If you’re from Texas, there’s a smell you know deep in your heart. You smell it when you get off the plane, because there’s literally a BBQ joint in the airport. It’s the smell of low and slow, burnt ends, brisket, smoke and sauce.
Our BBQ Sandwich and Platter are inspired by Texas BBQ. Two New Englanders, Ayr and Rolando, at times very full of moist brisket, drove through the Texas Hill Country on a food research trip a decade ago. That trip is why our BBQ sauce is so good. And it’s probably why I find our BBQ sandwich so comforting. It reminds me of home.
That photo is of brisket, but we use seitan to make our BBQ sandwich and platter. Seitan was developed by Chinese and Japanese Buddhist monks centuries before Pat Brown was even born. It uses vital wheat gluten, and is made by rinsing the starch away from wheat, leaving just the protein. Seitan actually has more protein than steak! It works great with saucy accompaniments and it has a loyal and fiery fan club here at Clover.
Seitan had a tough blow dealt to it last year when the supply of vital wheat gluten ran low. We’re not sure why (maybe it was all the bread baking everyone was doing) but hey, it was 2020 so we just rolled with the punches. Luckily we had been itching to test Jackfruit as a replacement for Seitan. Jackfruit is a giant, amazing fruit from India that is ton of fun to work with and treads lightly on the planet. After a customer of ours, Annie, started The Jackfruit Company, she sent us some jackfruit and Chris got to work developing a recipe that got the jackfruit stringing in a satisfying way, getting all saucy and delicious (maybe if seitan was like the brisket in Texas BBQ, Jackfruit was like the pulled pork in Carolina style BBQ).
And you all liked it so much that we almost gave up on seitan altogether! Even when vital wheat gluten came back in stock, we considered keeping Jackfruit on the menu. But we did a quick survey, and it was a close race, but Seitan won out in the end with 70% of the votes. So if you’ve been stalking our app, you may have noticed that BBQ Seitan is back on the menu!
If you haven’t had it yet: warm pita, caramelized onions, Grafton sharp cheddar, seitan drowned in our Texas-inspired sauce then baked til it’s all crisp on the edges, Backyard Farms tomatoes and lettuce. The platter gets all those things plus Clover versions of Texas BBQ sides (potato salad, cole slaw, pickles, sauce). And instead of the half loaf of Wonder Bread common in Elgin and Lockhart, you get some Clover pita 🙂
Seitan is back on the menu at all locations as of today! Hope you get a chance to check it out soon.
PS: If you are not near enough to a Clover to come by for a BBQ, but want to recreate your own Texas BBQ pit at home, several of our meal boxes (Classics Box, Vegan Box, and BYO BBQ Box) also have BBQ goodness in them! The next cutoff for ordering one of these meal boxes is Thursday at 5pm.
PPS: Are there any other homesick Texas BBQ fans out there who have been unable to travel home because of the pandemic? Reply to this email or tag us on social media telling us about your favorite BBQ restaurant from back home, and we’ll send you a coupon for a free BBQ sandwich at Clover. For me it’s a tossup between Ruby’s (where punks and cowboys waited for brisket while listening to blues music on the Drag) and Pok-e-Jo’s (run by a high school friend of mine, caterer of every great Texas wedding and supplier of massive tubs of potato salad). I’ll be back there soon, I know it!