Pecan Smoked Brisket with Fried Mac & Cheese Bites

Pecan Smoked Brisket

1 trimmed brisket 
Salt and pepper to taste
Pecan wood

  • Using off-set smoker, preheat smoker to 220 – 250 degrees Fahrenheit with charcoal and pecan wood 
  • Smoke at 220 degrees for six to eight hours 
  • Remove from smoker and wrap immediately with butcher paper and then return to smoker until the internal temperature reaches 200 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Smoke for another two to four hours depending on the size of brisket 

BBQ Sauce

8 ounces tomato sauce
1 cup of ketchup 
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup of molasses
1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar 
2 ea 12 ounce can IPA beer (cold)
2 tsp hickory flavored liquid smoke 
1/2 tsp smoked paprika 
1 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder 
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 
1/2 tsp ground black pepper 

  • Open one of the beers and pour it into a glass 
  • Mix all remaining ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes
  • Enjoy your beer from step one 
  • Remove BBQ Sauce from heat. If the sauce has lumps, strain through a fine-mesh strainer 
  • Adjust seasoning to taste and thickness if necessary using more vinegar depending on your desired tartness 

Fried Mac & Cheese Bites

3/4 lbs. dry elbow pasta
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour 
1 teaspoon kosher salt 
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper 
2 cups whole milk 
2 cups shredded cheese
For breading station: 2 cups all-purpose flour, 3 eggs beaten and 2 cups of breadcrumbs 

  • Cook pasta according to directions. For al dente pasta, cook for one minute less than directions. Drain and set aside 
  • Prepare roux: melt butter into a medium saucepan over medium/high heat. Once melted, whisk in flour, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until the roux turns to a light blonde color. Slowly whisk in milk, stirring continuously until thickened for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir in cheese until melted
  • Transfer cooked pasta to a large bowl and pour the sauce over top, stirring to incorporate 
  • Cool Mac & Cheese to a temperature comfortable enough to handle by hand 
  • Using a small scoop or large spoon, make one ounce balls of Mac & Cheese and place formed Mac & Cheese balls on a cookie sheet. Place in freezer for one hour until firm
  • Set up a small breading station using small bowls – keeping flour, eggs and breadcrumbs separate in separate bowls 
  • Remove Mac & Cheese balls from freezer, lightly dust with flour and then coat in egg wash and cover in breadcrumbs 
  • Using your hands, compress the Mac & Cheese bites into a nice, round shape 
  • Fry Mac & Cheese balls until golden brown and warm throughout