This is what I cooked on the 4th of July: slow-roasted pulled pork with Memphis-style barbecue sauce. Piled onto fluffy cornbread with (healthy) collard greens on the side, this is Southern food heaven.
As I ate, I thought about how surprising it is that things have come this. There is not a lot of food out there I don't like, but Southern food is probably the last thing I ever expected to fall for. I grew up in Los Angeles, then moved to Boston-- I'm a city girl all the way. But I am glad living in Florida led me to try Southern cooking. So much of it is easy to prepare healthfully.
This barbecue sauce, for example, comes from the July issue of Cooking Light magazine. They also include methods to prepare smoked meat and roasts from the various parts of the southern U.S. Lacking a grill and a smoker, we just made the seasoning and basting liquid in this recipe for Memphis Pork and roasted it at 275 degrees for 4 hours. The meat becomes moist and tender, but the star is the sauce--it is a little tangy, a little sweet, and not too thick or too thin. Try it, and you will never reach for store-bought barbecue sauce again.
Memphis Barbecue Sauce
Adapted from Cooking Light magazine. Here is the original recipe. I rewrote it here with a few notes for convenience.
Makes about 2 cups.
1 c. ketchup
1/2 c. white vinegar
2 tbs. brown sugar
1 tbs. onion powder
2 tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbs. mustard (yellow, Dijon and spicy brown all work)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. ground red pepper (cayenne)
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove and serve warm over shredded pork. May be made in advance and reheated. Keeps for several days in the refrigerator.
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