The secret’s in the sauce | VailDaily.com

The secret’s in the sauce

Mark Bricklin
Vail, CO Colorado

Barbecue Sauce

Some people use the terms grilling and barbecuing interchangeably. Not at the Vail Daily, though. I work with a couple of Texans (one more cowboy than the other) who get all bent out of shape if you invite them over for a barbecue and they show up at a cookout. The one usually has some kind of dry rub, requires hours of time, a little smoke and a lot of love. And you’ve gotta have sauce. The other has to do with open flames and quick cooking. Both are done outside and both are good cooking methods, but they don’t have anything to do with each other.

I’m down with the Texans – I dig their beef brisket served with barbecue sauce. (I still have not tried Hot Chop and I don’t intend to.) But the Texans I work with are all over the map. Patrick likes Arkansas-style ‘cue, whole hogs served mild, medium or hot, with some slices of Wonder Bread on the side if you don’t have cornbread handy. But that’s just when he’s visiting family. He’s open to anything. After Moe’s moved locations in Eagle, I think he was there seven nights in a row the first week, though he mixed it up with ribs, pulled pork and chicken wings. The other Texan, Wren, likes North Carolina barbecue. Go figure. North Carolina ‘cue usually means staying up all night with the pork (seriously people, what’s with the pig, huh?), cooking it low and slow, and sometimes brushing it with a vinegar “sauce” that is not really sauce at all. I’ll leave it to them – definitely not my thing.

Why am I going on about barbecue? Because May is Barbecue Month. Whooooo! It works for us because in a couple weeks, we have Blues, Brews and BBQ up at the Beav’. I freaking love that event. Barbecue! Music! People out for the official kickoff of our summer season! And to make things more festive we’re hosting a: barbecue sauce contest!

That’s right. Bring to the Vail Daily a Mason jar full of your own special concoction, attach your name and recipe to it (you may keep one ingredient top secret if you like), and our special panel of barbecue insiders, professionals and snobs will judge the sauces in a smack-down, drag-out, finger-lickin’ contest. Categories are mild, spicy and exotic. Ohhhhhh yeahhhhh. Swing by the Vail Daily in Eagle-Vail with your jar by noon on Tuesday.

Winners get a VIP package to Brews, Blues and BBQ. And maybe Radio Free Minturn’s own BBQ Brad will play your set list as long as your taste in music isn’t awful! We don’t know, we haven’t asked him yet. But we’re hopeful!

If you have questions, email or call the Vail Daily’s Chad Holtz, whose barbecue exploits put the Texans to shame, at choltz@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2956.