Traveling through the South…First Stop

I have been gone for a couple of weeks traveling with my family though some of our Southern states.  We did the Northern states two years ago and I was looking forward to heading South and trying the delicacies there.  I must also say that my mothers family comes from the South so I knew what to expect.

Our first stop was Lexington, NC.  If you have been there you will know the first food I am going to talk about and that is BBQ.  Lexington BBQ is unique in that is is not a wet sloppy BBQ sauce but pork that has been smoked then chopped up and  served with red slaw that is vinegar based and if you want sauce there is always a bottle of the vinegar base BBQ on the table but don’t expect it to be thick, it isn’t that kind of BBQ sauce it is more of a dip.

August 2009 trip 871

We love to eat at Lexington Barbecue on Highway 70 when we are in town…yes, Lexington is the town my grandmother came from, so I have had the honor of visiting Lexington several times in my lifetime.  BBQ in Lexington goes back to the turn of the 20th Century, when near the court house, men would set up these large pits and smoke shoulders of pork.  There is a wonderful picture of the men cooking the pork in the 1920’s ( believe that is the era) at the Lexington Historical Museum in the old County Court House.  If you go to Lexington you will notice the locals tend to eat their BBQ on a platter or plate.  Don’t worry you can get it on a bun but be forewarned it will have the slaw on it not on the side like coleslaw.  The way I have always eaten it is on a dish/platter with red slaw,  a side of hush puppies and sweet tea to wash it down…YUMMY.  But if you are looking for a delicious and different sandwich try a fried pig skin sandwich.  If you are not sure your pallet will like anything on the menu, don’t worry the people at Lexington Barbecue will give you a sample before you make your order.

I have made my version of Lexington BBQ here at home.  I start with a shoulder of pork, but unlike the those in Lexington, I give my pork a dry rub.  I then cook my pork slowly on the grill until the meat reaches an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees which can take a good 4 to 6 hours.  I prefer real charcoal and not briquettes, they will work but the aroma from real charcoal or wood is what flavors the pork.  I make a red slaw with vinegar, ketchup, salt, pepper and hot sauce, usually Texas Pete.  Once the pork is done I pull it apart, I am not a chopper, and serve it with the slaw on potato buns, don’t know why but I like the taste.  And I have to admit I do keep bottles of BBQ for my husband who loves the stuff…me I don’t like the mess.  And to make a quick version, I have put the pork shoulder in the crock pot on low all day and it worked fine and didn’t taste too bad.  I find the pork is juicier and pulls so much easier when cooked in the crock pot but I will let that be our little secret.

Tomorrow, I will tell you about my next stop and the search for a meal…

Published in: on September 2, 2009 at 5:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

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