That’ll Do, Pig


“My math says that eighteen barbecue establishments in Kentucky serve mutton. This list shows that, like burgoo, mutton is a rare find, which means try it when you get the chance.” – Berry

When you take a tour of Kentucky, you’ll learn that barbecue here isn’t just about pork cuts. Pitmasters and restaurants across the commonwealth frequently smoke up mutton, beef brisket, chicken, city ham, turkey breast, and even bologna. See what author Wes Berry has to say about barbecued mutton, or the meat of a mature sheep, and other regional specialties in The Kentucky Barbecue Book.

And don’t forget to enter our Father’s Day giveaway for a chance to win a copy of The Kentucky Barbecue Book!

Ole South Barbeque’s Mutton Dip

When I visited the pit area of Ole South, I saw Jason Shuler stirring a forty-gallon flame-fired cauldron of mutton dip with a three-foot-long paddle. This dip recipe also requires a big kettle, like a sixteen-quart stockpot. Thanks to Jason for providing this high-volume recipe for Owensboro’s distinctive mutton dip.

  • 1 gallon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 gallon water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 2 pounds brown sugar
  • 5 pounds tomato paste

In a large pot, cook all ingredients until paste dissolves. Use it to baste meats, preferably mutton, periodically throughout the many hours of cooking required to tenderize the muscle tissues. When serving mutton, offer this dip in a bowl on the side for the dipping of individual pieces. Yields about 2½ gallons.

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About University Press of Kentucky

The University Press of Kentucky has a dual mission—the publication of books of high scholarly merit in a variety of fields for a largely academic audience and the publication of books about the history and culture of Kentucky, the Ohio Valley region, the Upper South, and Appalachia. The Press is the statewide mandated nonprofit scholarly publisher for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, operated as an agency of the University of Kentucky and serving all state institutions of higher learning, plus five private colleges and Kentucky's two major historical societies.

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