by Steven Doyle
Meat Church pastor and pitmaster Matt Pittman was destined to make great BBQ. He was born into a family that enjoyed immense hospitality and put on a great spread for guests, and learned his love for cooking from his grandmother, June. June is also the name of his rolling BBQ competition cooker.
Pittman lives in a historic, and according to his family, haunted home in Waxahachie just off the Southwest Assemblies of God campus. The pitmaster has taken his backyard and converted into a temple of meatm often hosting classes surrounded by his bevy of grills and smokers such as a Green Egg of every size, a sous vide device (rarely uses) and a Traeger Timberline smoker to name just a few pieces of this vast collection of equipment.
It is at this “church” that Pittman hosts classes such as the one coming up July 1st. I was an invited guest of Toyota (thank you) which hosted a handful of local media types and we had a pretty incredible journey this past weekend.
The start of this journey to Meat Church had us gathering at one of Pittman’s preferred local butchers in Deep Ellum, the very historic Rudolph’s Market and Sausage Factory which has been in business for 122 years. There we learned about a variety of cuts of beef and hand selected our dinner which would be cooked in the sanctuary of Meat Church by Pittman.
There was a fifty-fifty split on choices of beef – tenderloin filets and ribeyes. I chose the more flavorful cut, the ribeye, which was power-packed with gorgeous striations of fat which Pittman smoked and later rendered to a meaty perfection.
Pittman was invited to compete on television’s BBQ Pitmasters and was quick to bottle and soon after market his own spice blends which now total eight in number and linger from sweet to spicy. You can check the spice rubs out at the Meat Church website. They are superb and we were able to sample these flavors on our steaks.
The technique Pittman used was his now famous reverse sear which is a term for bringing the steak up to temperature in an oven, grill or smoker then finishing off with a hot sear to form a perfect crust. This day the steaks went from smoker to Green Egg where Pittman used a flat cast iron skillet to give the crust he was looking for, and maximized flavors.
Look for more events at the Meat Church website, or visit with the pitmaster at the upcoming Smoked event which is held annually in downtown Dallas.