October means fall leaves, jack-o-lanterns, and…barbecue?

In Lexington, N.C., barbecue is legendary. That’s why the city has celebrated its famous fare every October since 1984. And this weekend, you can celebrate with them! Head to Lexington for the 27th Annual Barbecue Festival, filled with  “Hogway Speedway” racing pigs, arts and crafts, performances by some great artists, and, of course, some fantastic barbecue.

If you can’t make it to the festival, you can  make your own Lexington-style barbecue instead. Just roast your own pork shoulder (the crock pot is great for this) and follow this easy dip recipe straight from Blair author Bob Garner‘s North Carolina Barbecue: Flavored by Time.

Lexington-Style Dip

3 cups apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup brown or white sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Texas Pete hot sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce

Combine all ingredients in large pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir until sugar melts. Let sit for several hours before serving over chopped or sliced pork shoulder. May be stored in tightly sealed container without refrigeration.

If you need a great hush puppy recipe to go with this, you’ll find it in North Carolina Barbecue. This books takes us on a delectable journey across the state in search of the best examples of this distinctive North Carolina delicacy. Along the way, Garner explores cooking with wood vs. electricity, the proper etiquette for a pig picking, and the differences between North Carolina barbecue and the stuff they serve in the rest of the country.

But if you want to know where to go and what to order when you’re looking for lip-smacking-good barbecue, read Bob Garner’s Guide to North Carolina Barbecue. In this book, Garner picks the 100 best barbecue restaurants in the state, ranging from well-known establishments to little-known holes in the wall.

Have a favorite barbecue joint or recipe? Share it with us in the comments section.

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