Hoo-wee! That's tangy! Carolina BBQ is known for its tang - and they aint kiddin, folks. Most Carolina BBQ sauce is almost all vinegar with a dash of sugar to "mellow" things out. I thought I had an odd-ball recipe I was looking at when I first began my search, but it turns out that's the norm and not the exception.
Only thing I can figure as to why this is the case is because the meat used is very fatty and the vinegar helps temper the heaviness. As does the required slaw.
Since our vegan version of this very traditional dish contains no saturated fat or any inherent fat at all, really, it is important to add some, otherwise the same flavor will elude us. In fact, it is completely realistic to add two or three tablespoons of melted vegan butter to the cooked bbq - and if you are looking for a very authentic vegan sammie, please go for it! We didn't, but we might next time!
As this recipe stands, it has about four tablespoons of added fat, but, dang it, it's worth it. With the added richness, the vinegar-based sauce is a bonus, instead of an overpowering distraction.
Having said that, I nevertheless went ahead and tempered the vinegar with a bit of mustard and ketchup - both ingredients still well withing the wheelhouse of the Carolina barbie (all you Food Network fans, did you catch that?).
As for replacing the animal product in this 'cue, well, dadgummit, it aint hard - I used Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips and separately made another variation using tempeh. Loved both! The strips give a more meaty texture, but the tempeh adds a nutty undertone, which was very welcome.
As usual, this recipe is ready in a jiffy. Come and get it!
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for a chance to win my cookbook, Everyday Vegan Eats, and gift certificates to Simple Beauty Minerals. The chance to win is on-going once you enter, so why wait?
This week Lisa is giving away another gift certificate for her make up (which I simply ADORE!) and this week up for grabs is a natural fragrance by Pure Diva Natural Botanicals.
Once you are done entering the contest, come back here to get the recipe for that there Carolina BBQ. Not a second sooner!
Pulled Carolina BBQ
2 tablespoons neutral oil, plus more for sauteing
½ teaspoon toasted sesame seed oil
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon dry mustard
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 (12-ounce) package Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips or 1 (8-ounce) package tempeh
Carolina BBQ Sauce (recipe follows)
1. Combine the oils, smoke, salt, garlic, sugar, paprika, mustard and black pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
2. Shred the strips or tempeh using a box grater. Use a sharp knife to thinly slice any pieces that are difficult to shred with the grater. Transfer the shreds to the marinade and mix well to combine.
3. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the marinated protein and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
4. Add half the BBQ sauce to the skillet, mix and remove from the heat. Serve the barbecue on toasted buns, with coleslaw and the remaining sauce.
Carolina BBQ Sauce
1 tablespoon vegan butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup ketchup
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and chili flakes. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. Add the vinegar, ketchup, mustard, sugar, black pepper and salt. Whisk to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning.
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