Shepard Barbecue on “Diners, Drive-In’s, and Dives” S42 E34

Link to Shepard Barbecue website, Instagram

Monk: Guy Fieri was on the Crystal Coast of North Carolina earlier this year and checked out relative newcomer Shepard Barbecue in Emerald Isle. Episode 34 of season 42 (!!) actually kicks off with Chef Brandon Shepard, who with his wife Elizabeth started a barbecue joint that draws inspiration from not only eastern NC but of course all over (i.e. Texas).

Brandon, Guy, and his son Hunter kick things off by putting together the Boss Hog sandwich. They start with the prep of jalapeno cheddar sausage made from trimmings of both brisket as well as pork. After a couple of grinds, the sausages are cold smoked for two-and-a-half hours before another 3 at a higher temp. Brandon does all his smoking on a custom offset stick burner using a mixture of hickory, post oak, and pecan.

For his pork butts, he keeps it simple with just a salt and pepper rub and smoked 10 hours. He mixes in his Carolina Vinegar sauce and puts a tray of that away for service.

Back to the Boss Hog, Brandon walks through the making of his Carolina Gold mustard sauce with yellow and Dijon mustards plus his Carolina Vinegar sauce, white vinegar, Worcestershire and a bunch of spices.

For the sandwich, the bun is brushed with beef tallow (!!) and garlic before starting the stack of slaw, sausage, pulled pork, Carolina Gold sauce, pickled red onions to create a behemoth of a sandwich.

Next, onto the “Spicy Heifer,” another big boy of a sandwich made with prime brisket.

The brisket is doused with a mixture of Carolina Gold sauce and pickle juice before covering in salt, pepper, seasoning salt, and granulated garlic. It is then smoked at 225F for 12-16 hours.

Shepard’s red barbecue sauce is a vinegar-based sauce with ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Carolina Vinegar, molasses, brown sugar, and other spices before taking a smoke bath.

Shepard then assembles the Spicy Heifer starting with pickles then sausage then brisket then Carolina red sauce and finally topped with pickled jalapenos and white onion. Behold:

Among the house made sides mentioned are Helen’s collards (inspired by his grandmother), pit beans, and street corn salad. Congrats on a great showing by Shepard Barbecue to Brandon and his wife Elizabeth!

Linkdown: 11/2/22 – The Call Back Later, Anthony Bourdain Edition

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Monk: Two decades ago, Anthony Bourdain and his production team reached out to Ed Mitchell at The Pit in Raleigh to talk about getting on season 2 of his show “A Cook’s Tour.” The only issue was that it was in the middle of a lunch rush. So, Ed Mitchell being a man of the people, he told him to call back because he was busy.

Forbes contributor Leslie Kelly recently caught up with Ed Mitchell and his son Ryan in light of his recent induction into the American Royal Barbecue Hall of Fame earlier this year. In addition to his True Made brand of barbecue sauces, he’s got a book coming in 2023 along with (hopefully) his much-delayed brick and mortar barbecue restaurant in Raleigh, The Preserve BBQ.

Native News

Shepard Barbecue will be on this Friday’s episode of Diner, Drive-In’s, and Dives airing at 9pm on Food Network

More on Phar Mill Brewing & BBQ’s expansion into Concord

Philly Bite Magazine (huh?) weighs in on NC barbecue with a half decent list

Non-Native News

John Tanner’s been making the rounds again, this time in the heartland of the country.

First up, he meets up with BBQ Tourist (and friend of the blog) Ryan Cooper at Porky Butts in Omaha, Nebraska for a platter of some Kansas City barbecue

…he hits up the Boxer Q food truck in Topeka, Kansas for a pork sandwich after a 10k walk

…he visits Chef J BBQ in Kansas City, Missouri for some wonderful by recommendation of Ryan

…back in Maryland, he enjoys Chicago-style rib tips and ribs at Uncle D’s Grill

…finally, he tries out Due South BBQ in Christianburg, Virginia for a pork sammie and the ever-rare side of hushpuppies (in Virginia, at least)

Linkdown: 3/16/22

Native News

A couple of the pitmasters for the upcoming Carolina Barbecue Festival in Charlotte on May 22nd: Bryan Furman and Matthew Register

Not to be outdone, the Pinehurst Barbecue Festival has been announcing pitmasters for the Prieto Pitmaster Invitational at its festival, including Brandon Shepard of Shepard Barbecue, Melanie Dunia of The Pit, Ron Simmons of Master Blend Family Farms, and Lewis Donald of Sweet Lew’s BBQ

Noble Smoke’s stall has opened at Optimist Hall as of Monday, 3/14

Jon G’s will be smoking meat for a barbecue and wine event on the last day of the Charlotte Wine & Food Festival

Pretty cool: actor Eric Wareheim made it all the way from LA to Peachland for a Barbecue Saturday last weekend

Non-Native News

Blake’s BBQ has its final days in the trailer this week

In Austin for SXSW?

The latest reader-generated list from Southern Living

Friday Find: Brandon and Elizabeth Shepard of Shepard Barbecue on The NC F&B Podcast

Monk: From what I’m seeing on Instagram, Shepard’s Barbecue looks to serve destination-worthy barbecue on Emerald Isle. And based on this podcast with the NC F&B Podcast from last month, he seems to be a thoughtful guy about where he fits in the current barbecue landscape and how he might be able to affect some change for future barbecue entrepreneurs. And it sounds like they are finding success in Emerald Isle, with a move to a bigger space in the near future as of the recording of this conversation along with a new concept in their current, smaller space once they move out.

Description: Brandon Bnice Shepard has discovered his culinary identity and its lucky for the citizens of the Emerald Isle, NC! Despite the grind of making world class BBQ, Brandon partners with his wife Elizabeth to run the front of the house and they stay close to their little girl by bringing her to work to stoke the fire! 

Listen in to hear Brandon talk about what it means to him to connect with his cultural roots to make BBQ. Also, learn about some of Shepard’s culinary heroes like, Helen TurnerSteve Grady and more. It’s a tasty episode!