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Pork bbq without red sauce

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I dont know if its a pennsylvania dutch thing, or what, but in the east coast its common to get pork bbq's without actual red bbq sauce.Mainly there served in bars, and pubs.The pork is usually slow cooked and sliced very thing like lunch meat and served on a hamburger bun.No sauce, just the juices from cooking the pork.But there must be spices or something added to the pork as it cooks because the natural juices arent enough.

Ive searched and searched for recipes and i have not found one single recipe for pork bbq that doesnt involve a red sauce.

Is this called something else, because everywhere around here calls them pork bbq's, turkey bbq's, and beef bbq's.
post #2 of 19
In Newcastle UK there is a tradition of Pork served on huge white bread rolls (Stotties) the pork is simply well seasoned and slow cooked. The only addition to the roll being applesauce. It is a fantastic experience.
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
I know there isnt any applesauce on them, there more on the salty side.The juices are alittle on the thick side almost like a gravy, but thinner, but thick enough to not completely drip out of the bun.

I tried a recipe that called for pork tenderloin slow cooked with a packet of onion soup mix and sliced after slow cooked for 4 hours and just skipped the red bbq sauce, it wasnt bad, but definitly didnt come close to the pork bbq's we get around here.

Its driving me nutz that i cant find a **** recipe.4-8 hours of slow cooking is not something i want to keep trying till i get a good recipe.

Do you have a recipe for the seasonings, and i'll just skip the applesauce.
post #4 of 19
I've know of a style of North Carolina BBQ to utilize a vinegar style sauce. I've served it smoked or roasted.

The sauce/marinade is typically vinegar, salt, and pepper. The type of pepper is your choice but I use 3 types. Typically most people will use black and crushed red.

Just throw a gallon of vinegar in a jug add the salt and pepper and just let it sit. The longer the better.

Then either marinate a Boston Butt or pork shoulder in it for a day or two and either smoke it low and slow or place in a roasting pan, seal tightly and cook at 225 6-8hrs.

I've definitely seen and done it sliced as you mentioned but I'm more accustomed to seeing it served as pulled pork.

Hope this helps.
post #5 of 19
I checked the Central Market Cookbook, two of Betty Groff's books, and even a couple of those touristy booklets you get in gift shops. Nothing in them even comes close to what you describe.

Have you tried asking them where you buy one how the sandwich is made? You might be surprised at how willing people are to share their recipes.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #6 of 19
Dont have a recipe offhand, but i know there is a fabulous asian recipe for slow cooked belly pork they use a rub on the skin and the meat is spicy and melting and the crackling is fantastic. Just remembered, Rick Stein has the recipe. go to uk food or google good luck
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 

Reminds me of pork and sourkraut which is definitly a totaly different taste.

I did pull up a recipe for eastern NC style pork bbq that did call for vinegar, but im kinda worried its not what im looking for.

I can definitly say that it is slow cooked in a crockpot, or possibly roasted in a roasting pan, but defintly not smoked or done on a fire pit or a smoker, because its completly white when served (no smoke ring or charred edges) nor does it even have a smokey flavor.Its really hard to describe unless you've tasted one.

Its sort of like a open faced pork sandwich but there just a certain flavor to it that is unique.

I will probably end up having to ask the owner of this pub how he makes it next time i go there, but its a small pub that has been making them for probably 40 years or more and i have a feeling hes gonna say its a family secret.(owners in his 70's or 80's)and the only other person that works there is his son.

Theres a few other places that make it the same way but the pub i mentioned above is by far the best.
post #8 of 19
With no smoke ring, no blackened edges, white and sliced thin it seems like it is just oven roasted pork loin with pan drippings, possibly reduced. It sure doesn't sound like anything I would call barbeque.

A true low and slow smoked barbecued pork shoulder would look completely different.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #9 of 19
I don't claim to be a barbecue expert but it sounds like you are describing a dry rub. A dry rub is a mix of spices rubbed into the meat before cooking. Here is a result of a quick search using "Penn dry rub pork BBQ" as keywords.

Spice up your barbecue - York, Pennsylvania
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
I agree it shouldnt be called BBQ but thats what everyone calls it around here.
post #11 of 19
Sounds like you're getting a natural jus which is an artifact of low temperature, tightly covered cooking. There are a lot of ways to make it happen. More about that in a minute.

Apparently anything cooked "low and slow," in your neck of the country is called "barbecue." Other parts have different names. But since you live where you live, and are asking more about food than words, we won't worry too much about it if you don't want to.

Probably an artifact of not hurrying the cooking, and whatever sort of seasoning is used. From your description it sounds very simple.

Worth a shot. If the number one place won't give you their secret, maybe one of the other's will get you close. If not, it's no biggie. I'm sure we can approach the texture, juiciness and taste you like from the sliced pork you're getting.

The first place to start is the cut. Ask around before you go shopping. Since you're eating it sliced instead of pulled it's probably, butt, picnic, whole shoulder or loin. The easiest and most forgiving cut is the butt. For sliced pork, I'd suggest starting with half a butt.

If it's boneless, you'll want to truss it so it holds together during the cook. If it has a lot of surface fat -- don't trim it closer than 1/4". Try and leave some. Most of it will render off.

The first step is to preheat your oven. 225 is a sort of magic temperature for pork barbecue, but it will take quite some time. There are some safety issues cooking that slowly indoors too. For indoor cooking, 275 is very good and takes significantly less time. So, preheat to 275.

Next, comes the "slather." Slathering means to rub the pork with something that will help the dry seasonings stick to the outside of the roast. Competition barbecue is mostly southern and frequently starts with a "mustard slather," surprisingly simple yellow mustard leaves very little color or taste. Some people use oil, some use a paste of pureed onion. I find mayonnaise works very well, plus it helps me get a little extra flavor in if I mix it with thinner sauces. So, why not mix some Worcestershire sauce with the mayo, add a few splashes of hot sauce, and rub the surface with just enough to get it greased.

Then rub the meat with a dry seasoning rub made similar to this one:

1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbs paprika
3 tbs kosher salt (or 1-1/2 tbs table salt, but kosher sticks to the meat better)
1-1/2 tbs freshly ground, coarse black pepper
1 tbs granulated onion (better than powdered onion)
1 tbs granulated garlic (better than powdered garlic)
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp poultry seasoning

Season generously, there's a lot of meat in that roast and not much surface area. Since you're not going to be adding seasoning later, this is your last chance to get any seasoning on the meat.

Make 2 cups of mock pork stock by mixing 1 cup each beef and chicken stock. You can add a couple ounces of apple juice, white grape juice, bourbon, medium dry white wine (like a dry Riesling, Gewurztraminer, or Liebfraumilch) sherry or port to the mix if you like. Guess which ones I like. Guess which ones leave me cold.

Rough chop an onion, a stalk of celery and a carrot.

Mound your vegetables on the bottom of the pan, so they form a flat bed for the roast. Put the roast on top of them. Add the stock to the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan with foil, as tightly as possible. If you're using a large, heavy casserole or rondeau, with a cover, so much the better. Put the meat in the preheated oven. A four pound boneless roast will take about four hours to get to an internal temperature of 180* to 190*F. Anything less won't be tender. Anything more will fall apart like pulled pork. I suggest allowing yourself plenty of slack on the cook-time. Start measuring the meat's internal temperature at the 45 minutes per pound stage (3 hours for a 4 pound roast). Sometimes you'll experience a "stall" when cooking meat at a low temperature. That means that the meat's internal temperature seems to stop going up -- sometimes for hours. However, with a cut of meat that small, and a temperature as high as 275, it's unlikely you'll experience much stall a-tall.

When the meat is cooked, pour off the drippings and juices and reserve. Wrap the meat in aluminum foil and allow to rest for at least half an hour. You can let it rest longer in the oven with the fire off, or longer still in an insulated cooler. Up to four hours or so, the longer the better. (A good way of planning is to estimate cooking time and allow 2-1/2 to 3 hours of rest time. That way you're covered if the cook goes slow or fast. Fortunately, 275* will give you a fairly predictable cook, at least compared to 225*.)

Meanwhile strain off most, but not all, of the fat. (Pork fat is very palatable, free from transfat, and will carry a lot of pork and seasoning flavor to the gravy.) Reheat the gravy. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. Hold the gravy hot, at a bare simmer. If the "sauce" in your part of the country is at all thick, you may want to thicken the sauce slightly by pureeing the vegetables with the pan juices, pressing the vegetables into the juices through a sieve (recommended), and/or with a cornstarch slurry. Without thickening it's a jus, slightly thickened it's a jus lie. Quiz tomorrow.

Unwrap the pork and place it on a carving board with a "gravy channel" or other "catcher." If you cooked a boneless, tied roast you can use a long thin knife to cut very thin, even slices. If you cooked a bone-in shoulder, you'll have to take off large chunks the best way you can, then slice them. In any case, you want thin slices. "Thin slices" is another way of saying "a dull knife is not your friend." Catch whatever juices run from the meat and add them to the au jus gravy.

Split a roll, ladle a little of the jus on the bottom, then mound some pork on it and add a little jus to the meat. Finally, pour just enough jus to the top to moisten it. Set the top to the side of the plate and serve open-faced along with whatever garniture (lettus, onions, tomato, cole-slaw, etc.) is customary in your neck of the woods.

That oughtta 'bout do 'er,
post #12 of 19
Sounds like a version of a pork spiedi (spelling?). Roasted pork served on Italian bread.
post #13 of 19

Spedies are very different. They involve long marinade in heavy garlic. They're cooked direct and don't produce a lot of juices.

Have you ever slightly undercooked a butt for pulled pork, so it wouldn't shred easily but could still be chopped. The bone's loose, the meat's gone past well done and back to juicy, it's tender, but it still won't pull. You know how some people like that? Well, that's the desired result here.

Except for the "outside" part, this is still pretty much what we think of as barbecue. You could do it in your Klose with charcoal in the box instead of sticks. Cook to 190, slice very thin, and just add "juices." Except for the "juices" part you probably started out this way on your SnPP. I know I did.

From a "classic technique" standpoint -- good for understanding if you've got the background -- it falls between a braise and a poele -- closer to a poele since it's being served with, rather than in, the juices. This kind of closed vessel roasting was a very popular way of cooking around the turn of the century and before. It's pretty much what those big, old fashioned roasters with lids are all about -- Romertopfs too, for that matter. Tender, moist meat with juices galore. The method works for beef, lamb and bird too.

I know the onion/carrot/celery thing seems a little weird from a 'Q point of view. The idea is twofold. First, to take some of the "canned" taste off what will undoubtdedly be canned or instant stock; second to have something that will give the pan juices enough body to give them a little bit of "mouth feel."

post #14 of 19
I do a pulled pork from a recipe I found in a book callled The Best of the Best of New England. You rub the pork with a mixture of spices- probably about 10 of them, slow roast or cook in a crock pot then pour a vinegar, sugar, spice mixture. It isn't thick, but I don't see why you couldn't add some to the pan drippings and make a gravy of sorts.

I'm at home now, but will get the recipe to you if you'd like. If you happen to see the book, the recipe is called Sebago Pork Rub, I believe.
post #15 of 19
I had been meaning to smoke some butt this weekend, things didn't quite work out according to schedule. I did. however, do a slow roast in the oven. Here's the raw butt in the pot with a moderate dusting of my HoosierQ rib rub, a poblano chile and not visible in this photo a ripe red jalapeno:

It was about a 5 pounder, but I hacked off some of the end for country style "ribs" on the grill the previous night. It went into a 300 degree oven, covered, for about 3 hours. I took it to an internal temp of about 185 F, 10 - 15 degrees under what I would consider pulling temp, since I wanted to slice it. It wasn't me picking at the outside, honest!

After resting for about 20 minutes or so, I sliced off a bit. See how a slice of slow roasted shoulder compares to the looks of the meat in your sandwich:

It was really good with the spicy pan juices last night, tonight I chopped some, reheated it in a pan with some red Q sauce and made sandwiches. I should have taken pictures of the salads - red leaf lettuce, diced yellow bell, diced tomato and some shaved romano cheese - colorful and visually appealing. The sandwiches were pretty good, too.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
post #16 of 19

Looks great. Got coleslaw?

post #17 of 19

I know exactly what you are talking about.  We used to buy pork BBQ from a roadside stand near Terrace Park, Ohio.  The pork was cooked in a well cooker for many hours in water - I don't know what spices he used - and the liquid got a little bit thicker than water.  Ron, the owner, used to dip the buns quickly in the liquor and then pile the bun high with very tender shreds of pork.  He used to say he used celery, but I have tried that with onions and can't get his addictively delicious flavor.  Still googling the recipe like you and asking everyone I know if that BBQ stand still exists.

It is nice to know someone else is searching for the mysterious recipe.

post #18 of 19
For EVERYTHING you ever want to know about BBQ go to There you learn about how to smoke it or roast it. You will learn to make your own BBQ sauce of many different types. You will learn to mix your own dry rubs and you can select from a wide variety of rubs from vendors. You get much more than recipes. You learn about the science of cooking and BBQ. You will learn techniques and get step by step instructions. They are used by both armatures and highly skilled professional chef's.
post #19 of 19

I realize this is years after the question, but I'm PA Dutch and a Central PA native, and no, we don't usually have tomato in our barbecue sauces.  What you want is brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce, plus some salt, pepper, and onions.  You can experiment with the proportions of each, and maybe add a few extras, but that's the recipe.


For pork, you would put those ingredients with some water in a covered roasting pan and cook at a relatively low heat, about 300, for a few hours.  I always turn off the oven and let the meat steam in the roaster for another hour or so for more tender.  You can also brush it on and grill for a few hours over a smoldering, smoky embers.

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