NC Style Sauce....Thickened - BBQ Central

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Old 03-16-2009, 03:50 PM   #1
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NC Style Sauce....Thickened

I have been making a NC style (Piedmont) sauce for years. It has always been good, but it has also been thin. So thin that it runs off the meat and settles in the center of the plate. Well no more. I thickened it last night with Arrowroot*, about a tablespoon per pint. I made the sauce then added the starch (already mixed with a small amount of COLD water) and slowly heated the sauce, stirring constantly, until it started to thicken. I then poured it into the bottle and let it cool.

The sauce now clings to the meat and the spices stay suspended in the liquid, rather than settling down in the bottom of the container.
It tastes better too as the spices now cling to the meat rather than washing down to the plate, and it doesnít take a lot to bring out the taste.

FYI

*Choose Arrowroot rather than Cornstarch if you're thickening an acidic liquid.
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Old 03-16-2009, 06:51 PM   #2
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What we really need is the recipe!
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Old 03-16-2009, 08:01 PM   #3
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I put you up a supposedly Piedmont recipe I got off old Stu Carpenter many moons ago. Now I don't know whut is a Piedmont but I think I made the stuff one time and Frank's tasted mo betta.

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Old 03-17-2009, 06:34 PM   #4
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Bigwheel:


Pied (foot) mont (mountain) "foot of the mountains...."
The style of sauce made usually in this area of North Carolina. I grew up in the piedmont of Virginia, but the sauce is about the same, besides Virginia is not a cliche' for barbecue.

OK Nick, here goes:

1 pint apple cider vinegar
1 1/3 cups water
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (more or less to taste)
5 teaspoons salt (more or less to taste)
4 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon arrowroot

makes one quart

mix it all together
TASTE AND ADJUST SALT OR SUGAR!!! should be piquant not quite sour.
simmer slowly until it starts to thicken
pour in a container (I use the vinegar bottle I just bought to make the sauce and one more from somewhere.)
serve as needed on pulled pork
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Old 03-18-2009, 10:30 AM   #5
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Well thanks for the info. Since it don't sound much like Tex Mex assuming that Piedmont word is french perhaps. Wee wee? Now all my Daddy's kin escaped from NC to Texas back in the good old days but think they were of English origins. They prob just called it Feets of the Mountain Sauce.

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Old 03-18-2009, 07:42 PM   #6
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Thanks, I'll give it a try.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:08 PM   #7
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1 tablespoon arrowroot. That's a new one to me. Just might have to take that recipe for a test drive. Looks good.

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Old 03-22-2009, 06:58 AM   #8
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I'm not tryin' to split hairs or any thing here...but if it's a "thick" sauce, is it really still a Carolina style sauce? One of the things that Carolina prides itself on is the thinness of the sauce so it flavors the meat without taking it over.

None the less, it does seem like a good idea to thicken a sauce, just not so sure an ingredient list is all that's necessary to call it a Carolina sauce.
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Old 03-22-2009, 02:36 PM   #9
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Lantern,

I agree that it's a good idea, but as you well know, thick sauce isn't common in NC. Have you tried putting slaw on the bottom first, then the pork and then a little sauce? The slaw on the bottom will help absorb the sauce before it get's to the bun.
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Old 03-22-2009, 04:31 PM   #10
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Yeah good points Carolina. I can already see that Piedmont sauce might cuz a ruckus. One recipe call for mo ketchup and less vinegar plust Lea n Perrins..that young man purty close to Waltzing Himself Back to Texas..to paraphrase my old pal Earnest Tubb I think anything with ketchup in it should not qualify as a NC sauce. Once you add ketchup it turns into a SC sauce till hits Texas where the ketchup has increased and the vinegar decreased...little chili powder added where it passes for Texas Style Sauce. Whutcha think? Now we could have a separate classification for Piedmont Sauces with folks knowing it got some ketchup in it. Now as far as the thickner I aint sure. I do not appreciate it in chili..not sure why I would like it in bbq sauce. Gives a slick mouf feel if you get my drift.

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Old 03-22-2009, 07:57 PM   #11
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BW,

I grew up in the piedmont region, so I'm used to ketch-up and mater paste in my sauce, but I love eastern style sauce for basting chicken. If I showed you my sauce recipe's for each style, one might not make heads or tails out of which way is what. But both styles are very thin indeed. As far as thick sauce, I love that style on ribs. But as far as I can tell, it is not uncommon at all to see ketch-up and mater paste in piedmont sauce. But that could be the problem with us Northern Cackalakies...we have to many choices for every thing from collage basketball, collage football, nascar...you get my drift.
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Old 03-23-2009, 07:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lantern
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaQue
Lantern,

I agree that it's a good idea, but as you well know, thick sauce isn't common in NC. Have you tried putting slaw on the bottom first, then the pork and then a little sauce? The slaw on the bottom will help absorb the sauce before it get's to the bun.


These are suggestions that I have already given these gals. They still gripe. I wasn't going to ruin my whole batch, just have one with a bit more cling as opposed to actually thick. Probably close to a thin piedmont sauce
The problem is that they are eating the sammies to slow! Kind of like a coozie on a can of beer. Pick up the pace and it won't get warm!
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:06 PM   #13
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Well, while you only hear about eastern NC and western NC sauces there really is more.

Traditionally the further west you go the more catsup and the thicker the sauce. Now that's not saying that there isn't a lot of places in the west that serve a 'Lexington' style thin sauce. But I think that is more because that is what people expect in NC... not because it was traditional to the area.
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Old 03-23-2009, 10:35 PM   #14
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Here is another option for a non-starch thickening agent.

Thick-It

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Old 03-24-2009, 12:43 PM   #15
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Well ya know the Checks from Texas use a thin vinegar sauce which as far as I can tell is composed of white vinegar..oleo margarine..chopped onyawns and water. Sure tastes good as a mop sauce. They dont serve it at the table as far as I know. One of them tole me it was the Chezk version of Eyetalian Dressing.

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