As much as I love the D.C. food scene, there are some things you just can’t get up here like down south. Blue Duck fills my void for grits and if I have a hankerin’ for that Atlanta favorite Chick-fil-A, I can always count on Tams to go with me to fill our cravings in the GW food court. BBQ, however, (and for this girl that means the pig variety) is something D.C. just hasn’t gotten quite right.
There are two ways I’ve found around this predicament, and sadly, neither of them is so easy as picking up some Rockland’s or Red, Hot and Blue. While they will do in a pinch, (and Rockland’s corn pudding and collards are not to be snubbed!) none of them quite cut it for a gal who loves BBQ so much she is willing to post a picture of herself on the web wearing a plastic bib, inhaling a Fedex-express-shipped-straight-from-Alabama pork rib. Unfortunately, neither solution I’ve found results in immediate gratification. Good BBQ requires time, but I promise neither of these solutions will disappoint!
The first solution to the lack of good BBQ in DC is a wee bit labor intensive and can require a stroke of airport security luck. On our most recent trip to Atlanta, our Dad made his famous hickory smoked pulled pork BBQ for a family gathering. Ashley and I, dismayed at the lack of leftovers, persuaded him to cook us our very own Boston Butt to take with us back up to D.C. Not trusting our treasure to checked luggage, we took a chance and froze the meat overnight, packed it all in Gladware, and hoped that the sauce on the meat would not violate the TSA liquid ban. After a few tense moments we made it through with nary a protest from airport security, who merely raised an eyebrow or two.
My dad swears we should be able to make this ourselves fairly easily, although the lack of a charcoal grill has put a delay on our little experiment. I’ve included his directions below:
My Dad serves his pulled pork with a simple, vinegar based Carolina-style sauce. This is an imprecise recipe (like most in the Smith family), all brought to simmer together over medium then low heat. Ingredient amounts are highly relative. My Dad recommends using them “in whatever proportion suits you.” It will require a bit of trial and error taste testing to figure out just how you like it, but the ingredients are listed below:
The second solution for those in desperate need of a pork fix (sans fixin’s) comes in the form of the above mentioned fedexed product. Thanks to Jared’s parents, who must know just how dire the situation is up here, his parents sent several racks of Dreamland BBQ ribs up for a group of transplanted Southerners to feast on during the Super Bowl. You’ll notice on their website that some packages come with not only Dreamland BBQ sauce, but also other necessary accompaniments including 1 loaf of Sunbeam Bread, bibs, wetnaps, and toothpicks. This stuff was seriously good- in fact, if I were Jared, I don’t know that I would’ve shared ‘em! Thank gawd the folks down at Dreamland are lookin’ out for us Dixie transplants Click here to order your own rack.
In addition, the Taylors graciously shared the family’s generations old BBQ sauce recipe.
Taylor Family BBQ Sauce:
This is enough for 4-6 pieces of chicken, or 1 slab of ribs. It can be multiplied, but if you do that, taste it after you’ve combined all the ingredients as you might need to adjust it with some of the ingredients. You can also cut this recipe in half for 2-3 pieces of chicken:
6 TBS ketchup
4 TBS vinegar (red wine vinegar is good, but any will do)
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce
8 TBS water
4 TBS butter
6 TBS dark brown sugar (but regular brown sugar is ok, too)
2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp red pepper
5-6 dashes Tabasco (or any hot sauce)
The order of these ingredients is irrelevant. Just put all together in a pot, put heat on low to medium, mixing well for several minutes with a whisk to make sure all ingredients are dissolved and mixed (you’ll still see spots of the chili powder or paprika, though). Bring to a boil, continuing to stir, then put on low or simmer for about 5 minutes or so.
Thanks, Taylors, for a great meal and for sharing the family recipe with the masses!