Saturday, December 30, 2006

Smoked Pork BBQ - Part 2 - the Sauces

As I said, traditional Lexington pulled pork BBQ is sauced with a vinegar based condiment. In fact, some restaurants offer nothing but the vinegar sauce. There's always this discussion going in North Carolina regarding Eastern vs Western NC styles. The differences are slight for my purposes - and I'm certainly not going to be smoking an entire hog, or even a side of pork as they do in the East. Some say Western (Lexington) style is supposed to have a touch of tomato in their sauce as well, but in my experience, some joints in that area do it that way, and others do not.

I've learned that BBQ sauce is actually quite easy to make, although there are also some very good commercial brands out there. My favorite right now is Sweet Baby Ray's (really a rib sauce), with other good choices including Stubb's (from Texas), and Open Pit - which is more of a Kansas City style) sauce.

So, I decided to make several sauces - 4 totally difference varieties in fact. Here they are left to right:

1) Mid-Western tasting -tomato/molasses based sauce.
2) South Carolina style mustard based sauce.
3) NC style vinegar based sauce.
4) Chimichurri sauce. I know, I know - this is meant for the fantastic beef that's found in Argentina. I had the opportunity to spend some time in that beautiful country many years ago, along with one of our New Year's eve guests. So, the chimichurri will be something completely different, and I can always save it for a nice steak or roast if it tastes horrible on the pulled pork.

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