Father’s Day is approaching, and you know what that means . . . Time to find the perfect place to take Dad for dinner.
The first step to becoming a BBQ aficionado is being able to talk the talk. In The Kentucky Barbecue Book, Wes Berry defines many key terms for his readers. Here are a few you may not know:
Burgoo: an “everything but the kitchen sink” rich stew made with several meats and vegetables, cooked up in large quantities at Owensboro’s International Barbecue Festival and found at barbecue joints in Kentucky, especially those in the “burgoo tree” (my term) that includes the counties of Daviess, Hopkins, and Christian, among others.
Chip or chipped: a style of barbecue preparation popular in Union Co. and Henderson Co., where heavily smoked exterior pieces of pork shoulders, hams, and mutton quarters are chopped and mixed with a thin tangy dip sauce, a bold flavor creation that’s salty and good as a sandwich.
Fast Eddy: a meat smoking apparatus that often utilizes wood pellets and a gas flame.
Hickory: one of the hardest of the hardwoods, hickory trees are nut-bearing friends of squirrels and Kentucky pitmasters, who favor the smoke and heat imparted by hickory over all other woods. Several different species of hickory trees live in North America, including shagbark, shellbark, mockernut, bitternut, and pignut. Some pitmasters claim they prefer one species of hickory—like shagbark—to others.
Monroe County dip: Sopping sauce favored in several south-central Kentucky counties, made with vinegar, butter, lard, salt, black and cayenne pepper, and sometimes other ingredients like tomato or mustard, used for basting meats as they cook slowly over hickory coals. Also served as a finishing sauce.
Mutton: Mature sheep, either female or castrated males. Mutton is Kentucky’s claim to barbecue fame, although only 10 percent of the barbecue places in the state serve it.
Smoke ring: the pinkish hue imparted to smoked meats (a very good thing).
Grab a copy of Wes berry’s book to learn even more BBQ lingo and scope out the best places for smoky meats and saucy treats in the state.