As the second largest state in the U.S., Texas has become known as a food hub. While Austin culinary arts students may be learning a number of gastronomic styles and techniques in their studies, sometimes it’s nice to just go home. The state capital is known for blending several different cultures into its food offerings, making it a go-to destination for everything from tacos to fried chicken and beyond.
Here’s a look at three regional dishes Austin culinary arts students should perfect to become a true Texan chef:
You can’t visit Austin without getting at least a little – OK, a lot of – barbeque. The city is famous for restaurants like La Barbeque, Franklin Barbeque and the Salt Lick, which serve the full monty on a slathered platter. Yet, there’s one particular type of meat that Austin locals can’t get enough of: brisket.
Cut from the breast of a cow, this tender portion of meat is known for its dark, smoked exterior and moist interior. It is extremely difficult to perfect, but culinary arts students should try until they get it right. Aaron Franklin, the owner of Franklin Barbeque and king of brisket, uses a simple rub of one-half cup salt, one-half cut pepper and one-fourth cup Worcestershire sauce for a 10 to 12 pound brisket for a flavorful taste profile, according to BBQ Blvd. Chefs interested in learning the skills of a pitmaster can experiment with ingredients to find a rub that suits their own taste buds.
“Chicken fried steak is a play off German wiener schnitzel.”
Chicken fried steak
You may know this regional favorite as an entree on an elementary school lunch tray. Austin does it much, much better. Taking a cue from the German stalwart of wiener schnitzel, Texans created this pan-fried dish and it shows no sign of going away anytime soon, according to Serious Eats. Tenderized steak covered in seasoned flour is cooked in a cast iron skillet or deep fryer, before creamy gravy is poured over the top.
Austin culinary students can learn this recipe in a flash. It’s a nostalgic meal that will never go out of style – at least not in the Texan capital.
Save your calories for this Austin treat, which combines chili and a chip originally created in the 30s – Fritos – into a delicious Texan pie. You’ll likely see it served out of the Frito bag!
This concoction is fairly simple to make, but allows Austin culinary students to add their own gastronomic twist with the addition of different meats and cheeses. Simply cut open a two-ounce bag of Fritos down the center, making sure the container doesn’t split. After putting in a large scoop of chili, pile onions, jalapenos and sour cream to the mixture and dig in! Feel free to incorporate the veggies and condiments of your choice, but know that Austin residents are purists, according to Texas Monthly.