RamFanatic's North Carolina Barbecue-Eastern Style

I am putting this up in the articles section even though it probably belongs in the food section. Mrs. RamFanatic, my food editor, has not been very active, in fact, I fired her once, but she has returned with a vengeance based on Leroy, the Tar Heel Terror's recommendation. Since we have not been very active in the food section, I thought we would post it here initially and move it to where it belongs at a later date.

Let me begin by telling you that I was tempted to laugh the first time Mrs. RamFanatic told me she was going to cook barbecue. Even though she is originally from Durham, which is well within the boundaries of eastern barbecue country, I had never seen or heard anything that caused me to think that she could cook barbecue that would suit my taste. I was raised in Raleigh and had become pretty fixed in the style of barbecue I prefer.

Looking back, I'm glad I didn't laugh. If I had, I would be the loser because the barbecue she prepared suited my taste to a "T". I never imagined watching her prepare the barbecue that it would turn out as it did.

Now I know there are many of you who regard yourselves as barbecue aficionados. All I ask if that you give this recipe a chance. Each of us has our own notion as to what constitutes good barbecue and you can make adjustments as you go along to accommodate individual preferences. For example, I like my barbecue to be chopped or minced. At my new barbecue hangout, they serve "pulled" barbecue but I have been there enough for them to know that. The other day I sent the plate back to the kitchen, which I never do, with instructions for them to chop the barbecue. When the plate returned, it still was not the consistency that I wanted and I sent it back a second time. I jokingly told the waitress if they didn't start chopping my barbecue like I wanted it, I was going to start bringing a knife or cleaver with me and make a scene out of chopping the barbecue. I have a feeling my barbecue will be chopped properly the next time I visit.

So here it is. I was inspired to write this article because Mrs. RamFanatic has some in the crock pot right now and the aroma carries down to the den where I am. Leroy, the Tar Heel Terror, can probably smell it upstairs and is anxiously awaiting supper time. Incidentally, Leroy is an eastern North Carolinian since he was born in Selma, N.C. Believe it or not, the first food we ever gave him was N.C. barbecue and he loved it. We stopped at a restaurant shortly after picking him up and he wasn't about to be left out as we ate our sandwiches in the van.

RamFanatic's N.C. BBQ-Eastern Style

Ingredients

1   4 or 5 lb. pork loin sirloin roast (copied from the label in the package)

2   cups cider vinegar

2   tbs brown sugar

salt-to taste

3   tbs butter or margarine

pepper flakes-to taste

Place roast in large pot. Cover with water-add salt. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer until meat pulls from the bone (about 2 or 2 1/2 hours). Remove from pot and remove fat and bones. Mince (chop). Mix vinegar sugar, hot pepper flakes, salt and margarine.

Put minced meat in crock pot. Pour hot vinegar mixture over meat. Mix well. Cover and cook on low until liquid is gone ( about 3 hours). Do not let the mixture get too dry. If meat dries out, add additional vinegar mixture.

Let me know how it goes. Soon I will tell you how to make the best hush puppies, slaw and potatoes (like they serve at Bob Melton's in Rocky Mount. I assume you already know how to make the sweet tea.