RoB Gets Saucy: Vinegar and Beer BBQ Sauce
Pulled Pork Popularity
Since pulled pork has become such a phenomenon here in Denmark, I thought it was about time that Rock on Beer blog get a bit saucy. Of course being American I was used to seeing pulled pork all over the place. I mean anywhere from BBQ joints to diners usually have it on the menu, more so the farther south you start going. Since it gained popularity in Denmark, I have seen the same, with all kinds of versions sold in all kinds of places. Hell you could even get a pulled pork sandwich at 7-11 for a while. You know what's missing from Danish pulled pork? A good vinegar sauce!
(Also on a side note get that salad out of there. Don't try to pretend this is even remotely healthy.)
There is a lot of debate in the American BBQ world about sauces and rubs. Vinegar vs. tomato based sticky sauces, or just dry rubbed naked meat. If you want to read about that then find literally ANY American BBQ blog, every single one of them has a lengthy article about regions, sauces, and whatever. Here you will get my opinion, which is vinegar sauces are awesome and go great with BBQ, especially pork.
I've been making this sauce, and variations of it, for a few years now. Of course very early on I had to add beer, so lets talk about what kind. I use light beer for my sauce. Could you make this with a dark beer? The short answer is no, the long answer is maybe. I tend to think darker beers are more suited for darker sauces. Since this sauce is all about the tang and the heat, a light beer really makes that pop. I chose to use Ugly Duck and Beer Here's collaboration kellerbier "Helmuth". It's a nice light low alcohol lager, with a slight hoppy twist. Quite balanced, with a subtle malty body and a good lingering hop aftertaste that I am hoping will come through in the sauce. I have also used regular canned lager and pale ales in the past to great effect. I can also imagine a heffe or rauchbier might be an interesting twist.
This will produce a sweet and sour sauce with a gentle but firm cayenne heat that goes perfect with the richness of pork. The beer adds a bit of body to the sauce and the hops help that vinegar tartness pop. For a spicier version (which I also made for myself) you can add a teaspoon of red chili flakes and double the amount of cayenne.
200 ml apple cider vinegar (æble cider eddike)
150 ml beer
4 tablespoons ketchup
50 grams brown sugar (brun farin)
2 tablespoons good honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika (røget paprika)
1 teaspoon garlic powder (hvidløg pulver fint)
1 teaspoon mustard powder (sennep pulver)
.5 teaspoon cayenne pepper (can be left out to make an even sweeter sauce)
2 tablespoons cayanne pepper sauce (I used franks from the US but tobasco is just as good and easy to get in Europe)
Start by adding the beer and cider to a sauce pan and start heating it up. When the liquid is warmed up enough dissolve the sugar and as well the ketchup and honey. Go ahead and add all the rest of the ingredients at this point and stir it all up to combine. Allow the sauce to come to a boil then back the heat off to a slow simmer for about five minutes.
After you are sure the ingredients have all melded together, you are done! Now that is an easy sauce. Let it cool and put it in some kind of container that's easy to serve from. This recipe will make around 400 ml of sauce. It's relatively thin (which is traditional) but if you want it thicker you can simmer it a little longer. Pour it over your pulled pork and get ready to throw out all that sweet thick sticky tomato sauce you have been using.
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