How One Pitmaster’s Lebanese Heritage Influences His Barbecue

A smoked chucked beef sandwich from Riverport Bar-B-Cue.The Joseph family arrived in the East Texas town of Jefferson over a century ago from what is now modern-day Lebanon. The family has run a department store, a dry-goods store, a cafe, and now a barbecue joint, Riverport Bar-B-Cue, under the ownership of Stephen Joseph. He grew up eating food like kibbeh, labneh, and tabbouleh, but only at family gatherings. That type of food wasn’t served anywhere else around Jefferson. But last year, at a barbecue festival in Tyler, Stephen served up some of his family’s heritage to the public for the first time. Slices of smoked brisket were wrapped in flatbread with tomatoes and onions and topped with his labneh (a thick yogurt) and fresh herbs. Lebanese potato salad, made from Stephen’s grandmother’s…

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