Restaurant review: The Southern Cowboy, Castleford

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SOMETHING unique is slowly simmering in a quiet corner of Castleford.

Succulent joints of pork and brisket; mouthwatering ribs and chicken; tasty marinades; piquant sauces; spicy dips.

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These and many more are the authentic ingredients behind a takeaway which, its owner believes, is the only one of its kind in Europe –The Southern Cowboy.

When Pontefract-born Ryan Gliozzo and his family returned to their home town after living in the USA for much of the past 20 years, they brought back with them a taste – and, crucially, the recipes – for the tremendous barbecued food popular across the country, especially in the southern states.

They continued cooking it up at home for themselves, family and friends, but also thought it would be great if anyone could enjoy it.

And so, in September 2015, they opened the Southern Cowboy BBQ Smokehouse – and it’s already won many fans for authentic American barbecue and Tex Mex food delivered to their doors.

“My dad is American, a lawyer, and we travelled with him all over the country, getting to experience all kinds of food,” says Ryan.

“I was always interested in it and started picking up recipes when I was just nine years old. When we got home to Britain we went to all kinds of barbecue and Tex Mex restaurants but, really, none of them achieve that authentic flavour. So I started cooking from the recipes I’d collected in the US and, after spending a long time perfecting them, they were ready.”

The key to giving the meat from Southern Cowboy its taste is the use of two smokers, specialised ovens imported from the USA, which use hickory wood to impart the authentic flavour over up to 16 hours slowly smoking and cooking.

These meats are used to create Southern Cowboy’s signature barbecue platters: brisket, pulled pork, ribs – or a bit of all three – served with sauce and two sides (choose from, among others, coleslaw, bacon-wrapped cheese jalapenos, barbecue meaty beans, Tex Mex beef chilli and chips).

There are also meaty sandwiches, tacos and burritos, quesadillas (filled tortillas), wings, hot dogs and more.

Having taken home a generous sample of brisket, pulled pork, spicy onion ‘flower petals’, chilli sauce and chips,

I can vouch for the truly superb tenderness and flavour of the meat: it really is something completely different from any smoked meat I’ve ever tasted.

Suffice to say, there was so much we couldn’t finish it in one meal – but it tasted just as good in a cold sandwich the following day.

The Ultimate Ploughman's. PIC: Tony Johnson

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