Some of the best food on this planet is the simplest. Slow cooked pork, for example. Get a Boston Butt (pork shoulder), smother it in coarse pepper and Kosher salt, put some aluminum foil on top and cook it in a 285 oven until it falls apart – 8 hours or more. The longer you cook it, the better it gets.
Pull the pork off in manageable portions and enjoy – it is plain and simply delicious.
If you had just a little BBQ sauce to compliment, not to over power the sweet pork meat, then you would have achieved culinary Nirvana.
My personal choice for a BBQ sauce is Eastern NC style. I used to make it myself – vinegar, peppers, seasonings (no tomatoes!) and it was very good. But I have found something better. I discovered it on a visit to Smith’s Red & White Grocery in Dortches, NC, outside of Rocky Mount. I wrote about this neat place a few weeks back, and one of the many great things they carry is Charlie Mills Famous Bar-B-Que Sauce Mix.
Here’s a blurb on their website about the company and how Charlie got started.
“Charlie began helping his father and neighbors barbeque pigs as a boy growing up in Eastern North Carolina. The method of cooking at that time was to dig a rectangular pit two feet deep, stretch wire across the pit, place the pig on the wire, obtain coals from burning oak wood, and put tin over the pig to retain heat.
As Charlie grew, he continued to improve the flavor of the mix that was passed down to him. He even cooked barbeque to raise money for his wedding. Charlie’s friends and neighbors began requesting that he provide them with the dry mix. The word spread and the requests increased. In the 1970’s, his wife, Eula Mae, helped with packaging the mix in Zip Lock bags at their kitchen table and selling it. Unable to manually mix the volume needed, the mixture today is commercially prepared.
Charlie’s son, Jarvis Mills, has continued to sell the product by word of mouth and lives in Greenville, NC. Charlie’s granddaughter, Wendy Mills Sandy, is continuing the tradition via web-site to continue to provide the Eastern North Carolina vinegar-based barbeque sauce mix to the ‘next generation’.”
The 12-ounce pack at $5.99 is a blend of salt and spices and makes a gallon of sauce when combined with apple cider vinegar and a little water. It is hot, spicy and delicious, especially if you’re a fan of NC barbeque.
If you were cooking a whole pig, you’d mix up a gallon, but for a shoulder or two, you don’t need that much.
I take a 16-ounce bottle of cider vinegar, pour off two ounces, and then add two tablespoons of Charlie’s sauce. I fill the bottle back to the top with a little water, shake it up and it’s ready to go. When the pork is pulled, mix it with a little of Charlie Mills’ sauce, and when it comes to great BBQ, it’s as good as it gets
I doubt you’ll be able to find any of this sauce at your local grocery store, but you can order it on line at www.AgriSupply.com, an agricultural supply house in Micro, NC. The Charlie Mills Sauce Mix is made in Greenville, NC, in the heart of BBQ country.
Try a pack, slow cook a Boston Butt, mix it with the sauce and you’ll be in high cotton.