View From The Kitchen: EAST CAROLINA BARBECUE SAUCE
May 22, 2015 12:47PM ● Published by Erik Dittmann
I love barbecue. Who doesn’t? If you were to ask anyone what their least favorite food by category is you might get a smattering of “I hate Italian food” or “Greek food doesn’t agree with me” and my favorite “Sushi? Eeeew!” I’ve yet to hear anyone say “I hate barbecue” or maybe I did and blocked it from my memory like trauma. That’s highly unlikely. I’m sure I’ve never heard it.
Barbecue or BBQ has a lot of meanings and there are many different “styles” of BBQ depending on the state and in some cases which part of the state you live in. The most popular style would have to be Kansas City-style barbecue only for the reason that this style employs the full gamut of proteins from brisket to pork ribs to turkey. This is due to Kansas City’s history of being the meatpacking center of the U.S. Most BBQ joints you’ve been to or have seen (in Wisco) are mainly Kansas City style with a little Carolina style thrown in for good measure. Carolina style BBQ is a loose term and can get confusing. You have North Carolina BBQ, which varies by region based on the sauce. I make an eastern North Carolina sauce and I have been questioned a few times by customers when presenting the sauce as “Carolina style” as to which region of which Carolina the sauce was modeled after. South Carolina style is basically the same as North Carolina style (both primarily use pork) but is the only state or “style” that includes all four recognized barbecue sauces including vinegar-based, mustard-based, and light and heavy tomato-based. Memphis BBQ is known for its sauce, which is tomato and vinegar based.
Every state has is own “style” or “styles.” I say eat what you want. I slather mustard, and another ingredient that I’m not going to share with you, on my ribs before the dry rub and smoke. Wisco style? Let’s make that a thing. Until next time … Cheers!
East Carolina Barbecue Sauce
2 cups apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
4 oz butter cut into cubes
In a medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, molasses, mustard, cayenne, Worcestershire and brown sugar. Bring to a light simmer. In a jar with a lid or a measuring cup, add enough water to the cornstarch to make it runny, not thick and pasty. Shake your closed jar well or mix with a fork until well combined. Add your slurry (that’s what you just made with the cornstarch) slowly to the simmering vinegar mixture while constantly mixing until it thickens to your liking. Let simmer for one minute, then remove from the heat and whisk in your butter cubes. Refrigerate and enjoy!