Barbecue is well-loved outdoor dish all over the world and each country have different styles and methods where meat is marinated, basted or rubbed with a special sauce and cooked either by the use of smoke, charcoal, open flame, gas or even electricity. This cooking style originated hundreds of years ago from the Taino people of the Caribbean where it involved digging a big hole in the ground and placing a whole goat with a huge pot below that acts as a catch basin for the juice which then later on made into a broth. This pit is then covered with leaves and hot coal; they call this pit “barbacoa” which translates as “sacred fire pit”.
Now many years later different countries around the world have developed their own techniques on barbecued meats and America had developed its own style and it differs by location. Barbecue started in Southern United States and it originally revolved around the cooking of pork. During the 19th century pigs were a good choice of meat as it was a low-maintenance food source, pigs are usually freed in the wild so they forage themselves and when food supplies were low these pigs are then caught and barbecued. It was the Spanish who introduced the concept of slow cooking with smoke in America. The Spaniards came to South Carolina during the 16th century and settled at Santa Elena, they thought locals to prepare and to eat barbecue (it was not called barbecue yet during those times).
As times passed by each Southern locale developed their own sauce for their barbecues. Eastern North Carolina is popular for its vinegar-based sauce, the Central uses a Lexington-style barbecue which is combination of ketchup and vinegar, and Western North Carolina uses mainly ketchup as its base. It then became popular and spread rapidly in nearby regions where they also had created their own sauce variations based on the original ones like the sweet tomato-based sauce of Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee; sweet, spicy and tangy tomato sauce of Kansas City and strong horseradish sauce in Maryland.
Now barbecue is a part of life in America especially during summer, you can see everyone have their own special and secret recipes; barbecue contests are even held annually in several places to claim the best barbecue title. While I am not ready to join that event yet, here is my recipe to share, a simple yet flavourful American style barbecue from here down under.
- 6 slabs pork ribs
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- ⅔ cup ketchup
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 whole garlic, minced
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp flour
- In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients except pork ribs, pineapple juice and flour.
- Rub marinade all over ribs and place in a covered container and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Remove ribs from the fridge and reserve marinade.
- Place marinade in a sauce pan then add pineapple juice and flour, simmer and reduce until thick.
- Place ribs on a greased grill. Close lid and cook until meat is tender around 1 to 1.5 hours. Turn only once.
- Brush ribs with sauce then cook for 10 more minutes then serve.