Wine & Food

Snooth User: Mike Madaio

Carolina BBQ

Posted by Mike Madaio, Jun 1, 2012.

It's that time of year. Beer is probably the best bet, but I'm wondering what wine others like to drink with Carolina-style pulled pork and/or ribs.

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Reply by dmcker, Jun 1, 2012.

Wouldn't mind some of that pulled pork over here about now!

Drinking some 2007 Guigal Crozes Hermitage (made in the northern Rhone from syrah) right at the moment that would work just fine, as long as the sauce wasn't overbearing....

Reply by EMark, Jun 1, 2012.

I've been on a Barbera kick, lately, and that is what I think I would try.

How about Gewurztraminer?  That might work with the vinegar and the cole slaw (required by law in NC, isn't it?).

Reply by Mike Madaio, Jun 1, 2012.

The smoke on the pork would match nicely with the Hermitage for sure - especially with (dry) ribs.

EMark, Barbera pretty much goes with everything, so that's a good call too. And yes, vinegar is a key piece (and probably the toughest to match).

I think Zin could work too, as long it was on the peppery side of the spectrum and not too big of a fruit bomb (which would overpower). Is there anything more American than BBQ and Zin?

Reply by EMark, Jun 1, 2012.

Is there anything more American than BBQ and Zin?

Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie and one other thing? ;-)

Yes, Mike you and I are on the same page.

Reply by dmcker, Jun 1, 2012.

What's the other thing?

I suppose you could also throw in sex/drugs/rock'nroll, advertising/PR mastery of the world, computers/internet, fastfood and other examples of mass consumersm, as well as many others in politics/religion/lifestyle purtianism and prosletyzing, etc. but I won't go there in this forum!  Not to mention American-palate fruitbomb reds and overoaked whites.  ;-)

Any of you guys BBQ seafood? I do all the time, and use anything from muscadet and sauvignon blanc to pinot gris, chardonnay and riesling, depending on what's on the grill. Really love baby abalone grilled in shell and dipped in lemon butter with falanghina or greco di tufo. Or grilled sardines and anchovies with picpoul de pinet. Or grilled oysters with chablis and that muscadet. Or prawns and lobster with a slightly oaked chardonnay. Barracuda marinated in zin and herbs and garlic and citrus slices oddly works when drunk with a lighter version of the same wine. Or... (the list goes on).  :-)

And chicken marinated in tandoori spices and yoghurt with gewurtztraminer. Sometimes even do a whole half of a salted salmon with the same wine and a minted fruit salad heavy on melon on the side. Mahi mahi or swordfish marinated in tikka spices can go with an oaked chard or Alsatian riesling or pinot blanc.  All quite yum.

But back to the Carolina BBQ standards (don't you get any softshell crabs over there in season?), petite sirah should stand up to your heftier-sauced versions. Interesting to experiement with it.

Reply by duncan 906, Jun 4, 2012.

As a mere Brit I am not sure what Carolina style pork is but I had roast pork the other weekend and I had a bottle of 1996 Chateau Bardins from Pessac-Leognan with it.It was so fresh and fruity despite its age that it would probably have matched any meat.I do feel that cabernet dominated left-bank clarets do pair nicely with pork

Reply by Mary Margaret McCamic, Jun 4, 2012.

Awww, man. A Carolina BBQ post - awesome! Being a Carolina girl and all (UNC for both undergraduate and graduate school - I literally bleed Carolina blue!), I guess I should weigh in. Anybody else love rosé with such fare? I like one with a little weight to it - maybe a fruity Tavel or something like the Crios (from Susana Balbo) Malbec rosé. Thoughts? I can think of few things finer on a hot summer day on the porch...

I'd also be into something from northern or southern Rhone, or a little Pinot Noir from Chile. For me, it's all about some fruitiness and spice, but I don't want something too heavy that could take over my pork. Just as you pointed out, Mike, with the Zinfandel option.

And yes, EMark, cole slaw is obligatory! 


Reply by Mike Madaio, Jun 4, 2012.

Rose is a good call - especially on a hot, southern summer day!

And Duncan, you need to find some room in your life for Carolina-style pork. Roast pork is great of course, but this is another level.

Reply by dmcker, Jun 4, 2012.

So are we going to compare pulled pork recipes?  ;-)   I know some Snoothers have good ones....

Reply by Richard Foxall, Jun 5, 2012.

Start with the Rose, and I actually like a Tavel with an extra year on it, then move on to something bigger.  I'm good on a N. Rhone syrah or that Mauritson I just had (Rockpile Madrone Springs 2009), but you would have more luck getting the Guigal C-H, since I bought the last of the Rockpile, I think. 

We had great BBQ shrimp with a nicely structured Zin, too.  Barbera is good with 'cue, no doubt.  I'm not big on pork, but pairing wines with grill preparations is largely about the sauce, too.

D, you have me salivating over some of those seafood grill pairings.  As soon as my radicchio is ready, I'm grilling stuffed squid and drinking a nice malvasia I got at N. Berkeley.  We did the muscadet and BBQ oysters a few weeks ago and it was almost worth the wounds I gave myself shucking a few to have raw.

Reply by AdamJefferson, Jun 13, 2012.

Pulled Pork:

Brine a full pork shoulder, bone in, in a gallon or so of room temperature water in which you have stirred as much salt and sugar as will dissolve and a handfull of pepper corns.  Refrigerate overnight.

Make a rub of equal parts salt,ground black pepper, ground cumin, ground thyme, brown sugar, garlic powder, paprika and 1/2 of a part ground cayenne.

Wake up early and take it out and pat dry with a clean towel.  

Start a fire in a charcoal oven, using either lump charcoal or seasoned white oak or hickory (no briquettes; if you knew how they were made, you'd never buy them again).  As the fire gets going, liberally apply the rub all over the pork.  When the coals are hot, using a trowel or something of the sort move the coals to one side of your fire grate (closes to a low vent) and lower the fire or raise the grill as much as possible.  Set the seasoned shoulder on the grill away from direct heat, cover, and let the interior of the firebox get hot before restricting air flow down to the very minimum necessary to keep the fire going, checking occasionally at first to make sure the meat isn't burning and that the fire is getting sufficient but not too much air.  If you want a more powerful smoke flavor, add chunks of seasoned hardwood as desired to the fire.  Less is better, in my opinion.  Then, go away until the fire goes out, checking occasionally and rotating as necessary to make sure cooking is even.  This should take about 3 or 4 hours.

Preheat the house oven to 250 F, remove the pork and put into a grated roasting pan with a cup of water beneath the meat, cover tightly with aluminum foil, bake four hours.  Decision time.  You can probably serve now, or, if you want a "bark" on the outside, faise the oven heat to 350F, remove the foil cover from the roaster, discard any liquid in the bottom of the pan, and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven, let cool for a considerable time to let the juices tighten up in the meat fibers (about 30-45 minutes at room temperature), then pull apart with hands or forks.  Or, if you're a purist, you can keep the charcoal fire going and do it all outdoors, but I like the control the house oven gives to prevent drying.  Eat it with a rustic bargain-priced Cotes du Rhone, Chianti, or Rioja.        

Reply by dmcker, Jun 13, 2012.

Great recipe, as always, Adam. Got another good one from a Snooth member via PM, and I intend to try them both. Only problem is getting a whole pork shoulder in Tokyo...

Reply by AdamJefferson, Jun 28, 2012.

Barbequed these over the weekend.  Didn't have time for brining, also didn't want to heat up the house by finishing in the oven so I just stoked a new fire after the first one cooled down, about 4 hours after starting.  This was taken at about that point.  Added a 1" thick stick of seasoned split white oak as each of the two fires was fresh.  Began 7:00 a.m., removed at 5:00; at at 6:00. p.m. 

Reply by EMark, Jun 28, 2012.

We'll be right over, Adam.

Reply by AdamJefferson, Jun 28, 2012.

Just bring the wine.

Reply by outthere, Jun 28, 2012.

Looks great Adam!

Reply by GregT, Jun 28, 2012.

So Adam - roughly how many pounds was each shoulder? I grill every week and I've done pulled pork indoors, but I'm thinking this is the year to do it proper.  Seems like 3-4 hours isn't enough, or is it?  And it's 95F these days, so I'm not cranking up the Wolf.

Reply by Mike Madaio, Jun 28, 2012.

shame to ruin that perfectly good pork with pickles.

Reply by Jake Pippin, Jun 29, 2012.

Grab a bottle of Carmenere from Chile! Carm N' Q all the way. The spiceness and slight herbaceousness of Carmenere can complement BBQ very well. I helped with a tasting at Duke University's wine club last year that featured Carmenere and Carolina Sytle BBQ and it was incredible. Carmenere has very soft tannins as well so it's easy to drink. Give a little chill, like you might with Pinot Noir and I think you're in for a real treat!

Reply by AdamJefferson, Jun 29, 2012.

One shoulder (bone in) was about 6 pounds the other just a little more, maybe 6.5.  It stayed in the charcoal oven about 10 hours altogether.  You're correct, Greg, 4 hours is not nearly enough.  After building the fire I covered it loosly with a metal shield to disburse the heat, and rebuilt it with more charcoal and another stick of seasoned hardwood after about 4 hours when the oven temp got down under 200F.  If your smoke is billowing out of the air vents and from under the lid, you might have too much hardwood and for sure your fire is too hot; the smoke should "escape" from the charcoal oven in gentle whisps that rise and drift slowly off.  Cut back on all air sources until the smoke test indicates the temperature is better under control, and check under the lid to make sure your meat isn't getting to much direct heat.    By the time I removed the meat at 5:00 p.m., the temperature was still considerably warmer in the oven than ambient air, but probably no more than 150F or so.  After cooling the meat down for an hour or a little less, it was still plenty hot to the touch and not all of the good fat had melted out yet so it remained very juicy. 

The pickle slices are personal and if ice cold, add some crunch and tang to a chewy smoky meat sandwich, as does a scoop of cole slaw you can't see beneath the meat on each bun.  Things get pretty sloppy after a bite or two.  You can barely see part of it, but there is a glass of crisp Chardonnay to the side and it paired very nicely with the pulled pork.  

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