Happiest Plates On Earth: Smoked Barbeque Brisket With Apple Slaw- Inspired By ‘Melody Time’


Since I chose a very well-known film for my last inspiration recipe, I decided this time to keep that train going and create a recipe based on the classic hit ‘Melody Time’!

Oh, what’s that you say? You have no memory of ‘Melody Time’? Yeah, neither does anyone else. ‘Melody Time’ is one of those strange package films from the 40s that people remember pieces of, but maybe not the whole. While there are actually seven different ‘shorts’ in this film, I used the two most well-known segments and decided to smoosh them together into one harmonious dish that tastes like summer.


I started by looking at the ‘Pecos Bill’ section, and decided to take inspiration from the ‘yay Texas!’ attitude and smoked a beef brisket with the flavors of a Texas chili. I paired the brisket with a sweet and spicy barbecue sauce I created using a bottle of coke, another Texas staple.

From there, I moved over to the ‘Johnny Appleseed’ short, and pulled some inspiration from the barefoot, pot-wearing weirdo. I added a green apple slaw to the top of my brisket and fried some johnny cakes to accompany the whole thing. Get it? Johnny cakes?

Anyway, as I’m very aware of recipes bloggers and their instinct to write a million paragraphs about themselves, I feel this is a great time to tell you about a craft project I started working on a couple weeks ago.


First I-

I’m kidding. Here ya go!

Smoked Barbecue Brisket with Apple Slaw
Serves 6-8
Prep Time: 45 Minutes 
Cook Time: 10 Hours 

Green Apple Slaw

1 green apple, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded slaw mix (I used cabbage, kohlrabi, and brussels sprouts)
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
Chopped green onions

Combine all ingredients and chill for at least two hours. Set aside until you are ready to plate.

Roasted Jalapeno Barbecue Sauce

20 oz Coca Cola
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce

2 whole jalepeno peppers
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Place garlic and peppers on medium-sized piece of aluminum foil.  Drizzle a small amount of vegetable oil over them and then fold the edges of the foil over, creating a pouch.  Place the vegetables in a 350 degree oven and cook for 30 minutes, or until soft.  Scrape the flesh from the peppers and add them to a small food processor with the roasted garlic cloves and blend until smooth.  Set aside to add to your sauce later.  Pour soda into saucepan on stove over medium heat. Bring soda to simmer and allow to heat until reduced to approximately 1/2 cup of thick syrup. Add in the tomato sauce, honey, soy sauce and worcestershire and continue to cook until they are reduced together.  Add in your garlic and pepper puree by teaspoons, tasting often, until it has the level of heat you would like.  Keep sauce warm if you are serving the same day you make the sauce or refrigerate until you are ready to use.  

Sweet Potato And Black Bean Salad

4 large sweet potatoes, baked and cooled
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed
1/2 red onion, diced
1 medium green tomato, diced (optional)
1/4 c chopped cilantro
1/2 c mayo
1/2 c sour cream
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste


In a small bowl, whisk together mayo, sour cream, vegetable oil, and fresh lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.  In a separate bowl, combine the rinsed black beans, red onions, and green tomato and pour over the dressing before stirring together.  Fold in the sweet potatoes, being careful not to break them up or mash them.  Add in fresh cilantro.  Allow to chill for at least one hour or until you are ready to plate.  

Slow-Smoked Brisket

12-14 lb brisket
1/4 c brisket rub ( or you can make your own)

Heavily coat the brisket with the spice rub of your choosing and allow to rest in the fridge for up to 12 hours. Preheat your smoker to 225 and allow to heat up for approximately 15 minutes (I used Applewood pellets for this recipe). Place the brisket fat-side down on the smoker and cook for 5 hours. Pull the brisket off and double wrap it in foil or place in a disposable pan and wrap tightly on the top. Put the brisket back on the smoker for an additional 4 hours. Allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes before slicing into it, going against the grain.

Fresh Corn and Cheddar Johnny Cake

1/2 c flour
1/2 c yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 egg
1 cup whole milk
2 ears corn, cut off the cob
1/2 cup freshly shredded cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
3 tablespoons butter, melted (plus extra for frying)

Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg and milk. Add in melted butter and mix just until combined. Stir in the dry ingredients and stir gently until incorporated. Fold in fresh corn and shredded cheese.

Melt extra butter (or oil if you choose) in a frying pan or cast iron skillet on the stove top. Carefully spoon batter into hot pan and cook on each side until the cakes are evenly browned. Place cooked corn cakes on a paper towel to drain. Hold in a warm oven until you are ready to serve.

This was a great late-summer meal to try out on our smoker.  The brisket had great flavor, and the added flavors and textures of the other ingredients made the dish pretty balanced.  Overall, I would consider it a slightly Disney-inspired twist on a fairly basic meal, but a pretty tasty one.  


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