Saturday, July 11, 2009

North Carolina Style

Today we begin a new series dedicated to finding which state has the best barbecue. I like all types of barbecue so I will be totally subjective.

The first state we will explore is North Carolina. Residents of the Tarheel state will certainly tell you that to find the worlds best barbecue you simply come to North Carolina and the barbecue will find you.

North Carolina BBQ is all about the pork and sauce. First a select pig is picked out and prepared for cooking. Once ready this pig is going to cook slowly at a temperature around 250 degrees for anywhere between 14 and 18 hours. This slow cooking allows the pork to age without drying out the meat. Seldom will you see sauce applied to North Carolina BBQ while cooking unless its a vinegar base to aid in keeping the meat moist. Once done the pork will be "pulled" into bite size chunks and eventually chopped even finer. If you see someone in North Carolina slicing the pork it's time to walk away because they obviously don't know a thing about North Carolina barbecue.

Once the meat has been pulled and chopped it's time to add the sauce. Here is where North Carolina barbecue differs from others. Rather than your traditionally red tomato based BBQ sauce Carolina style sauce is vinegar based and boy is it good! Just enough sauce will be added to the meat to awaken they taste buds. To much sauce and and the vinegar kills the wonderful flavor of the meat. The next step is to put this wonderful concoction in between two buns and add a little cole slaw and enjoy some of the finest BBQ the world has to offer.

If you're planning a trip to North Carolina be sure to follow the Barbecue Trail. You won't go wrong stopping at one of these joints. So stop in and try one or better yet try them all

North Carolina BBQ Sauce

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™), or to taste
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1.Combine the white vinegar, cider vinegar, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper in a jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 days before using so that the flavors will blend. Shake occasionally, and store for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.


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