Thanks to Polynesian hunters of yore, who in their infinite cleverness endeavored to toss their daily kill into a pit of fire — cover it with rocks and dirt — and unearth for the next day’s meal, the barbecue universe was born. In homage to those fine gents and their bone-based body piercings, my good friend and colleague Jesse Olivarez and I recently dug our own pit for an afternoon barbecue.
To summarize, we did this:
Dug a hole approximately 3 feet deep by two feet wide, dropped bricks into the bottom of the pit, burned 4 cubic feet of pecan wood down to embers, and used three bricks set on their side to work as an altar for the object of our worship: a 9-pound brisket.
The brisket was trimmed, then given an light mustard coating. A rub was applied (recipe below) then the brisket was put in foil with a little apple juice and butter. After wrapping it tight in the foil and placing it in a roasting pan with handles, the whole bundle of joy was wrapped in water-soaked newspaper (one saved from last week, of course). Then we covered the hole with a piece of plywood and covered it with dirt, making sure the pit was airtight. Sixteen hours later, we exhumed the beef and ate…and ate…and ate…and ate.
1 cup premium light red chile blend
½ cup paprika
½ cup garlic powder
¼ cup Kosher salt
¼ cup black pepper
¼ cup light brown sugar