Carolina-Style Barbecue Sauce

Last week I provided a recipe for slow-simmered Collard Greens flavored with garlic scapes and bacon fat. Collard greens are a terrific side dish, especially when paired with something as delectable as a half rack of ribs.

We purchased our ribs from The Chopping Block in Presque Isle – they were affordable, and proved to be delicious. With a relatively unreliable gas grill, we decided to cook the ribs in the oven. While Southerners would likely unite to frown upon this not so kosher move, the results were great. The star of the show was the mustard, or Carolina-style, barbecue sauce which I had left in the freezer from making a huge (30-lb) batch of pulled pork in early June.

Barbecue sauce can be made with ketchup, or molasses, or in this case, mustard and vinegar. Flavored with brown sugar, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and liquid smoke, this BBQ sauce can be spiked to your desired level of spiciness with variable amounts of cayenne pepper. Start with a tiny amount, and add as you see fit – I started with too much, and had to try and backtrack by adding more mustard. Luckily, I made the sauce for a crowd that craved substantial heat!

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