Sunday, July 19, 2009

Arkansas Style Barbecue

Arkansas style BBQ is unique in that it incorperates several different regional styles. Being close enough to the Midwest, Texas and Tennessee, Razorbacks have managed to pick up traits from all styles of BBQ. Beef and pork can be found on most menus with Arkansas style ribs a major attraction. Arkansas ribs are slowly cooked after being treated to a dry rub and a wet sauce just before the end of cooking. They are then sliced into individual portions before serving. Pulled pork sandwiches are served with a thin layer of coleslaw on top of the BBQ. The coleslaw itself is one thing that makes this style different. Unlike it's sweet and creamy counterpart served in other regions this slaw has a more vinegary flavor and is very crunchy.

Now of course being the home state of conglomerate Tyson Foods, Razorbacks love their barbecued chicken. The chicken is prepared much in the same way as the ribs. It too is coated with a dry rub before cooking with the sauce added at the last few minutes of cooking. And it is this sauce that makes Arkansas Style BBQ different. It is a thin sauce that is both tomato and vinegar based. It is very peppery and tends to be spicier than its eastern counterparts. The sauce is usually sweetened with sorghum molasses but is seldom thick nor does it taste syrupy. Sorghum adds a rich robust flavor to the sauce.

When eating barbecue at a restuarant in Arkansas you will be offered a choice of two sauces, regular or hot. Remember that the regular sauce is already pretty spicey so be careful.

Arkansas BBQ Sauce
1/2 c Water
3 tablespoons sorghum molasses
3 oz Worcestershire sauce
3 oz Yellow mustard
1/4 c Catsup
1/8 c Black pepper
1/8 c Red pepper flakes
3/4 qt Red wine vinegar
1/4 qt White wine
3 oz Salt

Bring to boil and then simmer for about 1/2 hour. Do not cook or store in aluminum, store in glass.


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