Proper sourcing is one of the most important steps you can take when it comes time to hit the kitchen. Commodity meat is cheap, and if treated properly can certainly be delicious, but there is no substitute for high grade protein that came off a well-tended steer.
At our most recent Scrumptious Chef pop up restaurant event, we went all-in and ordered the finest beef available in the great state of Texas; Akaushi via Heartbrand located down in Yoakum. Y'all responded in a big way, and we fed a monstrous crowd of hungry eaters who gathered at Tamale House East to celebrate our good lives in the Great State.
We rolled out multiple preparations: Texas hot guts sausage (made the right way with only salt, pepper, and cayenne;) Texas Red Chili (made the right way with only stock, beef, garlic, chile, masa and salt;) and Chicken Fried Steak cooked in peanut oil.
At our food parties people always laugh when they inquire as to "what's best?" and I inevitably respond "get the sausage," it's the same at every event. We put more time and energy into our $5 plate than most folks put into the highest-dollar entree on their menu. We're not salesman, we're meatmen.
And why in the world would a pack of wiry chefs grind the best meat available in the USA-up and make sausage out of it? This is Texas where a link of hot gut sausage is held with the same level of reverence as the finest $85 Akaushi ribeye at the fanciest restaurant in Austin.
When we started our Texas hot guts project a year and a half ago we ritually measured every single gram of product that went into the sausage. Once we got the hang of it we started free-styling. Rule of thumb: double the amount of seasoning you think is appropriate; double the salt, double the pepper, and double the cayenne.
We use hog guts as our casing, and other than that nothing comes near our sausages.
It's the Texas tradition, and it's getting harder to come by as 99% of barbecue houses hereabouts get their sausages made at local factories and charge prices like they produced them in their own prep rooms.
It's Texas barbecue's dirty little secret.
Thankfully, there are a few young bucks around town like John Lewis at LA BBQ and Tom at Micklethwait Craft Meats who carry on like a couple salty old timers born in the 1940s.
Hundreds of articles on Texas barbecue http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/Barbecue