Thursday, September 24, 2009

All About BBQ

I grew up in eastern NC, and their brand of BBQ. To Eastern North Carolinians, BBQ is made from pork, and has a vinegar based sauce. Mostly, the sauce is vinegar, a little sugar, crushed red pepper. Some doctor it up with some other spices, and still others let hot peppers marinate in their vinegar to give it some heat. To accompany our BBQ, we usually have Brunswick stew*, slaw, hushpuppies, and banana pudding for dessert. Some people stray away from these sides, but that would be my favorite BBQ plate.

A few weeks ago (while in Richmond with Mama), we bought some country-style pork ribs that were on sale. Since I GENERALLY don't eat meat that has bones attached (no fried chicken for me! I know, I'm not very southern, am I?), I didn't know how to cook these ribs. So, I decided I would get some ENC BBQ sauce, and put the ribs in the crock pot. I left them on low all day (you know, low and slow), and by dinner time, house smelled WONDERFUL, and the pork was, as my mama would say, "Out of this world!" I threw together some Brunswick Stew*, and we had a pretty good meal (even if we didn't have slaw or hushpuppies).

When Food Lion put them back on sale this week, I bought some for the family (although I knew the kids wouldn't eat it). I put them in the crock pot with some Uncle Yammy's BBQ sauce. Again, I made some Brunswick stew*, but this time I also made some homemade Macaroni and Cheese. Daddyman thoroughly enjoyed the meal!

Now Daddyman has an affection for Western NC BBQ, which is very similar to the rest of the country, in that a red (tomato/ketchup) sauce is used. We have tried a BUNCH of tomato based sauces, and I have two favorites – Sauer's and Stubbs. I just recently discovered the Sauer's, and it is a bit spicier than your normal, grocery store brands. Our other favorite is red sauce is Stubb's. It has a good flavor. I am able to doctor just about any kind of BBQ sauce to suit our needs, so I buy what is on sale.

When we lived in Indy, the closest thing we could get to ENC BBQ was GT South's. They had pretty good BBQ, and they had their tomato-based BBQ sauce on the side. Once, I brought it home, and kind of made my own vinegar-based sauce. Well, ok, I didn't KIND OF make my own sauce, I ACTUALLY made my own sauce. It wasn't as good as some bottled stuff I get around here. For years, and years, and years, I got George's BBQ sauce, which is made in Nashville, NC. It is WONDERFUL. However, I recently discovered Uncle Yammy's sauce, which is made in Greenville, NC.

*You're probably wondering what Brunswick stew is. When we lived in Indy, I learned that not everyone knows what Brunswick stew is. I made it for some co-workers once, and someone called it chicken chili. I just about busted a gut laughing so hard. Anyhow, Brunswick stew is a thick vegetable stew that usually includes, beef, pork, chicken, tomatoes, corn, and butter beans. It wasn't until I was older that I actually got Brunswick stew with pork and beef in it, I had just had it with chicken. It is sooo yummy, and filling on a cold, winter day. Here's the recipe:

(3 ½ - 4 lb) chicken fryer, boiled, and boned (2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts boiled in 2 bouillon cubes may be substituted)

2 cups reserved chicken stock

1 can butter beans (lima beans)

1 bag frozen small butter beans

1 can tomato soup

2 cans diced tomatoes

3 cans cream style corn

Salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken, tomato soup, stock, frozen butter beans, and tomatoes in large pot. Mash 1 can butter beans and add to pot. Cook 1 ½ - 2 hours, until stew starts to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add corn to stew and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook 30 minutes longer, stirring regularly (to keep the stew from sticking to bottom). Dried potato flakes can be used to thicken.

Hope you enjoy!

Alli C

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