Recipes From The Heart No. 33


Barbecue teams from coast to coast returned to the Jack Daniel Distillery, the hallowed groud of American whiskey, to smoke, season and sear for the 32nd Annual Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue. The event held in historic Lynchburg, Tennessee is a wildly popular family-friendly festival.

For 12 years, I served with other Judges from around the country to award barbecue’s “best of the best” as teams competed for the coveted title of Grand Champion and $25,000 in the world’s most prestigious barbecue competition. 

Larry Combs, Jack Daniel Distillery’s General Manager proclaimed that “smoke [is] back again in the Hollow!”

Teams from across the United States compete in seven categories – Pork Ribs, Pork Shoulder/Butts, Beef Brisket, Chicken, Dessert, Cook’s Choice and Jack Daniel’s Sauce. 

Famous for its world-renowned Tennessee whiskey, Lynchburg is home to the Jack Daniel Distillery, America’s first registered distillery. Each October, the lovely village tucked in the rolling hills of southern Middle Tennessee turns into the barbecue capital of the world, attracting teams from all 50 states.

To qualify, domestic teams must have won a state championship with a minimum of 25 competing teams, or competition with more than 50 teams battling in the categories of Pork Ribs, Pork Butts, Chicken and Beef Brisket. The final competitors are then selected during a blind drawing of all eligible teams in August. Additionally, automatic invitations are given to the 2019 Jack Daniel’s Grand Champion and this season’s grand champions from Memphis in May, The American Royal World Series of Barbecue Open and Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest.

Let’s join the feast with some dishes that salute the legacy of this Barbecue and Tennessee whiskey tradition.

Everyone is invited!


Brunswick Stew is a Barbecue staple.


1 four-pound baking chicken

4 pounds ground pork

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

1-tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon thyme

1 tablespoons cayenne pepper

2 cups chopped onions

1/2 cup red wine, preferably Rhone style

3 to 4 tablespoons bacon drippings

36 ounces tomato juice

4 ounce tomato catsup

3 cups cut corn

1/2 cup Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7

Kosher salt and black pepper


Boil the chicken until it is very tender, cool, de-bone and chop the meat finely. Meanwhile, in a large pot over medium heat, braise the pork until half done. Add half the chopped onions, one chopped garlic clove, chili powder, thyme, cayenne pepper and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper. Continue to braise until the meat is well browned, stirring every few minutes to break up any lumps and combine with chicken. Add the tomato juice and catsup and simmer for 11/2 hours. Add the rest of the chopped onions, another chopped garlic clove and simmer for another 30 minutes. Taste for salt and spoon off the fat before serving.


The Jack” by Olivia Thomason.

This recipe combines tangy, sweet, and smoky flavors

½ cup + 2 tbsp Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey

4 cloves garlic finely chopped

½ cup onion finely chopped

2 cups ketchup

? cup white vinegar

¾ cup fancy molasses regular molasses will also work

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup tomato paste

3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp Liquid Smoke

½ tsp Tabasco Sauce (add more if you like it spicy).

½ tsp freshly ground pepper

1 tsp Kosher salt


In a large sauce pan combine ½ cup Jack Daniel’s, onion and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent (about 7 minutes).
Stir in all remaining ingredients except the 2 tablespoons of Jack Daniel’s whiskey.
Bring to a slow boil, then reduce heat and simmer on low heat uncovered for 20-30 minutes.
Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of Jack Daniel’s and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutesThe first step is to saute the onions and garlic in Jack Daniel’s whiskey in a large saucepan.

Next, add all remaining ingredients to the saucepan.

Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.Stir in 1-2 more tablespoons of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Taste to season with extra hot sauce, pepper and salt as desired.

Cook for additional 5-10 minutes.


Ribs are easy to prepare and always popular.

Ribs are easy. This is for pork, spare ribs or St. Louis.

Remove the membrane (this ensures fall off the bone ribs).

Generously season both sides with salt, smoked paprika and black pepper. This is also a great opportunity for adding more flavor with your favorite spice rub.

Cotes Du Rhone is a red wine winner with Barbecue.

Cover the ribs with aluminum foil.

Bake the ribs at a low temperature (275°F) for 2 ½ to 4 hours or until they are tender.

Slather the baked ribs with barbecue sauce, and then broil (or grill) the ribs for a few minutes until the sauce is caramelized.

Sir Verde McMaster is our globally respected Drinks advisor.

Sir Verde’s Drinks Suggestions: Your favorite local IPA, a spicy Côtes du Rhône, Coca-Cola with a jigger of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey or brewed iced tea.

Bonne dégustation. Love one another.

Old school journalism describes the style and stories produced by Doc Lawrence. “In everything I do,” he says, “there is a beginning, middle and an end.” One of the top travel writers in the country, Doc is steeped in the heritage of the deep south. Traveling the back roads from Texas to Virginia and on down to Key West inspires stories about local food and wine preferences, community theater, folk art and music often leading to clues for a good story. Heroes include Faulkner, Hemingway, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ralph Ellison, Dorothy Parker and Willie Morris. An Atlanta native, Doc keeps a well-stocked wine cellar and bar and two outdoor grills. He enjoys entertaining and believes that the greatest challenge for a writer is to keep searching for a higher life. |
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