14 May 2013

Adventures In BBQ

Saturday night at the HQ we were discussing different BBQ sauces and how the method of preparing the meat differs from one place to the other. One of the commenters was talking (writing?) about the Lexington dip, while another opined that any time you put ketchup in the sauce you have committed a grave and mortal sin (I wrote about the different sauces you find in the Carolinas here). South Carolina mustard sauce was not even mentioned.

Yet a third claimed that any type of pork that was shredded/chopped was an Abomination Unto Nuggan, and that the proper way to serve smoked pork was sliced with a Kansas City style of thick sauce. He was immediately banished as a troll, as everyone knows Carolina barbecue is king.

At any rate it woke a craving for pulled pork, and I decided I'd give the Lexington dip a chance.

1 C distilled vinegar
1/4 C ketchup
1/4 C apple juice (not cider)
1 t. hot sauce (I used this)
3 T. light brown sugar
1/2 T. salt
1 t. crushed red pepper
1 t. finely ground black pepper

Put all the ingredients in a Mason jar, put the lid on it and shake vigorously until all the ingredients are combined. Let it sit for at least 3 hours. I let mine sit for six while the pig was absorbing the rub.

You are supposed to baste (mop) the meat with this mixture while it is cooking, but I just rubbed a pork shoulder and let it sit for a couple of hours, put it in a 250 degree oven for 4 hours while I ran off to do my errands, then put it on a smoky fire over indirect heat for another 4 hours, spraying it down every hour with apple juice.

The sauce itself is a little thicker than the East Carolina sauce due to the ketchup, but isn't nearly as thick as the Kansas City style sauces. It's also sweeter due to both the tomatoes and the extra 2 T. of brown sugar in the mix (actually, the recipe has to be doubled to approximate the same volume as the East Carolina sauce, so by volume there is 6x the sugar in it). There is still a bit of the kick to it due to the Cajun Sunshine hot sauce and the red pepper, but not nearly as much as the East Carolina sauce (of course, I didn't put any Insanity Sauce in it, either...which reminds me, I've really got to try this).

My verdict...I liked it. Not more than the East Carolina sauce, but as much at least.

Next I'm going to have to try my hand at making both types of slaw.

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