1 quarter of a young pig
Salt and pepper
Take either a hind or fore quarter, rub it well with salt, pepper, and a small portion of molasses, and if practicable, let it lie for a few hours; then rinse it clean, and wipe it dry with a cloth, and place it on a large gridiron, over a bed of clear coals. Do not barbecue it hastily, but let it cook slowly for several hours, turning it over occasionally, and basting it with nothing but a little salt-water and pepper, merely to season and moisten it a little. When it is well done, serve it without a garnish, and having the skin taken off, which should be done before it is put down to roast, squeeze over it a little lemon juice, and accompany it with melted butter and wine, bread sauce, raw sallad, slaugh, or cucumbers, and stewed fruit. Beef may be barbecued in the same manner.
From The Kentucky Housewife by Mrs. Lettice Bryan, Cincinnati, 1838.
Comment: We apologize to readers who came here with great enthusiasm to find the “original, real, Civil War-period-authentic” barbecue sauce. Turns out…there isn’t one. Aside from the molasses (which you are even supposed to wash off before starting to cook, probably a good idea since the sugars would likely burn black during the cooking time required) and the water, salt and pepper used for basting, this us just spit-roasted young pork.
Not that that’s a bad thing, mind you. But the Great Debate between the propriety of tomato- versus vinegar-based barbecue sauce began in later years than the ones we examine here. Eat what you like and save the battles for the reenacting fields.
Oh, and that is indeed the way Mrs. Bryan spelled “sallad” and “slaugh.” And “barbecue” for that matter. We make enough typos on our own to want to take credit for any in the recipes we reproduce here. Standardized spelling came in later years too. At least this recipe does not require any “yelks” of eggs or drainage in a “cullender.”