Recipe courtesy of Vitek's BBQ

Gut Pak

Vitek's Gut Paks have been a tailgating staple at Baylor University since their invention in 1983, but the restaurant started out as a grocery and meat market in 1915 and has been in the Vitek family since then. A layer of corn chips are topped with smoked sausage, pinto beans, smoked brisket and shredded Cheddar, all served with 2 slices of bread, pickles onions and pickled jalapenos. Vitek's BBQ smokes their meats on site. We use liquid smoke to achieve a smoky flavor in the brisket.
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Inactive: 30 min
  • Cook: 3 hr
  • Yield: 4 large Gut Paks
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One 4 1/2-pound piece brisket, preferably second cut

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Barbecue Sauce:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup ketchup

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons molasses

1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Hot sauce

Gut Pack:

8 ounces smoked sausage or hot links (about 2 links)

One 15.5-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

14 ounces corn chips (about 10 cups)

4 ounces freshly grated Cheddar (about 1 1/4 cups)

8 slices soft white or wheat bread

Chopped white onion, serving suggestion

Dill pickle slices, serving suggestion

Pickled jalapeno pepper slices, serving suggestion


  1. For the brisket: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Put the brisket in a small roasting pan. Score the thick top layer of fat (known as a fat cap) a few times with a sharp knife. Rub all over with the liquid smoke. Mix the chili powder, salt, cumin, garlic powder, paprika and pepper, and rub all over the brisket. Make sure the brisket is fat-cap-side up in the pan. Add 1/2 cup water to the bottom of the pan and then tightly cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil.
  2. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the meat reads around 190 degrees F, about 3 hours (a thin knife should easily pierce the meat but it should not be falling apart). If cooking a second cut brisket, make sure to take the temperature in a few different spots as the different muscles can cook at different rates. Let the meat rest in the pan for about 30 minutes, and then transfer to a cutting board. Pour the juices into a large measuring cup. Then skim off the fat from the top and reserve.
  3. For the barbeque sauce: While the brisket roasts, heat the oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion. Cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the ketchup, Worcestershire, vinegar, molasses and sugar. Stir in 1/2 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Simmer until slightly thickened and the flavors have blended, 15 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper and hot sauce. Set aside.
  4. Chop the brisket, trimming away and discarding excess fat as you cut. Put the chopped brisket into a pot and mix with 1 cup of the barbecue sauce and 1/2 cup of the reserved juices. Keep warm over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, while you prepare all the other components.
  5. For the Gut Pak: Place the smoked sausages in a medium nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Slice the sausage. Put the beans in a medium bowl with 2 tablespoons of water, cover with plastic wrap and microwave until warm, 2 minutes.
  6. On each of 4 large plates, put 2 1/2 cups corn chips and some Cheddar. Evenly distribute the sausage, brisket, beans and a drizzle of the remaining barbecue sauce on top. Serve each plate with 2 slices of bread, chopped white onion, dill pickle slices and pickled jalapeno slices on the side. GO BEARS!

Cook’s Note

Brisket is a great make-ahead roast. If prepared a day ahead, cool the brisket in the roasting pan and then cover first with plastic wrap and then foil. Refrigerate. The next day uncover and remove the plastic wrap. Skim off the hard fat that has solidified on the pan juices. Recover with foil and warm in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F, about 45 minutes. Continue with the recipe as written.

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