Saturday, December 19, 2009
Mom and Harry (my new step dad) got a barbecue Boston Butt today from the local Lion's Club. It's North Carolina barbecue pork shoulder, but the butt is the top part and smaller than a full shoulder. The name comes from the names of the barrels they were stored and sent in. So, NO, you are not eating butt when you get Boston butt. Butt is the ham (-: Sorry to have to tell you that.
North Carolina pork is smoked low and slow - low temperatures over a long time like 8 to 12 hours. Then, the pork can be sliced but is usually chopped. Then, the barbecue (not to be confused with something grilled) is served on a white bread bun with a vinegar based sauce which is thin and zippy. Oh my. Let me tell you. It is heaven.
I get requests for North Carolina style pork barbecue recipes, but pork barbecue is much more art than science. A basic recipe would be hard to post, but I'll probably give it a go some time. So, be sure to sign up for my newsletter to the right or hit follow on one of the follow opitons. I'll think it through one of these days and give everyone a starting point on NC BBQ.
Do know that every pitmaster or smoker in NC uses different rubs, techniques, and sauces. The smoker makes a difference too in terms of how you smoke the pork and how long and so on. Personally I don't think you can beat the Weber Smokey Mountain Bullet, and that's the one I use most for barbecue smoking.
The barbecue shoulder was good today. The Lion's do a nice job on that fundraiser, and I know it's labor intensive. They also have a good recipe for the vinegar sauce. The sauce really can make or break North Carolina barbecue. It's really not NC BBQ without that unusual vinegar based barbecue sauce.