Barbecue…from North Carolina to France: Global Potluck

| April 3, 2012

The next installment of the Global Potluck correspondence includes short oral histories about barbecue by students in Bakersville, North Carolina.  

Like cheese in France, “barbecue” in the Southeastern US is specific to certain regions.  Many South Carolinians prefer mustard-based sauces, Alabamians are known for their “white” mayonnaise varieties, Texans opt for smoked beef brisket, and Louisianans add a spicy sauce.  Barbecue preferences can even divide states; North Carolina, for example, is traditionally split between a sweet tomato base (western style) variety and a tangy hot vinegar sauce (eastern style).  And sauces are just the beginning…the “proper” barbecue meat (not to mention the actual spelling of the word) is another ball game!

North Carolina BBQ Road Trip Route; credit: Country Living

So, why is barbecue so important to this part of the world?  According to North Carolina Travels, Spanish colonists first introduced pigs to the Southeastern US in the 1500s.  These animals adapted very well to the region, and became a low-maintenance and convenient food source for settlers.  Traditionally, the slaughtering of these hogs has been an important cultural practice that brings local communities together in celebration of successful harvests.  Barbecue, as the culinary delicacy that we know today, evolved from these gatherings (for more info, see “The History of Barbecue in the South“) and remains a central source of regional identity for many Southerners.  

See and listen to what students in Bakersville have to say about this dish…  

Barbecue…from North Carolina to France
By: Students in Bakersville, NC USA

NC Pulled Pork BBQ Sandwich; credit: Roland Bello

Here in the South, we are known for our barbecue.  When President Obama visited North Carolina, he made a special stop at a barbecue restaurant in the mountain region.

President Obama at a barbecue restaurant in Marion, NC; credit: Associated Press

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at a barbecue restaurant in Asheville, NC; credit: Huffington Post

“Barbecue” is both a food and an activity!  We hope to show you the difference.  Let’s start with the food.  There are almost as many recipes for barbecue as there are ways to spell the word (barbecue, BBQ, Bar-B-Q…)!  We would like to offer you a few of our favorite recipes for barbecue and barbecue sauce:

Authentic Barbecue Recipes from Bakersville, NC

Homemade Barbeque Sauce
1 ½ cups dark brown sugar, packed
1 ¼ cups ketchup
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 ½ teaspoons ground mustard
2 teaspoons paprika
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Preparation: Measure and add all ingredients to a large bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved and the spices are thoroughly distributed. Serve immediately or cover and store in fridge or freezer! Makes approximately 4 cups.

BBQ Sauce Recipe
½ of 1 oz dry onion soup mix
½ Cup packed brown sugar
2 cups ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Directions: Mix in medium sized bowl.  Put on meat last few minutes of cooking.

Pork Bar- B- Que
You will need: 1 pork roast
1 lg onion
1 sm clove of garlic
A half of a stick of butter
3 tbsp vinegar
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp brown sugar
4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 c of catsup
2 c water
2 tbsp salt and pepper sauce.
How two cook it Cook pork with half of onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of water cook until tender. Heat on 375.
B-B-Q sauce Mix onion with butter And brown sugar. Add all ingredients And bring to a boil. Pull roast into strips and add sauce.

2 Spilt chicken breast
2 cans tomato paste
1 cup water
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
½  cup molasses
¼ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup onion chopped
How to cook: Boil chicken for 10 minutes. Place chicken in a tin foil lined pan. Preheat oven at 300. Mix by hand all other ingredients. Cover chicken with sauce. Fold the tin foil around chicken allowing room at top. Do not let it touch the chicken. Place in oven. In fifteen minutes turn and add sauce. Check every 15 minutes always adding sauce for one hour.

Chuck Roast Barbecue
2 ½ lb. boneless chuck roast
2 medium onions, chopped
1 1/2 cup cola flavored drink
1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 ½ tbsp. vinegar
1 ½ tsp. beef bouillon granules
¾ tsp. dry mustard
¾ tsp. chili pepper
¼ to ½ tsp. ground red pepper
3 cloves garlic minced
¼ cup ketchup
1 tbsp. butter or margarine
½ cup barbecue sauce
6 hamburger buns (if desired)
Trim fat from roast and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. Place in 3 ½ – 4 quart electric crock pot. Add onion and remaining ingredients.  Cover and cook on high six hours. On low 9 hours or until roast is very tender.  During last few hours of cooking, shred roast in cooker with two forks. 

Barbecue Sauce
2 28-oz bottles cider vinegar
5 oz. Worcestershire sauce
Black pepper, salt, red pepper to taste
Sounds simple but it’s very good!  Use on shredded meat of your choice.  It is not a thick sauce so it is better mixed with the meat than poured on it.

Barbeque Sauce
3 tablespoons Ketchup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons white or cider vinegar
3 tablespoons yellow mustard (prepared)
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon chili powder
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Mix ingredients together and bring to a boil. Melt butter and mustard. You may double recipe for roast in crock pot. Otherwise you can use it as a glaze on the grill. Pour over roast and cook on slow/low all day or all night! Yum yum! 

1/2 cup of ketchup
3 tablespoons of butter
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of chili powder
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire
4 tablespoons of vinegar
1 teaspoon of mustard
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of paprika
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
Heat all together till butter melts. Dip chicken in mixture place in tin foil or oven proof dish. Pour rest of sauce over top cover and cook at 350 degrees- 375 degrees. For small chicken 1 ½ hour-2hours and for a large chicken 3-4 hrs.  Can also use beef cubes.

Beer Can Chicken
2 fryer chickens, about 4 lb
4 tsp salt
2tsp ground black pepper
2 12-ounces can of beer
10 tsp lemon juice
¼ cup barbecue sauce
1. Preheat a gas grill to medium –high. Leave one burner off.
2. Boot the chickens dry and season with 2 tsp of the salt and 1 tsp the pepper.
3. To make the mopping sauce: pour half the beer from each can into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, barbecue sauce, the remaining 2 tsp salt, and the remaining 1 tsp pepper. Leave each can of beer half full and set aside.
4.  If you are using vertical roaster set the chickens on the roaster. If cooking the chickens on the beer cans set the cans on the grill over direct heat and carefully lower the chickens onto them. Grill over direct heat ,covered until golden brown mopping the chicken every 15 minutes with the mopping sauce for about 60 minutes.
5.  Move the chickens to indirect heat, cover, and continue to cook until brown mopping every 15 minutes for another 30 minutes.
6. Move the chickens to indirect heat medium heat and continue to cook them until they are a rich brown and cooked through (165 degrees) another 45 minutes.
7.  Remove the chickens from the beer cans or roasters and transfer to a platter and let rest for 15 minutes.
8. Cut into quarters with a kitchen fork and boning knife, Serve on a heated platter or plates

2 pieces of boneless chicken breast
2 cups water
1 large bottle Sweet Baby Rae’s BBQ sauce.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Take chicken and place in two 9 by 13 in pans, pour 1 cup of water in each pan with chicken bake for 60 minutes. Remove and pour BBQ sauce over chicken evenly. Place back in oven for 20 minutes. Remove and serve

2 Pounds of Pork Ribs
2 table spoons of butter
4 chopped green onions
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons chili sauce
1 Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2 Cut ribs in to 2 or 3 pieces roast 20min; drain fat and heat butter in a skillet over medium-high heat add green onions. Sauté for 3min. Add flour and mustard mix well. Cook stirring for 2min.
3 Stir lemon juice and chili sauce 5min.
4   Brush ribs and cook for 25min.

Peanut Butter Chutney Barbecued Chicken
1/4 cup mango chutney
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
12 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed and trimmed of fat (about 4 and a half    pounds)
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  To make the sauce chop: Up the chutney, and put into med. Bowl whisk together chutney, peanut butter, soy sauce and vinegar. Set aside season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper, then place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a gas grill to med-high or charcoal fire.  When finished cooking remove the chicken from the oven and brush with peanut butter chutney sauce. Grill the chicken, turning and basting frequently, until well browned and cooked though about 10 minutes.

Homemade Barbeque
5 lb pork butt roast
Salt and pepper to taste
(14ounce) can beef broth
(18ounce) bottle BBQ sauce (any)
Cut roast in half, rub each half with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker. Pour broth over meat.  Turn the slow cooker to low. Cook for 6-8 hours or until roast is fork tender.  Carefully remove the roast to a cutting board. Pull the meat off the bone with a fork. You may chop the meat if you like it finer.  Drain liquid from slow cooker and return pulled meat to cooker. Add your favorite BBQ sauce for taste. Stir and heat on high for about 20 minutes and you are done.

Barbecuing is also called “grilling out.”  Sometimes barbecue the food is not even served! To help you understand barbecuing as an activity, we have decided to share some of our memories.  The following are stories about our favorite barbecues…

Barbecue Memories

“We just enjoy our lives and think how proud we are to be alive.”

“All my family was there!”

Barbecue; credit:

“We went inside and there was baked beans, black eyes peas, hot dogs, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, and to me, best of all, THE STEAK!”

“About two hours later everyone gathered around the campfire and roasted marshmallows.”

The annual NC BBQ Festival in Lexington, NC; credit:

“The air is nice like on a summer day.”

“When we were finished we went fishing and I caught a two foot long catfish!”

Barbecue ribs and sauces at 12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville, NC; credit:

“…when we get done we play music, games, we even dance and sing!”

“That night we had cut-up pork chops on a bun and catfish…”

Pork Barbecue Pit; credit:

“We played soccer, rode on the swings, and slid down the slide while my uncle cooked.”

“It is always a great time when our family is together and talking.”

Catfish grill and charcoal; credit: Faiz Ayob

“Don’t even get me started on my daddy’s kabobs!”  

“After we finished the grown ups went back inside to clean up and the kids stayed outside catching fireflies.”

Catching fireflies near Bakersville

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Category: Communities, Featured, For Kids, Global Potluck, Global Potluck, Kids & Food, Piedmont NC

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  1. Fun post…love the cultural aspect and history 🙂