Saturday, January 8, 2011

Barbecue, 6 ways:

As we start 2011, I realized that in a few days, it will have been 2 years since Cincinnati Nomerati started. A lot has changed--for the better, I think--and reflecting back upon the past two years, I feel profoundly thankful.

I'm thankful that I have an understanding and loving family who lets me take pictures of their food before they eat it. I'm thankful that I have a husband that is (mostly) patient when I wander around in circles in the grocery, puts up with my crazy dinner schemes and doesn't flinch when I put an $8 wedge of cheese in the shopping cart. I'm thankful for all our friends we've made in the past two years. You guys are fantastic. I may not make 6 figures a year, but I'm plenty rich.

I'm also lucky to have friends that I can call up when I have a food question. I could be paralyzed by choice, staring at cans of tomatoes, or trying to find the best lard in Cincinnati, or where we could buy octopus. I have vast resources, and sometimes a knowledgeable friend is way more helpful than any cookbook.

Also, I am thankful for barbecue. And that I'm lucky enough to know a master barbecue judge with more sauce recipes than you can shake a stick at.

For David's latest welcome back dinner, I wanted to do something simple. Honestly, I think I'm still recovering from the Italian tapas meal. Indoor pulled pork was the way to go. I also wanted to make a variety of sauce styles to accompany the pork. The pulled pork itself was cooked immersed in about half a bottle of Listermann's smoked bock, and I modified and used this recipe with fuji apples, chipotles in adobo, and red onion.

I sent Cincyhound a message and asked for 5 simple barbecue sauces I could make without a food processor or a blender. After his very helpful response, I made the following sauces, and I snuck one store bought sauce in there to make things interesting. I tweaked the recipes a little from their original format, partly because I needed to make them smaller (I didn’t want gallons of sauce), partly because that's just how I roll.

Eastern Carolina Sauce:
1/3 cup white vinegar
1 tb + 1 tsp cider vinegar
3 tb dark brown sugar
1/t tsp chipotle powder
1/4 tsp sriracha
1/4 tsp Frank's red hot
2 tsp salt
Smidge san marzano tomato puree
combine and mix well

Western Carolina Pig Dip
2/3 cup white vinegar
1/3 cup san marzano puree
1 tb + 1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp salt
1/4 tb smoked paprika
1/4 tsp sriracha
1/2 tsp black pepper
combine and mix well

South Carolina Mustard Sauce
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 tb + 2 tsp mesquite honey
1 tb +1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp san marzano puree
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp sriracha

Bourbon Brown Sugar Sauce
1/2 cup san marzano puree
1 tb + 1 tsp bourbon
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tb cider vinegar
3 tsp molasses
2 tsp Worcestershire
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup tamari soy sauce
1/2 tb hickory powder
1/2 cup smoked bock
Combine and simmer 45 minutes or so until reduced over medium heat

Big Bob's Very Cherry Dr. Pepper Sauce
1 cup san marzano puree
1/3 cup Dr. pepper, flat
1/2 a 10 oz jar of cherry preserves
2 tb brown sugar
2 tsp mesquite honey
1 tb molasses
1 tb + 1 tsp wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chipotle powder
mix all ingredients and bring to a simmer over medium heat. lower heat simmer for 40 minutes, stirring frequently.

When David returned, I had the 6 sauces in numbered bottles, the pulled pork ready, and the testing began. In the end, he was able to identify the store-bought sauce pretty easily (he called it "the boring one"), and while I was partial to the very cherry Dr. Pepper sauce, he enjoyed the Carolina mustard sauce and the bourbon brown sugar sauce the most.

The bourbon brown sugar sauce had simmered for so long, some of the sugars had caramelized to make an extremely complex sauce. Also, I kept tasting it and was not happy with it, so I began throwing everything I could think of into it, sort of a "kitchen sink" approach.

1 comment:

I try to be honest, fair and keep a good sense of humor in my posts--I would appreciate if you follow the same policy with your comments.