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Texas beef, Mangawhai style


Smoked meats-558Andrea Palmer and partner Rod McCourt were living and working between Whangaparaoa and Kaiwaka until the less populated and more sedate lifestyle of Kaiwaka won the day. Integrating into the community came fairly easily but the change of lifestyle meant a change in vocation. Andrea is currently working as a teacher aide at Mangawhai Beach School but the couple sought a business a little different.

Rod’s stepfather is from Kentucky and subsequently had an interest in southern style barbecue from a young age. An overseas research trip to the Lone Star State of Texas followed to research what is widely regarded as the best barbecue in the world. Texas barbecue is all about the beef from short rib racks to melt-in-your-mouth low and slow smoked brisket. 

The family barbecue is world-wide but Texas presented a whole new experience. They had watched Pitmaster on TV and this visit provided an invaluable research and development opportunity, studying Aaron Franklin, America’s barbecue guru, and also attending the World Barbecue Champs in Houston. Ideas abounded!

Once back home, and in perhaps a reverse psychology sort of way, Andrea and Rod began experimenting making their own sauces then, with encouragement from friends, they turned to the meat side to match smoked meat cuts to their sauces and dressings. The whole mobile American Smokehouse Barbecue thing came together under the banner of ‘Short Rack and Sides.’

Now with a super-sized smoker they call the ‘Big Hee Haw’ they essentially smoke beef, pork and chicken in a process that can take up to 12 hours, using oak wood to give a unique flavour to spare ribs or a 7kg brisket. They provide regular take home meals of brisket, spare ribs, chicken thighs and brisket sausages but the point of difference is the method of cooking for that special smoked flavour.

“We will open a pop-up shop in Mangawhai on consecutive Saturdays June 23 and 30, just to give locals a taste of what ‘Short Rack and Sides’ is all about and what will hopefully be a forerunner to summer,” says Andrea. 

The pop up will continue on every Saturday in August. 

“Portions can be big or small with a selection of sides and we will be available for out-catering for your own barbecue, birthday or other celebration.”

A good steak is simply a good steak and Kiwis are now becoming accustomed to grappling with a big plate of ribs so the tastes of summer could just be closer than you think.

Watch this space. Or check them out now on facebook, Short Rack & Sides Smokehouse Barbecue.

Andrea Palmer and Rod McCourt are satisfying the big kiwi barbecue appetite with their big Texas smoker-cooker.

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