Wed Feb 16, 2011
Barbecue sauce can define the landscape of this great nation. Large swaths of the country hold close their sauce traditions, even if they vary county-by-county and block-by-block. Through my sauce tastings, I'm finding these be both incredibly nuanced and profound—although barbecue sauce tastes like barbecue sauce, it's amazing just how much a little extra vinegar here or a little less sugar there can do to a sauce. Despite all the similarities, there's no sauce that stands apart, pumping its chest with uniqueness, than what the people of central South Carolina call their own—mustard sauce.
A collision of Germany ancestry and American barbecue, South Carolina mustard starts with an ingredient list similar to any other barbecue sauce. This includes the staples ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and, of course, mustard.
The main difference here is the tipping of the scale between mustard and ketchup. Where I'd normally go for about 1 tablespoon of mustard for a cup of ketchup, instead only a couple tablespoons of ketchup are added to nearly a cup of mustard.
What you get is incredibly different, and incredibly delicious. The bite and tang of mustard are still the dominate traits of this sauce, but the added accompaniments let you know that you're enjoying a barbecue sauce in no uncertain terms. Despite that I have an ingrained preference for tomato-based sauces, I let mustard sauce in my life as a way to switch up my pulled pork or chicken. I'm still experimenting with ways to use this sauce, any of you Meatwavers have any good suggestions for me to try out?
South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce
Adapted from Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book by Chris Lilly
3/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix well. Make at least 24 hours prior to usage for best flavor. Store refrigerated in a tightly covered jar for up to one month.