I'm not really a cowboy kind of gal.
Neither the films of John Wayne nor the books of Louis L'Amour do much for me. Ask me the difference between a lasso and a lariat, and I'll have to check my dictionary.
So, when I tell you that if -- when -- you visit Oklahoma City, you absolutely, positively, must get yourself to the National Cowboy Museum, you'll know that this is one seriously cool place. The size of a football field, the museum greets hundreds of thousands of visitors each year with galleries specializing in the rodeo, art and sculpture, history, cowboy clothing and equipment, and music. There's even a library of barbed wire styles.
It's a spectacular and comprehensive museum, yet there's one thing missing.
In the great tradition of cowboy storytellers, I'd love to spin a yarn about this amazing condiment, how it was invented by accident, when stampeding buffalo kicked over bottles of ketchup, mustard and barbecue sauce, and all happened to land in the same pot of beans cooking slowly over a campfire.
The truth is that it was invented not in some home on the range, but in a small kitchen here in Rhode Island, by chef Linda Kane of Sauce on the Side. Linda's idea -- brilliant! -- was to take everything you'd want to put on a burger, and combine it into a single condiment.
Indispensable though a pantry full of condiments might be, The Perfect Pantry only has room for items used as ingredients. Cowboy Ketchup, which contains tomato, mustard seed, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, lime, garlic and more, turns out to be a great addition to meatloaf and chili, and other recipes that might call for the flavors of smoke, sweetness, and tomato. It's delicious in split pea soup, too.
The original formulation of this sauce contained high fructose corn syrup, but Sauce on the Side has worked with its co-packer to reformulate their product, which this spring will appear on store shelves without the dreaded HFCS. With no trans fats, Cowboy Ketchup has only 20 calories and five carbs per tablespoon, slightly more than plain ketchup -- but nobody would call this plain.
Available in supermarkets and specialty stores throughout Rhode Island, Cowboy Ketchup can be yours by ordering directly from the web site, or from Only in Rhode Island, which carries a whole range of foods created right here in the Ocean State.
Southwestern spicy pulled pork
A great recipe, adapted ever so slightly from the Sauce on the Side web site, for sandwiches or a main dish with rice and cornbread. Serves 10.
2 lbs pork shoulder roast
1 bottle Cowboy Ketchup
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
Rhode Island Red Hot Sauce, hot or mild, or other Tabasco-type hot sauce, to taste (optional)
Place the meat in a slow cooker, and add remaining ingredients. Cover, and cook on low for 10 hours. Shred meat and remove fat.
Serve the shredded pork on a sandwich, topped with shredded cheddar cheese and cole slaw, with extra Cowboy Ketchup on the side.
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