Carolina Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

Pulled pork with Carolina CoCola BBQ sauce.

Pulled pork with Carolina Root Beer BBQ sauce.

Today we had a real southern barbecue dinner.  Using the pork left from my Simple Savory Pork dinner, I made some pulled pork.  The recipe for the barbecue sauce is contained in a book my daughter gave me, written by a woman of the south, Vicki Prescott. (Sweet Tea )  In it she recounts her memories of growing up in North Carolina and the foods she ate.  Most meals were prepared by her grandmothers, aunts and mother, so I view them as authentic, family style meals.

In the book this recipe is called “Carolina CoCola Barbeque Sauce”, but root beer soda can be used with the same delicious results as I have done here.

Pulled BBQ Pork on a bun.

Pulled BBQ Pork on a bun.

CAROLINA COCOLA BARBECUE SAUCE

These few ingredients become a luscious BBQ sauce.

These few ingredients become a luscious BBQ sauce.

Yield:   Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2  1/2 cups catsup
  • 1 cup Coca Cola, Pepsi, or Root Beer
  • 1  1/2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1.  Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir in the onion and cook until translucent.

2.  Stir in all the remaining ingredients.

3.  Simmer over medium low heat for at least 30 minutes.

4.  Shred cooked pork and add to the sauce.  Serve on a bun, or any other way you can think of to enjoy this lusciousness.

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SOURCE:   Sweet Tea by Vicki Prescott

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Simple Savory Pork

Slow cooker pork ribs.

Slow cooker pork ribs.

Cook once, and eat twice, or maybe three times.  Who doesn’t love that?  Not me, for sure.

With some very simple preparations you can be having a deliciously tender, falling-off-the-bone  roast pork for dinner this evening. The aftermath of this meal will be to use the remaining meat to make pulled pork.  I’ll be serving that in a few days and plan to share my recipe with you.  Left over pork can be enjoyed in many different ways, so let your imagination run free to come up with countless ways for using those leftovers.

It all begins with the slow-cooker and a bottle of root beer soda.  Good barbecue requires low and slow cooking.  So we will make a simple spice mixture to rub on the meat, put the meat in the slow cooker, add the root beer soda, and let it cook on low for about 8 hours.  Most barbecued pork or pulled pork is made from either a pork shoulder roast, or a pork sirloin roast.  In my version today, I am using bone-in,  country style ribs that have lots of meat on them.

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Using root beer soda is a technique that I have learned about from several sources. It is very popular with Southern cooks. It provides the needed moisture, its sweetness is the basis for the barbecue sauce, yet all trace of root beer flavor disappears with cooking.  In a follow-up blog post I will tell you about how I made the pulled pork with a very special barbecue sauce.

SIMPLE SAVORY RUB SLOW COOKED PORK

You get big flavor from just a few ingredients.

You get big flavor from just a few ingredients.

Yield:    Makes 8 – 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds pork shoulder, sirloin roast, or meaty ribs (with bone)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup root beer soda

1.  In a small bowl, combine all the seasonings.  Rub the mixture all over the meat, pressing it to adhere.  Place the meat in the slow cooker.  Pour in the root beer.  Cover and set to “low heat” setting and allow to cook undisturbed*  until the pork is very tender, 6-8 hours.

Ribs in the crockpot, all seasoned and ready for some slow cooking.

Ribs in the crockpot, all seasoned and ready for some slow cooking.

2.  Transfer the meat to a serving bowl or platter and allow to rest, covered.  The meat is very flavorful and tender served just like this, along with some of the pan juices to moisten it.

Slow cooker pork ribs served with pan juices.

Slow cooker pork ribs served with pan juices.

*Curb the urge to stir, peek or smell.  Every time you lift the lid of your slow cooker, you lose heat equivalent to 20 minutes of cook time.  Resist the temptation to lift the lid until its time to check for doneness in the last 30 minutes of cooking.

SOURCE:   Sweet Tea Please,  Vicki Prescott