Sticky Ribs

Although there are many variations of BBQ sauce in the United States, there are generally 4 main styles. These are South Carolina, Memphis Tennessee, Kansas City and Texan.

These are not exhaustive and sub styles include St. Louis, Alabama and Kentucky.

Apart from the meat which is cooked in these different areas the style of sauce varies greatly

South Carolina BBQ Sauce – Carolina barbecue is well known for its slow cooking mode. They usually grill beef, chicken or lamb at their barbecue. A traditional rub consists of salt, sugar, brown sugar, ground cumin, chili powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper and paprika. The sauce is made by first heating distilled white vinegar and cider vinegar, and then adding sugar, hot red pepper flakes, salt and ground pepper.

Kansas City BBQ Sauce – In Kansas City, they usually like ribs at their BBQs. Their traditional rub is made by mixing brown sugar, paprika, black pepper, salt, onion powder, cayenne, garlic powder and chili powder. The Kansas City sauce falls under the Heavy tomato sauce category. It is prepared by boiling oil in a sauce pan and frying garlic until its brown. Then add ketchup, water, vinegar, brown sugar, olive oil, paprika, chili powder, garlic and cayenne.

St. Louis BBQ Sauce – This is a tomato and vinegar based sauce. It is not as sweet and thick as Kansas City-style and not as spicy and thin as Texas-style. A St. Louis barbecue always includes lots of sauce.

Texas BBQ Sauce – The Texas style of rub and sauce are pretty famous in the South Western U.S., where they usually cook Briskets at BBQ. A typical rub consists of mixing paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano, chili powder and dried parsley. The Texas style sauce consists of tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, dry mustard, margarine, Tabasco sauce, garlic cloves, chopped onions, salt and pepper to taste, chopped and de-seeded jalapeno peppers.

At The Great Food Company we use a home made BBQ sauce for our ribs, the following is a great base to which you can add spices and chillies to your own taste.


Home made BBQ Sauce

400ml Ketchup

250g Dark Brown Sugar

100g Mustard

200ml Dark Soy Sauce

100ml Red Wine Vinegar

Tabasco to taste

Combine all ingredients and warm through but do not boil,…it can be explosive!





No Pig at “The Pig”

In April 2015 myself and Clarissa went for an adventure in the New Forest.

“A restaurant with rooms” is one of the strap lines on the clean, tidy and easy to navigate website.IMG_0949 (2)

The Pig in Brockenhurst is a glorious former hunting lodge (once owned by the Bowes-Lyons, cousins of the Queen) which has been fashioned into a quirky shabby chic establishment which prides itself on a 15 mile menu, 95% of the ingredients are from the local area and they also have an extensive kitchen garden.

As we approached up the drive there was a sense of warmth and calm even on that grey and chilly spring morning.  We were greeted by a huge boar statue in the grounds and the smell of wood smoke as wisps of grey curled from the clay chimney pots.

Two stone lurcher’s eyeballed us at the entrance as we entered through the open door into the hall and reception.

As part of the Limewood group, the interior was much to be expected.  Pots of herbs here and there, threadbare rugs, portraits in oversized frames, retro light bulbs, log baskets, lots of books, watering cans, “gone fishing”.  It’s like steeping back in time, in a good way.

Not only is this a place to bring a loved one for some TLC but also a group of friends would benefit from the snug surroundings. I can imagine the cast of the The Big Chill, Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Kline, William Hurt, Glenn Close and co’ sat in the drawing room reminiscing over full bodied wines and pork scratchings.

The bedrooms were without fault, luxurious bedding, roll top bath, power shower, plenty of toiletries and soft towels. Even though our room was in the courtyard, this didn’t matter as the sun made an appearance, so we sat in the walled al fresco dining area with an outside open fire place to boot. We sipped on cocktails before an afternoon nap.

I was excited in the early evening on passing a near capacity restaurant and looking forward to our 9.15 table. When the time came we entered the restaurant to be greeted by a scene from the Mary Celeste, all be it bar another family of 4. When asked where everybody had gone I was told we were in the second sitting, the first had finished.

This I found hard to bear considering that there were non residents in the first sitting. As a full paying resident I would expect to be given priority booking at the restaurant, however there wasn’t space for us any earlier.

I came to order and requested the pork chaps. “Sorry Sir the chaps have all gone”.  How on earth is it acceptable for an establishment like this to run out of their signature dish, especially when you pay to stay and eat.

So there we sat like two corks bobbing in the Atlantic Ocean. We shared a main course of some mediocre fish, finished a bottle of wine and retired feeling a little like we had outstayed our welcome.

All in all this is a lovely place to stay, the staff were casually dressed but attentive and well mannered. The grounds were a pleasure to stroll around and while we walked in the herb garden there was a certain buzz as both Gardener and Chef were busily choosing the freshest produce. They were making up a picnic to be picked up the following day by a certain Rick Stein.

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