This past Friday amidst the mansions of Preston Hollow, Steven Stodghill (you might have heard of the burger named after the prominent lawyer at The Porch) hosted one heck of a party to mark the release of Daniel Vaughn's new book, The Prophets of Smoked Meat. Justin and Diane Fortune brought smoked pork belly and spicy collards from Pecan Lodge, and Lockhart Smokehouse's Will Fleischman brought smoked sausage before quietly serving transcendent smoked pork ribs at the end of the evening. Tim Byers brought his famous big rib, dressed with fancy parsley, and could it be? Aaron Franklin from Franklin Barbecue in Austin was on hand, slicing brisket himself.
Those who asked for fatty brisket were rewarded with tender slices of beef with fat that melted away on the palate like soft butter. The outer layer of each slice, commonly referred to as bark, was black as pitch, crunchy and salty but not over seasoned. The textural juxtaposition of crispy bark and perfectly tender meat was the mark of impeccable brisket. "That's the best piece of barbecued meat I have ever tasted," said a slender redhead as she wiped her grease stained fingers on a crumpled napkin. The sentiment was echoed throughout Stodghill's lavish back yard.
If you think I'm a jerk for telling you about an awesome party you couldn't attend, you should know the small, private event was a precursor to Vaughn's public party, which will take place this Saturday at Four Corners Brewery.
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Texas Monthly is sponsoring this weekend's event and while Aaron Franklin will sadly not be making an encore appearance, Travis Mayes from Meshack's Bar-B-Que will be on hand in addition to Fortune and Fleischman.
The event is free to attend but the magazine is asking that you reserve your spot. They're also offering a VIP option, which will get you some quality time with the three pit masters before the masses arrive. If $100 seems a little steep, you should know it comes with a signed book, and a signed copy of Texas Monthly's newly released BBQ edition. If you ask nicely Vaughn will even make his mark in brisket grease.
Texas Monthly's Daniel Vaughn Meat and Greet, Saturday, May 25, 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Four Corners Brewing Co., 423 Singleton Blvd.