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View Full Version : "Acceptable" Lexington Dip Spices?


neuyawk
09-26-2012, 09:21 AM
So I'm looking at this AMAZING picture of Stamey's Dip in Greensboro, NC.

The Lexington Dip is primarily some Petes, red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, and vinegar, with catsup and water. As you can see from the picture, it's REALLY THIN.

But I'm wondering what other "acceptable" spices are placed in a Lexington Dip. Now obviously you can put whatever the fark you want in your dip. My thing is learning what native practitioners do before adding my 2 cents.

I know Short Sugars throws a little Worstershire sauce in theirs. Any other "acceptable spices?"

EDIT: Meant Greensboro

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lB-bnbpT02A/TtYiPAsJMtI/AAAAAAAAAI4/u_HLa557aXA/s1600/11-18-11dcphoto0685.JPG

Jaskew82
09-26-2012, 10:24 AM
I follow the motto, their are no rules in the kitchen or the bedroom. Everything is acceptable. Put whatever you want in your vinegar sauce.

jfletcherMD
09-26-2012, 11:09 AM
Hmmm...Lexington-style dip from Goldsboro? That's a bit of a surprise to me, since most of the joints in the area are firmly supplanted in the "Eastern NC" tradition... The legendary Scott's Barbecue Sauce - which is held in pretty high regard by afficionados of Eastern style vinger-based sauce - comes from Goldsboro, and Wilber's BBQ in the same town is legendary for it's Eastern style pork. (It's even on the NC BBQ trail! - http://www.ncbbqsociety.com/trail_pages/wilbers_large.html) Still, I guess there are more and more places coming around that are willing to cater to people's taste for variety...Heck, we even have a restaurant here in Greenville that not only serves Lexington-style pulled pork, but a pretty darn good brisket as well!

With regard to your question as to the spices characteristically found in Lexington-style dip, I myself cannot claim to be an authority in any form, but looking through my two new book acquisitions dedicated specifically to NC barbecue, it seems like common ingredients include
- Texas Pete
- Brown and/or White sugar
- Black pepper
- Worcestershire sauce
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder

Incidentally, since I know you're quite the fan of NC Barbecue yourself, the two books I mentioned above are Bob Garner's Book of Barbecue: North Carolina's Favorite Food (John F. Blair Publishing, 2012) and Holy Smoke: the Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue (University of NC Press, 2008) - both are available on Amazon.

Finally, just to whet your whistle, here's a recipe from Mr. Garner himself, who's pretty much as close to THE authority on NC Barbecue as you can get...

Lexington-Style “Dip”


"This sauce has a thousand variations. Be sure to give rein to your creativity even if you follow the basic proportions shown here."


3 cups apple cider vinegar
⅔ cup brown or white sugar
½ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Texas Pete hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until sugar melts.
Let sit for several hours before serving over chopped or sliced pork shoulder.

Good luck in your ongoing quest for creating NC Barbecue up north!! :clap:

Gnaws on Pigs
09-26-2012, 11:09 AM
The basic NC-style sauce/dip/mop is vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, usually with some amount more or less of ketchup, except for the very eastern Coastal Plain. No two NC q-ers use exactly the same formula, I don't guess, and there are no sauce police, but other things I commonly see added to it are water, a bit of brown sugar, a bit of mustard, and more ketchup. Even orange or other citrus juice occasionally. I don't personally know anybody of the old-time bunch who used hot sauce in it, just red pepper flakes and lots of them. I'm sure many do, though. There is no "rule."

I'm not an expert by any means, but I was born and raised in NC, have lived here and ate bbq for 45 years so far, and have been fortunate enough to get to hang around with a few (non-famous) old-timers who had been cooking pigs all their lives.
I got my basic sauce recipe from my late father-in-law, who spent a good bit of his life cooking whole hogs for pig-pickin's in the Durham, NC area. He was doing it back in the fifties or earlier, so I guess that's pretty authentic. In my end of the state, the sauce is usually just a bit sweeter and ketchup-y than his was, but is still extremely thin and vinegary compared to what most consider "bbq sauce.".

neuyawk
09-26-2012, 11:15 AM
My bad. I said Goldsboro, I meant GREENSBORO. Keep getting the names mixed up.

Gnaws on Pigs
09-26-2012, 11:20 AM
My bad. I said Goldsboro, I meant GREENSBORO. Keep getting the names mixed up.


Yeah, Greensboro is in the middle of the state, in the thin-but-with-ketchup-and-maybe-sugar zone. Goldsboro is in the eastern end where they pretty much just pour vinegar straight out of the jug onto a pig. :becky:

jfletcherMD
09-26-2012, 11:23 AM
My bad. I said Goldsboro, I meant GREENSBORO. Keep getting the names mixed up.

Ahh...now "dip" from there, I can believe!! :grin:

No worries, I've lived here for six years and still get Beaufort County, Beaufort (the city), Washington (the city), and Washington county all mixed up! :tsk:

DaveMW
09-26-2012, 11:27 AM
Although I can't contribute to the authentic way to make vinegar style sauces I am a BIG fan of vinegar sauces...enough so that I created my own version of a vinegar style sauce. Nothing better on pulled pork than a vinegar sauce IMHO.

neuyawk
09-26-2012, 11:30 AM
I follow the motto, their are no rules in the kitchen or the bedroom. Everything is acceptable. Put whatever you want in your vinegar sauce.

I don't disagree at all. No one's asking permission to place things in a sauce. The goal is a bit more academic. Like walk a mile in someone else's shoes kind of thing.

I think it benefits more sometimes to put my creativity away and take things in the way that the original culture practices it.

I have my own slight variation of the Eastern Carolina vinegar sauce which I tossed in my own secret spice. BUT that was only after Ed Mitchell showed me his sauce, how he made it, and the logic behind it.

I'm not from Wilson, NC. I didn't grow up with whole hogs available every Autumn. So by being open to what he did and how he does it, I get a small window into his world.

It's the same thing. I've lived in Texas and Arizona. And there's plenty of people doing "NY style pizza". They all suck and taste like cheese on gummy bread. I'm fairly confident they didn't take the time to taste and understand NY pizza. The marginal costs between making a good NY slice and a bad one is basically ZERO.

Gnaws on Pigs
09-26-2012, 11:32 AM
Although I can't contribute to the authentic way to make vinegar style sauces I am a BIG fan of vinegar sauces...enough so that I created my own version of a vinegar style sauce. Nothing better on pulled pork than a vinegar sauce IMHO.


That is the god's honest truth right there. Whatever you put in it, just make some. It should be illegal to put thick, sweet, sticky KC-style sauce on pulled pork. :shocked:

DaveMW
09-26-2012, 11:33 AM
it should be illegal to put thick, sweet, sticky kc-style sauce on pulled pork. :shocked:

amen!

neuyawk
09-26-2012, 11:35 AM
I don't personally know anybody of the old-time bunch who used hot sauce in it,"
.

Pete Jones in Ayden and Barbecue Center in Lexington are pretty open to the fact that a good amount of Pete gets throw in their sauce. Adding hot sauce is a nice touch to the vinegar sauce because they're usually aged in wooden casks so you they a tiny tiny tiny hint of that aged wood flavor.

neuyawk
09-26-2012, 11:45 AM
Incidentally, since I know you're quite the fan of NC Barbecue yourself, the two books I mentioned above are Bob Garner's Book of Barbecue: North Carolina's Favorite Food (John F. Blair Publishing, 2012) and Holy Smoke: the Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue (University of NC Press, 2008) - both are available on Amazon.



I have Holy Smoke. GREAT READ. I think I might just have to grab Garner's book as well. I guess I haven't really been focusing on the Lexington side of the equation so even though I read it, i didn't really pay too much attention on it. Plus most of the additions to the Dip isn't anything too foreign in terms of spice. You'll see some savory additions like Worschershire sauce and gravy cubes, but little in terms of garlic or onion powders.

The fact that Worschershire even popped up in a Lexington sauce was pretty surprising to me.

jfletcherMD
09-26-2012, 12:08 PM
I have Holy Smoke. GREAT READ. I think I might just have to grab Garner's book as well. I guess I haven't really been focusing on the Lexington side of the equation so even though I read it, i didn't really pay too much attention on it. Plus most of the additions to the Dip isn't anything too foreign in terms of spice. You'll see some savory additions like Worschershire sauce and gravy cubes, but little in terms of garlic or onion powders.

The fact that Worschershire even popped up in a Lexington sauce was pretty surprising to me.


I haven't focused too much on the sauces from "west of Raleigh," either, but there are a few sprinkled in both of those books, plus a couple of other "Lexington Style Sauce" recipes I've seen in other cookbooks I own (from non-NC authors). Going only by those sources, I see that a few include some of the "savory" elements like garlic, onion, etc. but not nearly as many as include "basic stuff" like sugar, black/red pepper, seasoned salt, etc.

I guess like anything else, there's a lot of room for variation and experimentation (part of what makes BBQ so great, IMO!!)

I wonder what unusual components Mr. Garner's inclusion of "browning sauce" in his dip recipe might bring to the party...

neuyawk
09-26-2012, 03:37 PM
I wonder what unusual components Mr. Garner's inclusion of "browning sauce" in his dip recipe might bring to the party...

Actually that was the first thing I noticed! I don't know if they have it up here but I'm gonna see if i can try it this weekend. There will be a report back!