We had an odd set-up at my last office. My practice and a competing OB/GYN practice were on the same floor of our medical plaza. When patients got off the elevator, they turned right to our office or left to theirs. There were many confused patients and when I first started, even I was confused! Our offices shared quite a few things, including the employee break room.
The other Practice Director and I tried to organize events so our respective staffs would interact more with each other. One of those events was a potluck for everyone working the day before Thanksgiving. We posted a sign-up sheet and encouraged everyone to participate, including the physicians. Because this was right before Thanksgiving and I had to catch a flight later that evening, I opted to bring something easy. When I wrote BBQ on the sign-up sheet, I wasn’t prepared for the line of questioning I was about to receive.
Western or Eastern? That was the main question everyone wanted to know, after all, we were in North Carolina. I didn’t want to admit it but I couldn’t remember which was which. I knew one was a vinegar-based sauce and the other tomato but what I was making wasn’t even real BBQ by North Carolina terms. There wasn’t any pork involved and it was going to be cooked on the stove of all things! I finally relented to their line of questioning and told them it was Ohio BBQ. Even though there were many skeptics, a few took me seriously. After all there are some great chefs from Ohio. Michael Symon sound familiar?
So here is my mother-in-laws BBQ BEEF recipe (I guess you could do pork if you wanted) that I made for the potluck and which everyone loved. Even those die-hard Carolinians who could preach volumes on the difference between Eastern and Western BBQ.
- 3 lbs beef stew meat
- 3 beef bouillon cubes
- 14 0z ketchup
- 14 oz water
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- Place the beef and bouillon cubes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil on the stove and the reduce to a simmer (just bubbling) for 2-3 hours.
- Once the beef is very tender, remove from the stove and drain the water. Shred the beef while it’s hot with two forks.
- Add the ketchup, water, brown sugar, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Simmer for another 30-45 minutes.
- And there you have it, Ohio BBQ! Make a huge bunch and freeze the leftovers. Thaw it out whenever you need a quick, easy meal.