Burnt Ends with Bourbon Sauce
The crispy, caramelized "burnt" pieces of a smoked brisket are often the best part because the flavor is concentrated and the texture is pleasingly chewy. This recipe creates an entire baking tray of crispy pieces, so there are plenty to go around. Chef Matt Horn likes to serve these with slices of white bread; he shared his step-by-step process for making Burnt Ends with us, from seasoning the brisket to caramelizing the sauce on the cubed meat. If you spend a lot of time barbecuing, you will try out literally hundreds of rubs, not to mention cooking sauces, table sauces, mops, binders, and pastes. Eventually, you will settle on an all-purpose rub that adds loads of flavor to just about anything you put in the smoker. Horn Rub is chef Matt Horn's go-to rub; he keeps it close at hand at all time, and uses it to generously season these savory burnt ends. Instead of vinegar, Horn's thick, sticky Bourbon Sauce gets its kick from its namesake: bourbon. For a classic sauce with Kentucky roots, use dark molasses in place of the honey. This recipe works well with any type of barbecue, and Horn loves it in baked beans, too.