Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.
Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.
Last summer at Schuetzenfest I fired-up both big Weber kettles and slow-smoked a pile of baby back ribs. They were cooked over indirect heat fueled by Grove Charcoal (available at Metcalfe's Sentry) and fist-sized chunks of mesquite. The preparation began late morning and after four plus hours of low and slow cooking they were literally things of beauty.
And they were ready to serve.
All of the ribs were rubbed with Lawyer's Memphis rub and we crowned them with sauce towards the end. Half of the racks were basted with Speed Queen and the other half with a Carolina sauce that New Guy brought back from an assignment down south.
The Carolina sauced ribs were declared the winner. (Although the ribs slathered with the sweeter sauce were excellent too).
Now that the BBQ season is upon us I want to share my own signature recipe for a home-made Carolina BBQ sauce. Which, unlike the sweet tomato and molasses-based sauces from around here, is a mustard and vinegar-based recipe. You can use it on ribs, chicken, chops or a big pork shoulder done in a slow cooker for pulled BBQ. I've been thinking grilled chicken wings too.
This sauce has a moderate heat index and a vinegary zing. It will put a pucker on your puss.
Carolina BBQ Sauce
6 cups of yellow mustard
4 ½ cups of apple cider vinegar
3 cups of sugar
1 ½ cups of brown sugar
1 ½ cups of water
¾ cup of chili powder
2 T black pepper
2 T white pepper
1 ½ t cayenne pepper
1 small garden onion (grated)
1 ½ sticks of butter (or ¾ cup of oil - extra virgin olive or otherwise)
3 T liquid smoke
1 T Kikkoman soy sauce
Melt the butter in a Pyrex measuring cup and add to it the liquid smoke and soy sauce.
Mix everything else in a large pot and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat and simmer low and slow for a minimum of 40 minutes - stirring frequently.
Add the three remaining ingredients from the Pyrex cup and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
Transfer to glass jars leaving ¾ inch of head space. Wipe the rims, add the tops and screw-on the bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 45 minutes.
This recipe makes nine pints which is more than I can use in a year. So if anyone has anything worthy of barter I'm open for business.
I cooked a trial run of this new sauce for a couple of Tosa Curlers that appreciate ribs. Seasoned with Penzys Galena Street Rub they were slow-smoked, indirectly, over charcoal and mesquite for hours.
Precisely one hour before serving they were annointed with Gas Pains' Carolina Sauce on the left and Speed Queen on the right.
Served with potato salad and slaw - both variations were pretty dang good. Hardly any leftovers...
Helpful tips- Use non-reactive cookware. Near the end of the cooking process be exceedingly careful as your sauce will be the consistency of molten lava. Watch your heat - taking care to not allow anything to burn to the bottom of your pot and ruin the sauce. When canning - cleanliness is right up there with Godliness. A dishwasher will sterilize your jars. Boil water in a Pyrex measuring cup for sterilizing your lids. Make sure your lids have 'popped' before storing in your root cellar.