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Texas Shoulder Clod (Barbecued Beef Shoulder)

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I first experienced the beef shoulder clod at the old Kreuz Market in Lockhart, TX.

Now much like original Texas BBQ, the Kreuz Market was first and foremost a butcher shop and grocery store. So at the end of the week, if they had meat left over, they would smoke it, and they served it with the sort of condiments you would find at a grocery store: crackers, cheddar cheese, onions, pickled peppers. In other words, side dishes that weren’t really cooked, but would just come off the shelf. Tasting shoulder clod for the first time was an absolute revelation. No barbecue sauce, no cooked condiments, just beef and groceries.

This is it folks, the biggest beef barbecue out there — it’s prized in Texas and virtually unknown everywhere else. A clod is a beef shoulder that’s 16 pounds of carnivorean pleasure. Beef clod is usually broken down into smaller steaks and ground up into hamburgers. If you do not have access to beef clod in your grocery store, you will have to special order it through your local butcher.

When beef is this awesome, keep the seasonings simple. A dalmation rub is a simple rub that uses equal parts coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. You can also add hot pepper flakes to make it a newspaper rub.

The beef shoulder clod is smoked for 12 to 16 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature between 195°and 200°F.

Serve on Texas Toast with Mustard Beer Barbecue Sauce.

 

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Texas Shoulder Clod (Barbecued Beef Shoulder)

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 16 to 20
  • Method: Smoking or indirect grilling

Ingredients

For the Dalmatian Rub:

  • 1/2 cup coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1/2 cup cracked black peppercorns
  • 3 tablespoons hot pepper flakes

  • 1 beef shoulder clod (13 to 15 pounds)

For serving:

  • Mustard Beer Barbecue Sauce (see recipe)
  • Texas Toast (see recipe)
  • Sweet and/or sour pickles
  • Pickled jalapenos
  • White onion, thinly sliced
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sliced tomatoes
  • Thin slices of orange Wisconsin cheddar or pepper Jack cheese

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Generously sprinkle the rub over all sides of the clod, patting it onto the meat with your fingertips.

Step 2: Set up the smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 250 degrees.

Step 3: When ready to cook, place the clod, fat side up, in the center of the grate. Add wood and additional charcoal as specified by the manufacturer.

Step 4: Smoke the clod until darkly browned and cooked through, 12 to 16 hours. To test for doneness, use an instant-read meat thermometer: The internal temperature should be between 195°and 200°F. (Like brisket, clod is served well-done.) If the outside starts to burn, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

Step 5: Transfer the smoked clod to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes, then thinly slice it across the grain with a sharp knife. Serve with Texas Toast and your choice of the sides listed above.

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2017 Barbacoa, Inc.