Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Barbecue Sauce Recipe: Lexington Dip...

Barbecue Sauce Recipe:
barbecue sauceLexington Dip

Inland from the coast in North and South Carolina, in the west Carolina, the area called Piedmont or hill country, they call the sauce "dip". Small amounts of ketchup and sugar are added to the simple Low Country Mop-Sauce. The result is still thin and penetrating, never thick like Kansas City Sauce.

The debate over whether ketchup belongs in barbecue sauce has caused many a shouting match and even stirred a raucous debate in the North Carolina legislature. Some recipes omit the sugar, but I think it rounds out the flavor. The apple juice I use in mine is not standard, but I stole the idea from my favorite East Carolina sauce, George's, made in Nashville, NC. It really adds depth.

Since it is mostly vinegar, it keeps a long time in the fridge.

Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Click here to calculate how much you need and for tips on saucing strategies.
Preparation time: About 30 minutes.

1 cup distilled vinegar (do not use cider vinegar)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon hot sauce
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

About the vinegar. I've seen both distilled and cider vinegar used in NC. I usually prefer cider vinegar in most of my sauce recipes because it has more flavor, but in this recipe I prefer distilled. Try both on meat and see which you prefer. Lemme know.

North Carolina Barbecue TrailDo this
1) Whisk together all the ingredients and let them sit for at least three hours to allow the flavors to meld. Overnight is better. A week is best. The locals mop it on the meat with a basting brush once every hour while cooking. I'm not a fan of mopping, it just lets heat and humidity out, but if you want to be authentic, get in and out in a hurry. Me? I'll mop just once or twice near the end of the cook. If you do mop good silicon brush is best. It holds lots of fluid and is easy to clean. A lot of places still use string mops, but I think these are to hard to clean and potential sources of food poisoning.

2) Before serving, take the remaining mop and boil it to sterilize it. With a clean brush, to prevent contamination by a brush used on uncooked meat, mop the meat one last time. Serve the sauce in a cruet on the side so your guests can drizzle on more if they wish. Leftovers will keep for months in the refrigerator.

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