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North Carolina Barbecue Sauce

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I recently ate some great barbecue at Dillards in Durham,NC. the owner wilma was very gracious - and her pork is delicious!!! But what really made the barbecue was the vinegary and slightly spicy sauce, which was handed down by her grandfather. Does anyone have a similar barbecue sauce recipe that i could try?

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  1. Don't know Dillards, but a while back I wrote a countrywide (but incomplete) overview - here's a whole mess of 'em ... you sort it out.

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    North & South Carolina style
    Barbecued whole hog, pork shoulder and ribs, with a thin tomato-vinegar sauce

    2 cups Cider Vinegar
    2/3 cup Catsup
    ½ cup Brown Sugar
    1 tablespoon Tabasco Sauce
    1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
    2 tablespoons Butter
    1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
    1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
    ½ teaspoon Salt
    ½ teaspoon Pepper
    Mix all ingredients together and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.

    GEORGIA STYLE
    Pork with a mustard-based sauce

    1 cup Prepared Yellow Mustard
    ½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
    1/3 cup Brown Sugar, packed
    2 tablespoons Butter
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
    1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
    1 tablespoon Molasses
    1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
    Mix all ingredients together and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes.

    Kansas City style
    Sweet and tomato-based, like "KC Masterpiece" and other bottled mass-market sauces.
    I have a great one of my own:

    Catsup (about half the volume of the sauce you want to make)
    Dark Brown Sugar (a good bit — how sweet do you want it?)
    Dark Molasses (1-3 tablespoons for a cup of sauce)
    Vietnamese Sriracha Hot Sauce (about half as much as there is catsup)

    Mix it all together with a fork or your finger and serve it … you will get compliments! (Note: a semi-clean finger is preferred! Sorry, guys, that's the way I cook.) Makes just one meal worth, or enough to choke a horse, depending.

    ALABAMA STYLE
    Alabama has a white barbecue sauce

    1 cup Mayonnaise
    ½ cup White Vinegar
    1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
    1 teaspoon each Salt and Pepper

    Combine in a non-reactive (glass or plastic) bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using. Use as you would regular barbecue sauce.

    Memphis style
    Dry rub, mostly - sometimes sauce on the side, but that's for wimps.
    Here's a sauce you can use when you invite wimps to dinner:

    2 cups Catsup
    2 cups chopped Onion
    1 cup Red Wine Vinegar
    2 cloves Garlic, minced
    ¼ cup Prepared Yellow Mustard
    ½ cup Brown Sugar, packed
    ½ teaspoon Tabasco Sauce
    Blend all ingredients and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. You only use dry rub during the cooking of the meat, and gentlemen eat it just the way it comes off the grill. Serve sauce on the side for everyone else.

    Kentucky Style
    Mutton, served with "black dip" sauce based on vinegar and Worcestershire Sauce.
    I have been unable to find a recipe for it. And there are variations from county to county!

    Texas style
    Beef. Just beef. Maybe a little "cabrito" (goat).

    ½ pound Pickling Spices
    1 teaspoon Whole Cloves
    1 medium Onion, chopped
    2 stalks Celery, chopped
    36 ounces Catsup
    ½ cup Chili Sauce
    1 quart Water
    ½ cup Cider Vinegar
    1 tablespoon Dry Mustard
    ½ cup Worcestershire Sauce
    ½ cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
    ¼ tablespoon Garlic Powder
    Salt to taste
    1 tablespoon Tabasco Sauce
    2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
    Tie pickling spices and cloves loosely in cheesecloth bag. Combine all ingredients in a heavy pot and simmer slowly about 1½ hours. Remove from heat and cool partially. Remove spice bag. Pour mixture into blender and blend until smooth. Cover until ready to serve.

    Then there's the issue of Dry and Wet Rubs!

    About Dry Rubs
    The rub is considered by many to be the central part of the barbecue process. There are two main reasons for using dry rub: the salt should draw the moisture from the surface of the meat, and (though there should not be too much sugar lest it burn and leave a bitter taste) sugar contributes to this drying process, so it shouldn't be eliminated.

    There are as many styles of rub as there are barbecue cooks. Ingredients used by many include paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chile powder, oregano, sage, and many more.

    Rub is usually applied the night before smoking, and sometimes up to three days ahead. Rubs are better than marinades for large pieces of meat such as briskets and pork butts. The fat is sufficient to permeate the meat and keep it moist. Drawing out excess moisture from the outside portion of large cuts helps make a flavorful and attractive crust considered by purists to be far too good to sully with sauce.

    Wayne's "Quick & Dirty" BBQ Sauce
    (You know I had to get one of mine in here!)
    This one is good when you need a sauce quickly.

    Catsup (about half the volume of the sauce you want to make)
    Dark Brown Sugar (a good bit — how sweet do you want it?) (Equal® works almost as well)
    Dark Molasses (1-3 tablespoons for a cup of sauce)
    Vietnamese Sriracha Hot Sauce (about half as much as there is catsup)

    Mix it all together with a fork or your finger and serve it … you will get compliments!
    (Note: a semi-clean finger is preferred! Sorry, guys, that's the way I cook.)
    Makes just one meal worth, or enough to choke a horse, depending.

    5 Replies
    1. re: wayne keyser

      Thanks, Wayne! Great post.

      1. re: wayne keyser

        I've never encountered tomato product of any kind in a NC barbecue sauce, and I certainly don't want to!

        1. re: pikawicca

          Then you haven't had Lexington or Western NC barbecue sauce. They're not heavy on the tomato but they're certainly there and absolutely belong there.

          1. re: rockycat

            correct... living in lexington.. there is all of about a tbls of ketchup in 2 cups of sauce AND it's served with a red coleslaw

        2. re: wayne keyser

          It seems kind of funny to label a category as "North and South Carolina" style, when there are multiple styles just in North Carolina depending on what part of the state. Wayne's recipe sounds more like a western North Carolina sauce. The vinegary sauce described by the original poster sounds more like an eastern North Carolina sauce.

        3. Try one of these recipes. They're fairly representative of the different styles in NC.
          Go to the Recipe search page and choose "Sauces."

          http://www.ncpork.org/index.jsp

          1. The sauce we always had while visiting family in Wilson, was cider vinegar, black pepper, cayenne pepper and some salt. The sauce was used as a mop and at the table for dipping or spooning over the 'cue.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jdm

              That is what I prefer. No tomatoes of any kind in my sauce.

            2. thanks everyone will try out some of these - i love barbecue