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North Carolina Chopped Barbecue
Serves 12-15

2 pork picnic shoulder roasts, 6 pounds each, bone in, rind removed
12 cloves garlic, peeled
3 cups cider vinegar

MOPPING SAUCE
The 12 garlic cloves that cooked with the pork
1 teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
1/4 cup reserved pork-simmering liquid
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3.5 cups cider vinegar

MIXING SAUCE
1.5 cups reserved Mopping Sauce
1/4 cup reserved pork-simmering liquid
1/3 cup smoky-flavored barbecue sauce (not too sweet)
Salt
Hot-pepper sauce, for seasoning at table

Place the roasts, the garlic, and the 3 cups of vinegar in a very
large deep stockpot or flameproof casserole. (If necessary, divide
the roasts, garlic, and vinegar evenly between 2 smaller pots.)
Add water to cover by at least 2 inches and bring to a boil over
high heat. Reduce the heat, partially cover, and simmer for 2.5
hours, adding boiling water as needed to keep the meat covered.

Removed the roasts from the pot, reserving the cooked garlic cloves
and 1/2 cup of the pork-simmering liquid. Place the roasts on a
rack in a large roasting pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, prepare the Mopping Sauce. In a large bowl, mash the
cooked garlic to a paste with the salt. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved
pork-simmering liquid, the sugar, cayenne, pepper and 3.5 cups of
vinegar and mix well. Remove 1.5 cups of the Mopping Sauce and
set it aside to be used later in the Mixing Sauce.

Use the remaining Mopping Sauce to baste the pork as it roasts.
With a clean new dishmop or paintbrush, baste the roasts with
Mopping Sauce and place them in the 350 degree oven. Immediately
reduce the heat to 300 degrees. Cook for 2 hours, basting every
15 minutes and turning once or twice. Use all of the Mopping Sauce
(but none of the reserved Mopping Sauce).

Remove the pork from the oven and transfer to a large chopping
board. Spoon or pour all fat out of the roasting pan and set the
pan aside. Do not wash it. The pork roasts should be a little
crusty on the outside and very tender and moist inside. Discard
the bones and remove any fat. With a heavy large knife, chop/shred
the lean pork fairly fine. Transfer to a large bowl and cover
loosely to keep warm and moist.

Proceed immediately to make the Mixing Sauce. Place the empty,
unwashed roasting pan over very low heat and add 1/2 cup of the
reserved Mopping Sauce. Scrape the pan to loosen caramelized juices
and browned bits, stirring quickly and constantly so none of the
flavorful liquid evaporates. Pour every last drop of this "essence
of barbecue" back into the remaining reserved Mopping Sauce. Add
the 1/4 cup of reserved pork-simmering liquid. Stir in the
smoky-flavored barbecue sauce and season with salt to taste. This
Mixing Sauce will mellow considerably as the barbecue "ripens."

Add half the Mixing Sauce to the chopped pork and mix well.
Gradually blend in the remaining Mixing Sauce. Let cool, cover
tightly, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours to let the flavor
develop. (Chopped barbecue can be prepared in advance and refrigerated
for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.) Let return to
room temperature before reheating, covered, in a microwave oven or
300 degree conventional oven. Adust the seasonings as necessary
and serve hot. Cole slaw is traditional with chopped barbecue,
and hot-pepper sauce is a must.

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