It's no secret that my boyfriend Walt makes the best barbecue in all 50 states. Let's just say it's what sealed the deal for me.(And no, not in that way. Get your mind out of the gutter!)He learned the method from his dad, who learned it from his dad, although they may have had a little help along the way.Needless to say, it's pretty much the end-all be-all of pulled pork. But don't go around expecting to get the Thompson spice rub out of me any time soon, or thesuper secretbasting sauce either. These lips of mine are sealed. Mainly because, if I don't make it in the food biz and Walt doesn't make it in the movies, we're switching to plan B and opening our very own 'cue shack. He'll smoke the meat and I'll make the sides. I've been told on more than one occasion that I make a pretty mean banana pudding. It's our golden ticket I tell ya.
So anyhow, I've got a point. Sort of. There's been a giant bag of pulled pork sitting in our fridge ever since that ol' Thompson family reunion I told you about. We've been eating lots and lots of barbecue sandwiches this past week. But today I'd had enough. I wanted the stuff gone, so I got creative and made grilled pulled pork quesadillas. Now I'm not going to tell you how to make these -- tortillas, pulled pork, pepper jack, sour cream, and a grill pan should do it -- you can probably figure the rest out on your own. But for a little extra flare, I'm honored to introduce you to the one and only Carolina Red.
This tangy sauce is what we serve alongside Thompson barbecue. And while the meat absolutely doesn't need it, I can't seem to stop myself. Vinegar makes my (small) world go 'round. Don't even try to give me a sweet, syrupy excuse for a sauce. Or worse yet, store bought. Just give the meat a good rub, smoke it low and slow to perfection, and serve it with a drizzle of this. Oh Lord.
While I'm not giving you all of their family secrets, I will give you just-this-one. Consider yourself extremely lucky. And maybe one day you'll even be lucky enough to come try the real Thompson stuff out for yourself. I'll go ahead and offer this as an open invitation.
Source: The Thompson Family via Epicurious
Yields: 2 cups
1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Stir all ingredients in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Do NOT heat. (This can be made ahead; cover and refrigerate. Keeps for awhile.)