The Brooklyn Kid Whose Kosher Barbecue is Impressing the Best Pitmasters — The Meat Show


The Meat Show is coming to you from Crown Heights, Brooklyn today. I’m here to eat kosher barbecue. Apart from the fact that this
is really delicious barbecue there’s a really unique
story here and it’s that Izzy can’t actually eat most barbecue ’cause it’s not kosher and
he keeps a kosher diet. Yet he’s absolutely nailed
the flavor and texture of Central Texas-style barbecue. Let’s go inside, let’s see how he does it, and most importantly
let’s see how it tastes. (rock music) I was exposed to your
barbecue at Brisket King when I was one of the judges. It was unanimous. Like I remember distinctly because I put the pastrami in my mouth, and I looked up at Jake
Dell who owns Katz’s Deli. We’re both chewing the
pastrami and we just look at each other and we’re just like what? And then with the brisket
I’m doing the same thing I look at Billy Gurney and then Aaron Franklin’s next to me it
was the exact same reaction. Like it was visceral it was
just so perfectly cooked. I mean, totally nailed it. We definitely felt proud
of what we turned in. Tell me the story of
how a kid from Brooklyn opened a kosher barbecue restaurant. There isn’t really too
much kosher barbecue. I always used to watch
TV shows and you would always see barbecue on
TV and it was something we were never able to have. At one time we heard that
there was going to be a barbecue pop up But kosher
kosher that someone’s doing it on a higher level. Pretty much we hung out
there the whole day. We probably spent like 300 bucks that day. Just eating brisket
Just eating brisket and a light bulb went off in my head and ever since then
I’ve been obsessed with barbecue, the art of woodfire cooking. I started doing it at, from my house on a gas grill at the
time. It was so awful. Ever since then I’ve
been pushing and pushing at a certain point my family couldn’t eat any brisket anymore like, they were done. Like we don’t want any more brisket. Enough we just want to
grill a dry chicken. So let’s talk about actually
what kosher meat is. Obviously you don’t eat pork. The process of kosher
people have a misconception I feel like is that if you bless the animal,
that’s what makes it kosher. However, it’s more along the lines of animal has to be healthy,
it can’t have any injuries. A professional rabbi,
Shechitah it’s called, somebody who slaughters the animal, he has to do the slaughtering process. The animal can’t suffer
while its being slaughtered. Once the animal is inspected
and it’s slaughtered, they do a salting process
which drains all the blood, so by default, kosher meat
is generally way more salty than non-kosher meats and
that’s something we really had to play with in the beginning just, figuring out our rub. Right, because the fact that it’s kind of been cured, if you were to put a pure Texas rub on it it would be Would not be edible
Too salty. Would not be edible.
Forget about too salty, it would not be edible. You’ve actually taken tours of Texas, you’ve gone to all of these
fantastic smokehouses, you’ve prodded and looked
at and felt the brisket but you don’t, you
can’t eat it ’cause it’s not kosher, right? One of the biggest
inspirations for me is that not being able to eat Aaron, and Billy’s and all these
famous people’s meat. It drives me nuts. So I’m constantly obsessed with getting, how could I do better but I can’t eat it. So you’re really kind of bringing that ethos and that sort of culture to kosher in general right because there’s kosher burger joints, but I’ve, there’s no kosher barbecue restaurants. Well maybe one in Chicago, um, maybe one in Teaneck, and that’s about it, really. So I would love to get
back and see your pits and, you know maybe we could
look at some of the meat, and then of course, most
importantly eat all of the meat. Come in the kitchen
(laughs) (heavy rock music) So, let’s start with the lean, because that’s actually
the sign of good barbecue. Any fool could probably render, the fatty part of the
brisket tender and juicy. I mean it’s just all fat. This however, is much more challenging and I can feel texturally already, it’s
like just crumbling apart. Mmmm. There’s a tackiness to it, right? It’s that gelatinous feel. It sounds weird but like,
really good lean brisket often kinda’ looks like tuna fish. The way it kind of falls
apart but it has that sort of suppleness to it. Let’s try the deckle, the fatty part. So you really want this
sort of accordion effect where it, it pulls out gently, but then it kind of tugs back on itself. That’s a sign of a
properly cooked brisket. Look at that. I love
the way it sorta’ just comes apart at the seams. Mmmm. It actually conveys more of beef flavor than most briskets because, the seasoning is not as
intense as it might be, I mean, it definitely has
the perfect bark on it. But you saw when he was
salting it and seasoning it, it wasn’t the really dense
rub that a lot of places have. Often times when you look
at meat that’s been smoked or cured, and you slice it
there’ll be a rainbow effect. Guys that’s not spoilage
there’s nothing wrong with it, that’s actually the fraction of light. There’s a film on the surface that causes that to happen with cured meats. So don’t judge a book by its cover if it’s a rainbow. The brisket is challenging to cook because it’s two very different muscles. It’s almost like trying to
cook a porterhouse steak or roasting a chicken. There’s light meat,
there’s dark meat, right? So the challenge is always to cook both to their best effect and
I think that’s really been accomplished here. What I think is really
impressive about this is not just that he’s nailed the flavor and the texture of Texas barbecue but, that he’s done so without the ability of actually eating the
food that he’s emulating. And I would have sworn, like yeah, this is Texas barbecue from Texas. Thank you so much for watching. I’m gonna sit here, polish off the rest of this brisket feast. And I’ll see you on the next
episode of The Meat Show. Assuming I live. Now let’s meet the man
himself, Fergus Henderson. Let’s eat a few of the dishes, and I will reveal to you why this is my favorite restaurant.

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