What is BBQ Hash? Let’s Hash it Out!
When dealing with the subject of Barbecue Hash, barbecue lovers often have many questions. Why are there so many kinds of BBQ Hash? Why are they so hard to come by? And most importantly, how do I make one that’s lip-smacking delicious?
What is Barbecue Hash?
Barbecue Hash is a thick, paste-like concoction of shredded meat and chopped vegetables. The dish has a distinctly strong flavor and is made with a mustard-based Barbecue sauce. Barbecue Hash native to South Carolina and is most commonly served with plain rice.
What Makes Barbecue Hash Special?
Almost every Barbecue Hash recipe is a family secret that is passed down through the generations. Barbecue hash has a very strong, pungent, and/or spicy taste that prevented the recipe from becoming commercialized like the other Barbecue dishes. This means almost every pitmaster is nostalgic about the Barbecue Hash they make, and that’s what makes BBQ hash special.
What are The Origins of BBQ Hash?
Barbecue Hash is emblematic of South Carolina’s barbecue culture. Historians believe that The Palmetto State was the birthplace of barbecue. Although barbecuing is attributed to Kansas City, Texas, and Memphis, South Carolina has some of the best Barbecues that America has got to offer.
A rich part of Carolina’s culture and tradition of barbecue is their mouth-watering Barbecue Hash. Just drive down the roads of South Carolina, and you will find some of the best Barbecue joints sprinkled all over town. And one of their featured items is, of course, Barbecue Hash!
Traditionally Barbecue Hash was made using the entire pig, i.e., the meat and offal cuts (the organs). This changed as incomes, preferences, and family sizes changed. Barbecue Hash today is generally made from the Boston butt, which is perfect for making pulled pork.
Boston butt has nothing to do with the actual butt of the pig. It’s just the American name for a cut of pork that comes from the upper part of the shoulder of the front leg. It may or may not contain the blade bone.
What are the Elements of Barbecue Hash?
Barbecue Hash quite simply put consists of three components – The barbecue sauce, hash meat, and the hash vegetables.
The sauce is central to a good Barbecue Hash. The sauce is what gives the meat its rich flavor that leaves your taste-buds tingling with joy and leaves you wanting some more.
Despite their differences, they have a few ingredients in common that give them that familiar barbecue flavor. The classic ingredients are salt, pepper, vinegar, brown sugar, and a hot spice such as cayenne or paprika.
If there’s no paprika, it’s not South Carolina hash!
A traditional South-Carolina barbecue sauce consists of a mustard-based Barbecue sauce spiked with vinegar.
I know, I know, I know. How can mustard-based, and ketchup-based sauces also have vinegar in them? Well… it is essential to remember that in those sauces, vinegar is not a ‘base’ that is to say a primary element or central-flavor. Instead, vinegar is used as an acidic-liquefying agent to give the barbecue sauce its signature consistency and a hint of acidic flavor.
The word ‘Hash’ is derived from the French Word “hacher,” which means “to chop.”
Barbecue Hash is a thick meat gravy of shredded meat and chopped vegetables. Let’s talk about each in detail.
The Hashed Meat
To create a delicious barbecue hash, succulent meat must be grilled, shredded, and stewed in a barbeque sauce for hours!
There are two popular types of meats used for a barbecue hash:
Corned-Beef Hash: This is a popular favorite all around the country. A good cut of meat – such as a brisket – cooked to perfection on a skillet laid over a fired-up grill with a good helping of delicious herbs, spices, and beer! Mmmhmm! Yummy!
Pulled-pork Hash: A traditional South-Carolina Barbecue Hash uses Pulled-Pork as their star meat. Put a Boston Butt on the grill and fire it up. Soon the flames and smoke envelop the meat and give it that distinct coal-barbecue flavor we know and love.
After the meat is cooked and tenderized, it gracefully falls apart into tasty, edible shreds. The meat is then ready to be stewed in a luscious barbeque sauce!
The Hashed Vegetable(s)
The only vegetable necessary for good Barbecue Hash is onions. Onions balance out the strong flavors from the mustard sauce and the kick of pepper vinegar and paprika.
Optionally, you can add potatoes to bring down the heat and get a thick consistency of Barbeque hash.
Don’t bother sauteeing the onions and potatoes before adding it to the Hash. The dish already packs a lot of flavor, so this “hack” is unnecessary.
Finally, the sauce and the Hash can be combined to get a scrumptious pot of Barbecue Hash that’s ready to be served with a side of rice on a hot summer day! The succulent meat and vegetables stew for hours in the sauce on low and slow heat, preparing a tender, flavourful serving of Barbecue Hash.
Now that you know how tasty Barbecue Hash is, it’s time to satisfy our cravings for some good ole South Carolina Barbecue Hash.
Recipe for South Carolina Barbecue Hash
For the perfectly balanced sweet, tangy, and hot barbecue sauce, the South-Carolina mustard-based BBQ sauce is the way to go! To prepare this, you will need:
Prepping the Meat
- 4 lbs. (1.8 kgs) boneless pork shoulder/ Boston Butt
- 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 oz. (360 ml) lager
While the meat is cooking, let’s concoct a perfectly balanced, appetizing sauce:
- 1 cup mustard
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon of corn oil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Dash of cayenne pepper (don’t forget what my mom said!)
- Combine the dry ingredients in a saucepan.
- Slowly add vinegar, stirring until well mixed.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer. Stir frequently for about 10 minutes.
Now that we have the meat and the sauce prepared, let’s go on to make the Hash.
Ingredients (Serves 24)
- 4 lbs (1.8 kgs) pulled pork
- 2 lbs (900 gms) chicken liver, finely chopped or ground
- 4 onions, finely diced or ground
- 4-6 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 8 cups barbecue sauce
- 4 cups yellow mustard
- 16 cups water, divided
- 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 8 tablespoons hot sauce
- 4 cups cooked white rice
- Add the pork, chicken liver, onion, and garlic to a large pot. Season it with the salt, pepper, and onion and garlic powders. Cook over medium heat until the meat is slightly browned. Add barbecue sauce, mustard, 5 cups of water, Worcestershire, Hot sauce, and 1 cup cooked rice. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low so that the mixture is at a simmer.
- Cook at a simmer for about 1 ½ hour, uncovered. Stir frequently to avoid sticking. Add about 2 cups of water and continue to cook and stir for another 1 ½ hours. Add a final cup of water and cook for 45 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to leave you with a loose, meaty, gravy-like consistency.
- Serve over hot white rice. Garnish with additional hot sauce and soda crackers.
Finally, you can mash the barbecue hash to get an even consistency and add a dollop of butter to make it the perfect South Carolina Barbecue Hash.