Carolina Vinegar Sauce for Pork

Pulled pork is one of my favorite meals. I love the smoky flavor, the tenderness, the crusty outside, and yes, the fat. I love when my hubby gets the smoker going and puts his special rub mixture on the outside of the pork butt or shoulder. All day the scent beckons me and makes my mouth water. I’m getting hungry just typing this!

When I eat pulled pork at restaurants I always try all the BBQ sauces to decide which one would best compliment my meal. Often times I end up mixing one that is a more traditional BBQ sauce with the spicy one and that often does the trick.

So, when my husband suggested I try making a sauce that was vinegar-based, I was a little hesitant. I found one in a cookbook, Project Smoke, and we absolutely love it! The apple cider vinegar adds some bite, with the hot pepper flakes bringing in just a touch of heat. The sugar helps to balance everything out. It really is an incredible sauce, perfect for pulled pork.

1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
3/4 c water
2 T sugar
1 1/2 T coarse salt (I use kosher)
2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp hot red pepper flakes

You could certainly leave out the red pepper flakes, but it would lack the depth of flavor in my opinion.

I mix all those in a large mason jar and am ready to go. Next time I may try it with brown sugar because in my research it looks like a lot of the Carolina vinegar sauce recipes use that instead of regular sugar. In order to give time for all the flavors to meld, try to make this sauce in advance.

So the next time you make pulled pork, or if you are lucky and your hubby is making it while you relax on the couch, try this sauce. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well the tanginess of the sauce goes with the pork. Enjoy!