How To Create A Perfect Texan Themed Night

Want to host a Texan-themed dinner party? Whether you want to take the time to plan in advance or throw a last-minute gathering, these tips will keep you cool, calm and collected from start to finish.

Texan food’s exact roots are ambiguous, but there are influences from the German and Czech colonisers who settled in the region, plus the Spanish and Mexican tradition in Texas.

Here’s the lowdown on hosting an authentic Texas barbecue dinner party.

Go Meat Mad

A Texas barbecue is all about meaty ribs, chicken, sausage, and maybe even turkey legs. Ladle on a flavoursome, tomato-based sauce over the meat or on the side, and you’re onto a winner. Fresh-off-the-grill beef brisket is the real showstopper in Texas. Never made brisket before? Here’s a quick tip on how to make it.

The key to getting brisket right is to cook it slowly. Both the temperature and level of succulence need to be spot on, which can take anywhere from 10 to 14 hours.

Easy Texan Beef Brisket

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp ground mustard
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 2 fresh beef briskets
  • Steak sauce
  • 20ml ‘liquid smoke’ seasoning
  • 70ml Worcestershire sauce

Method

  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, onion, garlic, mustard, paprika and pepper. Prick the briskets using a fork or sharp knife.
  • Rub meat with seasoning mixture. Cover and leave in fridge overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Put the briskets in a roasting pan (fat sides up). In a small bowl, mix in the steak sauce, liquid smoke and Worcestershire sauce. Drizzle over meat.
  • Place some foil over the meat. Cook until tender for roughly three to four hours. Leave to stand in juices for 15 minutes. Plate up by thinly slicing the briskets across the grain. Skim fat from pan juices then ladle over the meat.

Don’t Forget the Side Dishes

The likes of macaroni and cheese, potato salad, sweet-potato casserole and pinto beans are just some of the classic side dishes you could serve. Your barbecued meats should be plated up with savoury condiments such as pickled okra, sliced onions, cherry peppers, jalapeño peppers and dill pickles.

Potato kugel is another favourite Texan side dish, which is essentially shredded potatoes and onions folded with eggs then baked until golden brown. It’s crispy on top and tender and moist on the inside – perfect for serving to your party guests.

If you make beef brisket, cooked asparagus is ideal, and perfectly complements the rich brisket. You can simply microwave, or steam the fresh asparagus then drizzle with butter, lemon and black pepper.

Other sides include corn-on-the-cob, baked beans and string beans with onions. If you want a fuss-free alternative, try the new taco fries from McCain. Cut from whole potatoes and uniquely shaped, these super-crispy fries are wonderful for dipping into sauce and serving alongside your meats.

And Dessert

It’s no secret that Texans love their desserts. Traditionally, dessert is cobbler, and is very much influenced by chuck wagons, the first food trucks that brought good cooking to workers on the move. Cobblers can be cooked over hot coals in a cast-iron Dutch oven. Popular flavours include blackberry, peach and cherry. Be sure to top your succulent cobbler with vanilla ice cream.

Texas Cobbler

Ingredients

  • 128g self-raising flour
  • 225g white sugar
  • 250ml milk
  • 227g butter, melted
  • 2 tins (800g) sliced peaches in syrup

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a bowl, stir together the self-rising flour and sugar. Combine milk into the flour mixture.
  • Fill an oven-safe bowl with melted butter. Pour the flour mixture over melted butter then pile up the peaches over the top. Avoid stirring.
  • Cook in pre-heated oven for roughly 60 minutes until the peaches are bubbling and crust is golden-brown.

Texan Beverages

There are numerous Texan-style drinks you could try. Sweetened iced tea is a great non-alcoholic choice. For an extra zing of sweetness, just add sugar. There’s also a sugary soft drink called Big Red, a much-loved favourite among Texans.

In terms of alcoholic beverages, Texan beer is always a winner. And vino lovers will appreciate a hearty red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot to complement the Texas barbecue. Otherwise a Malbec from Argentina is another red that goes well with beef brisket.

Cocktail-wise, pineapple rose sangria is a great option, an alternative to the traditional red-wine sangria. To ramp up the fizz, use a rosé sparkling wine or Champagne.

Strawberry wine punch is a popular drink, too. Use a splash of lemon juice and a dash of maple syrup and, hey presto, you have the ultimate Texan drink.

Strawberry Wine Punch

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle chilled Moscato
  • 1 tin frozen strawberry daiquiri mix, defrosted
  • 500ml lemonade, chilled
  • Fresh strawberries for garnish

Method

  • In a pitcher, mix wine and daiquiri together, pour in the lemonade and stir well.
  • Serve with ice and sprinkle some fresh strawberries over the top.

Setting the Scene

You needn’t blow your budget to have your gathering. Providing you have great music, great food and great company, no one will leave dissatisfied. Music-wise, you can’t go wrong with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Willie Nelson and George Strait.

Even better, find a friend who plays the guitar or piano and get them to perform some cowboy numbers at your shindig.

And there it is – everything you’ll need for the ultimate Texan-style gathering. Follow the above tips and you’re guaranteed to have a real blast.

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