaaannn!
Back Rack BBQ Truck
In the last few years food trucks have become more and popular in the UK as the street food revolution continues to grow. In the US they’re everywhere. The Back Rack BBQ Truck, run by Chase & Stephanie, is as legit as they come, towing its own mini smoker behind it. Chase was particularly keen for us to try his brisket, which he smokes using Hickory & White Oak.
Seeing as we’ve just brought back Pulled Meat Nachos for the month of March, we decided to chow down on their version: BBQ Nachos – house chips drizzled in creamy cheese, chopped brisket, pulled pork with pico de gallo (salsa), crispy slaw, jalapeños, sour cream and Kansas City BBQ sauce.
Paprika and chipotle-flavoured onion rings
The smoke profile of the brisket was incredible and much more accentuated than we’d experienced so far on the trip, thanks to the choice of wood. Mixed with all the other flavours, this dish was the bomb. But the question is, did Red’s Kansas City BBQ sauce get the motherland stamp of sweet and sticky approval?
They asked to keep the bottle. Nuff said 😉