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Homemade Barbecue Sauce + A Visit to an Ohio Hog Farm

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This Homemade Barbecue Sauce is easy to make and one to keep on hand for the next time you make pulled pork. I first tried this recipe at the Shoup Brothers Farm. It is the perfect mixture of flavors and spices to top on your next pork tenderloin, pulled pork or grilled pork chops. Double or triple the recipe to make a big batch to keep for later!

Homemade Barbecue Sauce in Mason Jar

HOMEMADE BARBECUE SAUCE + A VISIT TO AN OHIO HOG FARM

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to spend the day on the Shoup Brothers Farm in a partnership with the Ohio Pork Council. It was an informative experience where I walked away understanding more about how hogs are raised, cared for and how pork goes from the farm to table. The Shoup Brothers are so passionate about hog farming and take great care of their animals. 

In addition to my time on the farm learning about the hogs, the care of the animals and the process of raising them, I also enjoyed a delicious meal that they prepared for me. Today I am sharing with you the Homemade Barbecue Sauce that we ate on our pulled pork sandwiches. Check out my pulled pork recipe to recreate our meal! This BBQ sauce is an Old Carolina Barbecue Company copycat recipe and one you will find yourself making time and time again.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce Two Jars

When I arrived at the Shoup Brothers Farm, Dave and his wife were the first people that I met. They were so warm and welcoming. We discussed the history of their family farm which is a multigenerational operation. Their farm is located in Smithville, Ohio where they raise hogs, along with wheat, corn and soybeans. If you live in Ohio and eat pork, you have probably eaten pork from the Shoup Brothers Farm. They are one of the largest producers of pork in Ohio. 

One thing I found very interesting and reassuring was the cleanliness of their barns and facilities. When we entered each barn we changed our plastic shoe coverings to make sure we were not transferring any dangerous germs or infections to the hogs.

Another thing I was happy to learn is that they use antibiotics responsibly and only when a pig or hog is in absolute need of it. Actually, all pork farmers must be certified, meeting safety standards. The pigs have regular checkups by vets to make sure they are healthy. 

A lot of my readers have asked me if pork is healthy to eat. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, pork tenderloin is just as lean as a skinless chicken breast. As I learned on my farm visit, a lot has been done over the years to improve pork and the quality of the meat you are eating. 

When I arrived at the farm we started in the farrowing barn where we saw some sow’s giving birth, some nursing and some weaning their piglets. It was such a cool experience to see the different stages of life the piglets go from along with the sows. The sows will typically nurse their piglets for 4 weeks before weaning. The piglets were surprising smaller than I though, weighing in at about 3 pounds. Did you know that a sow can weight up to 350 to 400 lbs? I was shocked to learn how large the sows are. 

The next barn where the piglets are kept was really fun to see. The piglets are so energetic and lively. To be honest, it reminded me of my house with my three little ones running around. They are kept in large pens and as they grow they move to a new pen with piglets their size. They are fed a mixture of grains, minerals and vitamins and are given plenty of water. 

By keeping the piglets and hogs in barns it allows the farmers to protect their health. As we all know, Ohio weather can be crazy and the elements can be hard on animals.

Each barn is also temperature controlled to help ensure the piglets are keeping a good body temperature and it helps ensure they stay healthy and grow appropriately.

The last barn we visited was where they keep the Barrows, which is a neutered male pig, and the Gilt, a female pig that has never farrowed. The hogs are help in this barn before they go to market. 

At the end of our tour we went back to Dave’s house and had a delicious meal of Pulled Pork Sandwiches, barbecue green beans, applesauce and mac and cheese along with a warm apple pie. I loved getting the opportunity to learn more about where our food comes from and seeing the farm firsthand. I think it is so important to understand where the meat we eat is coming from and how it is raised. I was happy to see how passionate and caring the Shoup Brothers are of their hogs.
Homemade Barbecue Sauce in Mason Jar

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

This Homemade Barbecue Sauce is easy to make and one to keep on hand for the next time you make pulled pork. I first tried this recipe at the Shoup Brothers Farm. It is the perfect mixture of flavors and spices to top on your next pork tenderloin, pulled pork or grilled pork chops. Double or triple the recipe to make a big batch to keep for later!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl whisk all of the ingredients together. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Notes

This BBQ sauce is great on all types of meals-especially pulled pork sandwiches, grilled pork chops or a pork tenderloin.

Visit OhioPork.org for recipes and more information about Ohio pork
You can also follow them on 

This post is sponsored by OhioPork.org. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that make A Cedar Spoon possible! 

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Erin

Tuesday 12th of February 2019

Oh my gosh they are so cute! I need to plan another visit to see babies.

Linda

Tuesday 8th of January 2019

"Learn something new every day." Today I learned that there is a pig farm only 25 miles from where I live. Who knew? LOL It's not unusual to see dairy cows, sheep, corn, and soybeans near here so I shouldn't be surprised about pigs. On a completely different note: Have you ever made your own tahini? If so, any tips? I've been wanting to try it because it's gotten so expensive.

Julia

Wednesday 9th of January 2019

Oh wow!! You live so close to them too. It is such a beautiful area over there. I loved getting to see the pig farm up close and personal. Unfortunately, no I have not made my own tahini. I have always used the same brand that my grandma used- ziyad. But I am sure it isn't that hard to make. Here is an article I found that might be helpful: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-tahini-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-203314. Let me know if you try it!

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