Filed under: in the kitchen
Ah…now I feel like I’ve really accomplished something. Homemade Eastern NC BBQ sauce! From my uncle’s own recipe (or one of them, at least). I knew there was a reason I went home for Thanksgiving .
To put this recipe in context for those who aren’t native to BBQ country, in the Southeast, BBQ almost strictly refers to pork (take that, Texas!). And the way it’s prepared is down right territorial. The BBQ you get in the Blue Ridge Mountains is NOT the same BBQ you’ll get on Bogue Sound. Some counties make tomato based sauces, others make vinegar based sauces. Both consider the opposers’ recipes to be blasphemous. I am firmly in the vinegar camp, by birth and by taste. “Pig pickins” are a way of life (and an all day affair), with menfolk out in the yard starting up the pit in the wee hours of the morning, tending the meat for hours, and then chopping and serving it in the early afternoon.
Of course, a pig pickin’ turns out a 100 lb pig, and unless you’re throwing a Downeast wedding, graduation, or birthday, you don’t need that much meat. For our purposes, your crockpot will do a fine job.
To make pork BBQ, put a pork shoulder in your crockpot, dry, and cook on low 6-8 hours. Drain, shred with a fork, and drench in the following sauce. Serve on a toasted bun with fresh coleslaw (in the bun on top of the meat…yes I mean that), or on a plate with baked beans, hush puppies, and potato salad.
Eastern North Carolina BBQ Sauce
1/2 quart brown cider vinegar
1 1/4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/4 tbsp Texas Pete or Tabasco
3 tbsp black pepper
3 tbsp salt
16 oz ketchup
3 tsp dry mustard
1/2 + 1/8 cup brown sugar
1 tsp red pepper
Heat and boil until brown sugar dissolves. (You may simmer longer – it will get spicier the longer it cooks.)
I quartered the recipe, but it still makes a whole heck of a lot. Good thing it keeps in the fridge. This is great for feeding crowds – the pork is inexpensive and the sauce goes far. Perfect picnic food.
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