John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed are members of the Southern Foodways Alliance, dedicated to documenting and preserving the food cultures of the American South. One of those cultures includes North Carolina Barbecue. According to John and Dale, barbecue in North Carolina is very different from varieties you'll find in Memphis, Texas or Kansas City. In North Carolina, they use a vinegar sauce. You can find out more at the North Carolina Barbecue Society website. You'll find great recipes in John and Dale's book, Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue.
Old-Time Eastern North Carolina Barbecue Sauce
Eastern-style sauce started out simple, and it still is. Here's a recipe from the North Carolina Pork Council that isn't much different from Thomas Jefferson's pepper sauce.
1 gallon cider vinegar
1 1/3 cups crushed red pepper
2 Tablespoons black pepper
1/4 cup salt
Mix the ingredients and let stand for at least 4 hours. This one doesn’t even need refrigeration!
6 regular-size tea bags
1/8 tsp baking soda
2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 – 2 cups sugar (if you are new to sweet tea, start with 1 1/2 cups)
6 cups cold water
In a glass measuring cup or ceramic teapot large enough to accommodate the boiling water, place the tea bags and baking soda. Pour boiling water over the tea. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags, being careful not to squeeze them (squeezing will add bitterness). Pour the concentrate into a 2-quart pitcher and add the sugar. Stir until almost dissolved. Stir in the cold water. Let cool, then chill and serve over ice.
Music break: Bernie's Tune by Eddie Cano