Wednesday, August 1, 2007

BBQ - The Plight Of The Pig

NC-BBQ is very slow cooked pork, usually cooked at least 16-18 hours at a very low temperature, often 250 degrees or slightly less, sometimes up to 300 degrees but never more than that.Anyone attempting to do their own...should be aware of the extremely important safety concerns about parasites in pork, it's important for the pork to be cooked completely through!

If you're ever dining out and you notice any pink meat in your barbecue, stop eating immediately and call the manager! On several occasions I have experienced this phenomenon in Gastonia (The Worst BBQ I've ever eaten, by far)! Carolina Country Barbecue, basically comes to mind, right off the pit, served at my table..."Pink"!

RO's is highly popular in the Gastonia area. They serve their minced or sliced pork with "RO's Slaw" which closely mimics Thousand Island Dressing. The BBQ sandwich is basically soaked with this "Slaw" mixture, masking the taste of the meat. Evidently, you have to be a Gaston County native to appreciate RO's. Their slaw is a delicacy here in Gaston County, sold at most of the grocery stores and several convenience stores as a dressing or dip. Rumor has it that the sauce itself is pretty good used in that manner but it does not compliment pork at all.

Getting back to the task at hand, after cooking, the meat is pulled from the bone, and then pulled apart into bite-size chunks, and then usually chopped further with a large cleaving knife until the desired texture is accomplished which differs from individual to individual. You may prefer sliced BBQ, which is my favorite, so when I cook BBQ, I try to reserve a chunk specifically for sliced sandwiches!

By slow cooking at low temperature, the meat is allowed to "age" without drying out. Almost never is any kind of sauce applied during cooking. Basically, I have never cooked a complete piggy in my life, but I have cooked a shoulder, and taken a few short cuts, by par-boiling first, then transferring to the oven, turning often. You can add a little water with hickory smoke to the roasting pan if you choose to do it Debbi's way, and turn out some quite tasty BBQ.

Basically, I do not care for creamy, sweet slaw on BBQ, probably because I'm spoiled over my Dad's! He used a mild vinegar based slaw, actually, just chopped cabbage, marinated in a weak vinegar-water base with salt added. It compliments not only BBQ, but Hot Dogs and Hamburgers with Chili as well.

There are those wide-eyed insomniacs that dig the pit, put the pig in the pit and stay up all night long, partying, drinking beer and challenging the holy-grail of pig pickings. If that's what you like, have a helluva pick-picking time!

No comments: