Wednesday, January 25, 2012

About BBQ Sauce (From BBQRich)

Recently, I have been experimenting with making my own pulled pork on the Broil King Keg.  It's a trial and error process to get it just right.  (See Pulled Pork: A tale of failure and redemption)  With pulled pork, it's important to have the right amounts of smoke and seasoning, but if that doesn't quite work out, you can mask nearly anything with enough barbecue sauce.  (Not that you want to... but you can)

To a Canadian child of the 80's, barbecue sauce was (and to a degree, is) sugary, ketchup based glop that you slather on hamburgers on the grill.  Explain this to someone in the Carolinas, Alabama, Texas, Kansas City, St. Louis, Memphis, or any other barbecue mecca, and you will soon be talking about pistols at dawn.  There are many regional variations (something I will explore in more detail later), but in brief, Texas barbecue is beef, with hearty dry-rub seasonings, and minimal sauce.  Kansas City and St. Louis offer unadulterated versions of the aforementioned ketchup based sauce, but a good North Carolina style sauce has become my weapon of choice for any pulled pork at the moment.  Heavily vinegar based, these sauces are much lighter than the viscous syrups you might find at the grocery store.

An example, adapted from Peace, Love, & Barbecue, a fantastic starter for southern BBQ by Mike and Amy Mills - Mike is known in barbecue circles as "The Legend" - if you have to ask why, you're not cut out for the BBQ scene my friend.

1 cup white vinegar (or cider, or rice vinegar, or a combination)
1/2 cup ketchup (I'm a Heinz guy, but hey, don't discriminate)
1 to 2 tbsp BBQ rub (Being shameless, I used a batch of Magic Dust, also from Peace, Love, & Barbecue - Link)

Shake this together in a sealed jar or bottle.  A plastic sauce bottle works beautifully for loading up a sandwich with some great vinegar sauce.  You can vary the flavour with more or less rub, add some honey to sweeten and thicken the sauce a bit.  The sky's the limit here.

Why does the vinegar sauce really work? Pulled pork can be heavy, and all the fat and connective tissue that breaks down during the cooking process is mixed in with the meat, making it tender, flavourful, and delicious; but, that can make it heavy and greasy too.  The vinegar cuts through any heavy, greasy flavours that you might encounter, and provides a tangy, fresh counterpoint.

Try it, you won't be disappointed!


1 comment:

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