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Lowcountry Cooking BBQ

So You Think You Know Lowcountry Cooking?

Pt. 2 - Barbecue

By: Kyle Stucker; From 5757 Palm Magazine 

Grilled seafood, barbecue, and comfort food can be found throughout the Lowcountry, including at Wild Dunes Resort's restaurants. But do you know why these culinary styles are the building blocks of the area's culinary styles are the building blocks of the area's culinary and cultural DNA? Or, just as importantly, how to tell the real deal from the mediocre meal? 

Think You Know Lowcountry Barbecue?

Wood isn't just the foundation of the barbecue flavor in the Lowcountry, and at Wild Dunes Resort's barbecue joint, Billy G's Smokehouse, it's the floors, walls, ceilings, and roof. Do what you want with the rubs and sauces (Billy G's boasts eight distinctive varieties); its isn't true Lowcountry barbecue unless the mighty pecan tree is the star of the smoker.

Slowly smoking meat with wood is one of the oldest food traditions in the Carolinas. It dates back to the local Native American tribes who cooked their food using open flames and wooden racks, often built out of the area's abundant pecan wood. The wood bestowed a distinctly sweet and nutty flavor - one that colonizing sixteenth-century Spaniards couldn't get enough of when they used the technique in the Lowcountry to roast their pigs, an animal they first introduced to the continent in the mid-1500s. Barbecue was born. 

As other settlers came to the area, they brought and developed their own takes on barbecue, making the Lowcountry into the region with the most diverse array of barbecue sauces, meats, and spice rubs. But none of those additions - not even the ubiquitous German-influenced "Carolina gold" sauce - have usurped pecan wood as the one true constant of authentic Lowcountry barbecue pits. 

Did you know?

If you ask a true Lowcountry chef for some "barbecue," you're going to get pork on your plate. Everything else is referred to as "barbecued" meat, like "barbecued beef" or "barbecued chicken."

Billy G's Smokehouse

  • Taste the Tradition - Every protein on Billy G's menu gets a flavorful dose of pecan smoke, although to keep the wood's sweetness in check, it's burned as part of a blend. White oak adds a heartier flavor that doesn't overpower the pecan, while a bit of fast-burning mesquite brings some smokiness to the equation. 
  • What You'll Find - A rotating selection of four meats, each with its own dry or wet rub. Pork is the mainstay, joined throughout the year by things like brisket, ribs, chicken, turkey, lamb belly, and smoke catfish, as well as classic sides, like corn bread, white bread, Frito pie, and baked beans. 
  • What You Won't Find - Only Carolina mustard sauces. Billy G's always boasts at least eight varieties, each of which add something different to the meat. Mix and match, or go with Executive Chef Robert Frederick's recommendations: the tangy vinegar-based NC Barbecue for the pork, the spicy-sweet Angry Peach Barbecue for beef, the mustardy Carolina Gold Barbecue for turkey, and the tomato-based Smokehouse Barbecue for the chicken. 

  

Angry Peach Barbecue Sauce 

Billy G's Smokehouse's spicy signature sauce takes the classic mustard base into a sweeter, bolder territory using two distinct Lowcountry flavors: Carolina peaches and oak-aged whiskey.

Ingredients

 2 pounds fresh Carolina peaches

3/4 cup white onion, roughly chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons jalapenos with seeds, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup Palmetto Whiskey

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon barbecue spice

3 tablespoons Manuka honey

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Black pepper to taste

Preparation

Cut an X in the bottom of each peach, then blanch for 25 seconds in a medium saucepan of boiling water. Use a slotted spoon to transfer peaches to a bowl of ice water, and cool. Peel, and roughly chop. 

Sweat onion and jalapenos in oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until soft and translucent (about 8 to 10 minutes).

Add peaches and remaining ingredients. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until peaches are very soft (about 30 minutes).

Puree in blender (use caution while handling hot liquids), and season with salt and pepper. 

Chill completely before use. 

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