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Barbecued Clod

East Texas is famous for its barbecued brisket while central Texas is famous for its barbecued clod (centered around Lockhart, Texas). The clod, shoulder clod, or beef shoulder clod is a muscle system that comprises one of the two chuck sub-primal cuts. The entire clod is a 15- to 20-pound piece of meat, while the clod heart is one of the three muscles and weighs only 5 to 6 pounds. The other two muscles are the shoulder tender and the top blade (from which comes the flatiron steak). The clod heart is the best suited to backyard barbecue. Traditional Texas barbecue is seasoned only with salt and black pepper and smoked with oak wood, preferably Post oak.

1 5-pound clod heart

6 teaspoons Morton kosher salt

5 teaspoons coarse cracked black pepper

Combine the salt and pepper.

Trim excess fat from the meat, coat with the salt-pepper mixture rubbing it onto the meat with your hands. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

Prepare the smoker for low to moderate heat (225°F to 300°F) and moderate wood smoke. Oak wood (split firewood) is recommended, but other woods such as pecan can be substituted. Hickory and mesquite are not recommended. Smoke for approximately 7 to 8 hours with moderate smoke.

The meat should have reached an internal temperature of at least 190°F and have a heavy black bark.


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