"If that's not a beautiful sight, I don't know what is," crows Jim "Trim" Tabb as a gorgeous plume of hickory-fueled smoke leaves the chimney of his barbecue rig. It's just after breakfast, but Jim, an award-winning barbecue aficionado from Tryon, North Carolina, has already been at his smoker for more than six hours. His good friend, Garrett Oliver, author and brewmaster at Brooklyn Brewery in New York, couldn't agree more. The two men have been hosting barbecue and beer pairings at the brewery for nearly five years.
Today the buddies are in Columbia, South Carolina, preparing for a family reunion at the home of Bill and Madelaine Miller, Garrett's uncle and aunt. Jim's supplying the pork, Garrett is pairing beer with the menu, and Madelaine is kind enough to share a few of her favorite recipes.
BACKYARD BARBECUE MENU
Serves 6 to 8
- Barbecue Deviled Eggs
- Tomato-and-Onion Salad
- Creamy Carolina Coleslaw
- Tabb's Barbecue Pork
- Honey-Mustard Barbecue Sauce
- Peach-Cinnamon Ice Cream
BEER AND BARBECUE–PERFECT PARTNERS
Garrett guides you through the menu with a few of his favorite beers (all are available in large supermarkets). For more information on pairing beer with food, check out Garrett's award-winning book The Brewmaster's Table (HarperCollins, $16.95)–we review it in this article–or visit www.brooklynbrewery.com.
- Hoegaarden (Belgium) and Pilsner Urquell (Czech Republic): Both are light, snappy, and very refreshing warm-weather beers; ideal with Barbecue Deviled Eggs and Tomato-and-Onion Salad.
- Brooklyn Lager (New York): Subtle caramelized flavors with a hint of sweetness make this a nice all-around player for the entire menu. For a distributor in your area, visit www.brooklynbrewery.com.
- Abita Turbodog (Louisiana) and Brooklyn Brown Ale (New York): Their smoky flavors make these the ultimate beers to go with Tabb's Barbecue Pork. Anything that's been grilled or smoked will pair nicely with amber and brown beers.
- Anchor Porter (California): Hints of coffee and chocolate make this full-bodied beer just the right partner for Peach-Cinnamon Ice Cream.
BARBECUE LIKE A PRO
Follow Jim's tips for perfect 'cue.
- The most succulent pulled or chopped pork comes from the Boston butt (which is one half of a whole pork shoulder; the other half is the picnic shoulder). Bone-in is more economical, but even with the bone removed, this is still the best choice for smoking.
- Never allow flames to touch the meat–you're smoking, not grilling.
- Low and slow is the name of the game. Never increase the temperature of your grill or smoker to speed up cooking. The optimum smoker temperature is 225°. When the internal temperature of the meat reaches 190°, you're ready to go. If using a bone-in Boston butt, the shoulder bone should effortlessly pull away from the meat.
The Brewmaster's Table: Discovering The Pleasures Of Real Beer With Real Food
by Garrett Oliver (HarperCollins, $29.95)
Garrett's mission is to empower readers with easy-to-understand information on beer, and allow them to bring what he considers "an under-appreciated beverage" to the stature it rightfully deserves on America's tables. The book takes readers on an informative tour of the world's most famous breweries and explores more than 50 distinct styles of beer from around the world. The end result is a book that is as easily enjoyed by the aficionado and the novice. "My feeling is that both wine and beer reach their best expression with food, but beer is by far the most versatile partner. That's because real beers have an incredible range of flavors–all of which, when appropriately matched, make for a perfect complement with food," Garrett remarks. With the turn of each entertaining page, you, too, will agree.
This article is from the July 2005 issue of Southern Living.