By: Patrick St. Jean, Contributor
Recently, One90 Smoked Meats invited us to Oak Highlands Brewery for an evening of smoked meat and beer. The BBQ joint had reserved the taproom for the tasting event and had set out plates of appetizers for us to enjoy while staffers got main courses ready.
In the meantime, I picked up a pint of DF Dub, Oak Highlands’s deliciously malty dunkelweizen and started sampling food. The first thing I tried was One90’s smoked salmon dip (below). This stuff is amazing, to the point where even my seafood-hating wife went back for seconds.
There was also a plate of various smoked meats and cheeses. I particularly liked the Gouda, but the cheddar and mozzarella were very good as well. The selection of meats included house-made pastrami, turkey, pork loin, beef tenderloin and duck. The duck won the day, though, with its almost bacon-like flavor and texture. In fact, the folks from One90 said they slice it up thick, fry it just like bacon, and make DLTs with it!
As we waited for the main courses to be ready, we wandered around the brewery, enjoying some of One90’s smoked pulled pork chili. The chili was very good, though a bit on the spicy side (which I like), and it would have gone well with some cornbread.
[Disclosure: Oak Highlands Brewery and One90 Smoked Meats provided complimentary food and drinks. The opinions here are the writer’s own.]
Oak Highlands Brewery is looking good, with a number of bourbon barrels for aging projects that we will soon be able to enjoy. They’ve got an imperial black saison aging in Jack Daniels barrels that will be out on Dec. 15. They also have a vanilla porter aging in Woodford barrels. OHB is going to make two beers from it, the base vanilla porter, due out in January, and a tart cherry version due out in February.
Once the main courses were ready, we lined up to be served some brisket, pulled pork and poblano sausage. All of these were very good, with the characteristic light smoke that we’d experienced in the other meats and cheeses. That is not a negative, in fact, it’s a positive since the flavor of the rubs and meat come through without being assaulted by smoke. The brisket was amazing — moist and tender, and didn’t dry out and become hard once it cooled down. The pulled pork was to die for, pairing wonderfully with a Golden Mustache beer (below). I’m dreaming of a Memphis-style sandwich with this stuff. And the poblano sausage was a spicy, cheesy treat.
While we were eating, One90 representatives talked about their retail packaging. Their smoked meats are packaged in such a way that you can drop the bag into some boiling water to reheat it and the meats will come out just as juicy and flavorful as if they were fresh from the smoker. And since One90 ships its products, we know where we’re doing some of our Christmas shopping. The smokehouse is also working on an expansion that should see their smoked meats become a little more available, which is good news for all of us.
(Editor’s note: Christmas orders for brisket, beef tenderloin, prime rib, jumbo turkey leg and turkey breaks from One90 must be placed by December 19. To order, call 214-346-3287 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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