meat man by the killer
(written by mack vickery)
Big S Grill
1179 Dunnavant Ave (at Dow)
I don't hide [my recipes]. I let them have them, but they tell me, "You're lying. That ain't the way you fix it." I say, "That's just the way I fix it." They don't want to believe it. God Give everybody so much. If barbecue is yours, that's it.
Essay by Joe York
The plywood pig hanging perpendicular to McLemore names the place: Candy Man Lounge. The few parking spaces in front are as empty as the lot next door. Black iron bars block all the entrances. Midday, midweek, and nothing is happening here.
Before the Candy Man moved in and crapped out, the store housed Hawkin's Grill. Started in 1938, Hawkin's turned out shoulder after slow-cooked shoulder for the better part of six decades. It was there that J. C. Hardaway, one of Memphis' world-renowned pit masters, got his start at the age of thirteen delivering orders on his bicycle.
Before long, J.C. traded in his pedals for the pits. He cooked hamburgers and chopped the meat as it came off the coals, all the while soaking up secrets and learning the tricks of a trade that would feed him and his community for years to come.
In 1993, J.C. took his tongs and walked around the corner and down Dunnavant to the Big "S" Grill. Now that J.C. sends his smoke up their stacks, they've added his name to the sign and his barbecue to the board, which for years sold only soul food. Listening to J.C., one wonders if there is a difference.
"God gives everybody so much. If barbecue is yours, that's it."
Interview with J.C. Hardaway Conducted by Brian Fisher, 19 February 2002
In the restaurant, Hawkins Grill. Eighteen, but I started at 13, 14, riding a bicycle delivering orders. At that time they didn't allow children [to work] in restaurants until they were of age. And, at the age of 18. So after I reached 18, I went inside and started working around, and started looking around and started cooking. Hawkins Grill, they were my godparents.
Did you try to spend time in the kitchen when you were younger? Did you get shooed away?
I think it might be that it was in my blood. Just in me that I would learn it. I was around it. I just picked it up.
Cook at home?
Nothing but regular food. Soul food. Home cooked food. No barbecue just home cooked food.
Beginnings in the Hawkins Kitchen Frying hamburgers and selling sandwiches, chopping up barbecue but I wasn't cooking it.
Profession from the Beginning?
Who did you learn to cook from at Hawkins?
No teacher. Just picked it up looking. Just looking. We didn't take time to teach you. You just picked it up.
They said here's the job?
Here's the job and if you couldn't do it you had to go I guess.
Who was in charge of barbecue at Hawkins?
How Long Have You Been Cooking?
Since I was 18. 59 years.
How long was Hawkins Grill open?
From 1938 and I left in '93. Big S since '93. It'll be nine years in October.
Enjoy commercial cooking?
Yes. I enjoy cooking for the public. It's just a part of me. At the age I am now, I don't need nothing else but that basis.
A favorite part of cooking for the public?
I can do pastry. Most anything. But I do barbecue especially if I have a party I'll fix some barbecue beans, spaghetti, potato salad. That line of food, party food. Even cold plates, you know, if necessary.
J.C. Hardaway's pork art
(CNN) -- To Lolis Eric Elie, author of the cultural barbecue travelogue "Smokestack Lightning" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), there is no better barbecue pork shoulder sandwich than one made by barbecue pit-master J.C. Hardaway, honored this year by the SFA with the "Keeper of the Flame" award.
When asked why pork shoulders, Hardaway, who started cooking when he was 14, smiles in a way that conveys that he has forgotten more about barbecue than the questioner will ever know, and says, "It just the best."
Smoky Hale, a symposium participant and author of "The Great American Barbecue and Grilling Manual" (Abacus Publishing Company), says pork shoulder is one of the finest cuts a barbecue chef can use.
"The pork (shoulder) butt is to pork cookers what the beef brisket is to a Texan. Both cuts have layers of fat interspersed within the meat. When cooked low and slow, the fat melts while basting the meat to keep it moist until it gets done," explains Hale.
Recipe By : John Willingham's World Champion Bar-B-Q
Serving Size : 1 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Bbq Sauces
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3/4 cup Light brown sugar -- packed
1 each 1 1/4 oz package regular -- flavor chili seasoning
(I used GArry Howard's Chile Powder recipe)
2 teaspoons Dry mustard
1 teaspoon Ginger -- ground
1/2 teaspoon Allspice -- ground
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon Mace -- ground
1/4 teaspoon Black peppper -- fresh ground
1 cup White distilled vinegar
1/4 cup Molasses
1/4 cup Water
32 ounces Ketchup
3 teaspoons Liquid smoke (optional)
In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar, chili seasoning, mustard, ginger,
allspice, cayenne, mace, and black pepper. Add the vinegar, molasses, water,
and liquid smoke. Stir until dry ingredients are dissolved. Add the ketchup
and stir to mix.
Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly to avoid spattering.
Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Hubert Sumlin & David Johansen with my pal, henry gray
DVD "Blues: the Road to Memphis