Lunchbreak: Down-South banh mi, prepared by The South’s Best Butts author Matt Moore

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Matt Moore

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The South's Best Butts: Pitmaster Secrets for Southern Barbecue Perfection

Down-South Banh Mi
Serves 3

1 (18-inch) French bread baguette
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
1⁄4 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 cup pulled pork (without sauce)
1⁄3 cup Pickled Peppers and Onions
1 small serrano or jalapeño chile, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the baguette on an ungreased baking sheet 10 minutes or until warm. Meanwhile, stir together the mayonnaise and Sriracha in a small bowl. Stir together the carrots and the fish sauce in a separate small bowl. Split the baguette horizontally. Cut each half into 3 (6-inch-long) pieces. Spread cut sides of bread with mayonnaise mixture. Layer bottom halves with the pulled pork, Pickled Peppers and Onions, serrano chile slices, carrot mixture, and cilantro to taste. Top with remaining bread slices. Serve immediately.

Pickled Peppers and  Onions

1⁄2 small red onion, cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices
ice water
1⁄2 red bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch-wide strips
1⁄2 yellow bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch-wide strips
1⁄2 green bell pepper, cut lengthwise into 1⁄4-inch-wide strips
1 cup (8 ounces) white vinegar
6 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1⁄2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup (8 ounces) water

Soak the onion slices in ice water to cover in a small bowl 10 minutes; drain. Place the onion slices and the bell pepper strips in 1 (1-quart) canning jar.  Bring the vinegar, next 3 ingredients, and 1 cup water to a boil in a small non-aluminum saucepan over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the vegetables in jar. Let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Makes 1 quart

Smoky Barbecue Popcorn
Serves 8 to 10

3 ounces (6 Tablespoons) salted butter
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
15 cups popped popcorn (from about 3⁄4 cup kernels)

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium. Remove from heat, and stir in the Worcestershire sauce. Stir together the sugar and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Slowly drizzle the butter mixture over the popcorn, gently stirring as you drizzle. Sprinkle with the spice mixture, gently stirring to coat.

Rice Wine Vinegar and Miso Collard Greens
Serves 16

8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
1 1⁄2 pounds medium-size yellow onions, chopped (about 4 1⁄4 cups)
12 garlic cloves, minced
6 bunches (about 10 ounces each) collard greens, stems removed, leaves cut into 1⁄2-inch-thick slices (about 18 cups)
4 cups (32 ounces) water
1 1⁄2 cups (12 ounces) doenjang (Korean soybean paste)
1⁄4 cup gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
1⁄4 cup all-natural MSG-free Korean beef soup stock
1⁄4 cup freshly ground black pepper
2 cups (16 ounces) rice wine vinegar
2 pounds smoked turkey breast, chopped (about 71⁄2 cups)

Heat the butter and oil in a large stockpot over medium until butter is melted. Add the onions, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the collards in batches, about 6 cups per batch, and cook until wilted before adding next batch. Gently stir in the water, doenjang, gochugaru, beef stock, and black pepper until well incorporated. Stir in the rice wine vinegar. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from heat, and stir in the smoked turkey. Serve with a slotted spoon.

Grilled Potato Salad
Serves 8

3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, quartered
1 1⁄2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, cut into 3⁄4-inch rings
2 large green bell peppers
1  pound bacon, cooked and crumbled, drippings reserved
1⁄3 cup spicy brown mustard
1  Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1⁄8 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

Coat cold cooking grate of grill with cooking spray, and place on grill. Preheat grill to low (about 275°F). Toss together the potatoes, salt, and 1⁄4 cup of the oil until potatoes are well coated. Place the potatoes on oiled grates; grill, without grill lid, until tender, 25 to 30 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from grill. Place the onion rings and whole peppers on grates, and grill, without grill lid, until slightly blistered and tender, about 15 minutes. Cut the grilled potatoes into 1 inch pieces, and place in a large bowl. Chop the onions and peppers, and add to potatoes. Add the bacon, reserved drippings, mustard, cider vinegar,  black pepper, and remaining 1⁄4 cup oil. Toss until combined, and serve immediately.

Excerpted from The South’s Best Butts by Matt Moore. Copyright © 2017 Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Time Inc. New York, NY. All rights reserved.


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