Y'all should know that Bovine & Swine, a new Texas barbecue joint, has just swung open its doors on Enmore Road. How serious are these lads about meat? Serious enough to tattoo the words BARBECUE across their knuckles. I kid you not.
Bovine & Swine was established by former Vic’s Meat Market pitmasters Wes Griffith and Anton Hughes along with compadre Tim Chillingworth. It's a casual order-at-the-till style joint that lets you buy the meats per 100g and watch as they carve it right in front of you, like a sexy meat striptease. The downside is it's fairly easy to calculate how much you've just eaten. 100g + 100g + 200g + 200g = what have I done?
If you're finding it hard to narrow down your selection (we hear you), don't pass on the brisket, chopped pork, hot link and chicken breast ($9 per 100g). The brisket is a marbled Angus beef, which has been rubbed in salt and pepper and slow smoked for 12 hours in local ironbark woods to create a thick black crust and some seriously tender, unctuous flesh. It goes down particularly well on a soft white roll with crisp slaw ($14).
Unlike pulled pork — which is so 2014 — here the pork shoulder is taken from the flames early so you've still got something to sink your teeth into. It's then doused in a homemade Carolina sauce, a caramelised concoction of tomatoes, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and white pepper. Otherwise, the blistered hot link sausage and a coffee and cayenne-rubbed chicken breast make unlikely heroes.
They also serve sides. At $5 each, choose from the house pickles, fresh slaw, chilli beans with smoked bacon, and a mac 'n' cheese made with smoked cheese, paprika and broccoli (don't freak out — you can’t even taste it). The macaroni has been cooked a good hour past al dente, so it’s a little gluey, but somehow still delicious. Round it off with a tinnie of Young Henrys ($7) and you've got a meal to remember. Especially if you do a weekly weigh in.
Once you've undone your pants and they still feel too tight, it's time to ask for a take-home container and call it a day. A really, really awesome day.
Images: Rob Greaves Photography