Meat-ing point

Those who love a meaty bar­be­cue done right now head straight to Beard Broth­ers’ BBQ.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Taste - By ABI­RAMI DU­RAI star2@thes­tar.com.my

A FEW years ago, Nazri Jameson was at a loose end. The culi­nary arts grad­u­ate had worked in a cou­ple of restau­rants but wasn’t sure what to do next. His broth­erin-law sug­gested he look into pulled meats. Nazri turned to the In­ter­net and quickly be­came fas­ci­nated by what he saw. Soon, he had de­vel­oped a full-blown ob­ses­sion with churn­ing out per­fectly bar­be­cued briskets.

Brisket is a no­to­ri­ously tough piece of meat to work with, as it has to be cooked right in or­der to yield ten­der, gelati­nous meat. Nazri took this task to heart, spend­ing close to five months hon­ing his bar­be­cued brisket and us­ing up nearly 120kg of meat in an at­tempt to achieve his vi­sion of perfection.

“Those were very dark times. But again, it was an ob­ses­sion, so I worked and worked on it day and night and tried to per­fect it, and it took about five to six months be­fore I could say, ‘Okay, I think we can sell this’,” he says.

So with his brother-in-law and a Ger­man friend, they started Beard Broth­ers’ BBQ, work­ing out of his wife’s grand­mother’s house and tak­ing or­ders from in­ter­ested cus­tomers.

Fast for­ward four years, and Beard Broth­ers’ has moved to a proper com­mer­cial lot in Trop­i­cana Av­enue in Pe­tal­ing Jaya. Nazri also has new part­ners (all have beards, in case you’re won­der­ing) in the form of an­other brother-in-law, Sayf Tau­fik, and good friend Afif Ter.

Busi­ness at Beard Broth­ers’ has been pretty brisk. On an av­er­age day, the guys sell about 95 to 100kg of meat, and this vol­ume in­creases to about 130kg over the week­ends. Queues are fairly com­mon and of­ten, they sell out by 8pm!

Part of this suc­cess can be at­trib­uted to the level of ded­i­ca­tion Nazri and his team have de­voted to get­ting the bar­be­cued meat to the point that it is at now.

To be­gin with, he in­vested in a cus­tom-made 1.2 tonne smoker. His meats are cooked us­ing the smoker and wood – in this case, lo­cal rub­ber and man­grove wood.

“There was a time when we were us­ing hick­ory and maple wood. And I thought to my­self, ‘Malaysia is a land full of trees – why are we not us­ing lo­cal wood?’ So we tested out 10 to 12 kinds of wood, and the end re­sult was quite good ac­tu­ally,” he says.

Then there is the labour in­volved in cook­ing the meat (sourced from Aus­tralia) and it takes a whop­ping 20 hours from start to fin­ish. The meat has to be first thawed, then trimmed. Then a dry rub made up of a se­cret con­coc­tion of spices is mas­saged into the meat and left for three to four hours.

The meat goes into the smoker at 8pm, which is when Nazri’s grave­yard shift team comes in (Nazri is so par­tic­u­lar about the qual­ity of the meat that he stays overnight too!). From then on, it’s all about tend­ing to the meat – check­ing it con­stantly to en­sure the tem­per­a­ture is right.

At 8am the next morn­ing, the meat is taken out of the smoker and left to rest for a good three to four hours be­fore the eatery opens at noon.

“When peo­ple start stream­ing in, all we have to do is cut the meat – so it looks sim­ple, but there’s hours and hours of work be­hind it. Peo­ple still don’t know that. They think it’s just slap­ping meat on a bar­be­cue,” says Nazri.

To be­gin your car­niv­o­rous ad­ven­ture at Beard Broth­ers’, you’ll have to first de­cide how much meat you want to eat. The three meat op­tions on the ta­ble are all sold in 100g por­tions – pulled lamb (RM22 per 100g), beef brisket (RM19 per 100g) and beef short ribs (RM24 per 100g for grass-fed and RM30 per 100g for grain-fed).

Nazri rec­om­mends 100g por­tions for sin­gle­tons and more if there are more than two peo­ple eat­ing. The beef short ribs, how­ever, gen­er­ally weigh in at about 300g per piece, so you’ll prob­a­bly have to or­der that much to get a sin­gle por­tion.

You can also get an en­tire set meal for an ex­tra RM7, which bags you mashed pota­toes, coleslaw, baked beans, potato bun and a drink from lo­cal out­fit Pop, My Soda.

If you’re feel­ing par­tic­u­larly rav­en­ous, you can or­der the Triple Threat Plat­ter (RM125) which en­com­passes 100g brisket, 100g pulled lamb, a beef short rib as well as four side dishes.

So does the meat live up to all the hard work that goes into it? It most cer­tainly does! The pulled lamb is a thing of beauty – ten­der and to­tally de­void of fi­brous, chewy strands. It is also ex­tremely juicy from the house-made ap­ple­heavy sauce that is driz­zled over it be­fore serv­ing.

Then there are the beef short ribs (the guys highly rec­om­mend the grain-fed vari­ant as it has a higher fat con­tent, so is likely to be juicier). This is prob­a­bly what you’ll keep com­ing back to Beard Broth­ers’ for. The awe-maz­ing hunk of meat has a de­light­ful fat­meat bal­ance that means you’ll be bit­ing into al­ter­nate bits of meat and fat that are just fall-off-the-

— Pho­tos: YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

Nazri and his team tend to the meat in the smoker from 8pm to 8am, check­ing it con­stantly to make sure the tem­per­a­ture is right.

The pulled lamb is juicy and ten­der. With the set meal, you can get a cou­ple of side dishes to boot, the star of which is the soft, but­tery mashed pota­toes and slightly fruity baked beans with peaches.

The newly-launched (and very de­li­cious) Brim­mie Sam­mich is made up of pulled lamb, coleslaw, pick­led cu­cum­ber and onion in a soft crois­sant.

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