As anyone from eastern North Carolina will tell you (often passionately and at great length), barbecue means a whole hog cooked low and slow over a banked pit. The meat is pulled or chopped into moist strands, dressed with some remaining “mop” (the vinegar-and-red-pepper basting sauce), and mixed with cracklings. For us, however, the whole hog had to go. Instead, we used pork shoulder
: It’s easier to handle and not such a huge investment of time and money. People from western North Carolina, in fact, prefer shoulder meat, but they sweeten the sauce with tomato or ketchup.