Since moving to Texas, aka the land of barbecue, we have learned a lot. We know a perfect brisket when we see (and taste) one! BBQ is such an interesting cuisine. We love how certain states and regions are known for their specific barbecue specialty. Along with the differences in meats, BBQ sauces can vary greatly by region. Alabama has their white sauce, which we tried at last year’s Texas BBQ Fest and it was amazing. North Carolina used more of a thin vinegar-based sauce. And South Carolina is famous for their mustard BBQ sauce. Eater wrote a great article about the differences in regional barbecue sauces.
Since Texas predominately uses thinner sauce packed with spices, we thought it would be fun to whip up a BBQ dish that is popular outside of Texas. It’s not very easy to find Carolina-style BBQ in Texas and that is why we made this recipe when having about eight of our friends over for a cookout.
We used our Traeger grill in order to smoke the pork butt for pulled pork. While Gavin fired up the smoker, Karen cut some of the excess fat off of the pork and scoured the meat with a knife. We used a pre-made pork rub that Karen’s family has been using for years (it’s fittingly enough called Butt Rub) and also basted the meat with a vinegar mop sauce during the nine-hour smoking process. The Traeger grill uses wood pellets in order to smoke the meat, which makes temperature regulation super easy. The meat turned out perfect with a nice smoke ring.
While the meat was cooking low and slow, we make this Dijon barbecue sauce using Maille mustard. Maille is a French company specializing in mustards, oils, and cornichons. They have been around for over 270 years and have mastered premium mustard. They even have some awesome mustard spread varieties – we are eyeing up their white truffle mustard with Chardonnay and morel mushroom with Chablis white wine!
Dijon BBQ Sauce
Cook time: 15 minutes
Makes 2-3 cups
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jar of Maille Dijon Originale Mustard, 7.5oz
- ¾ brown sugar, firmly packed
- ¾ cup white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce
- Salt and Pepper
- ½ cup of water
On a cooktop on medium heat, melt the butter and then add the onions. Once the onions soften and start to become translucent, add the garlic and sauté for about one minute until fragrant. Add the mustard, brown sugar, white vinegar, hot sauce, salt, and pepper. Wisk all ingredients together until well combined and then add the water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes to reduce. Use an immersion blender to blend together the sauce until it is a smooth consistency. If you do not have an immersion blender (which we totally recommend adding to your kitchen because it is super easy and makes way less dirty dishes) you can transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor to blend.
Mix your meat (we used pulled pork) in the tangy sauce and pour additional Dijon BBQ sauce on top of your sandwich. We also love to add some coleslaw to our pulled pork sandwiches. If you happen to have additional sauce, you should be able to store it in your refrigerator for a week.