Tracing Roots


Published:

Discontented with life in New York, Trace Barnett returned to his hometown of Brilliant, Alabama, determined to revitalize his family’s ancestral farmstead. 

Trace Barnett always dreamed of leaving his family farm in small-town Alabama to live midst the bright lights of New York City, trading the familiar fields of corn for the rows of skyscrapers. He arrived with his thick Southern accent in tow, bringing with him stories of a distant place 1,000 miles away. Barnett enraptured his New York friends with foreign tales of picking pokeweed and catching crawdads in the creeks; but while there may have been many cultural differences, there was always a connection to be shared through food.

Despite the shared connection, Trace longed for the sights and smells of his home in the South, and eventually decided to return to the small mining town of Brilliant, Alabama, where his family had originally settled in 1828. He opened the boxes and pulled back the curtains, rediscovering the old recipes of his ancestors who survived by living off the land.

Bourbon Pork Shoulder Pie

A pie just makes life better. And so does a good hearty helping of barbecue. This savory pie is ideal for meals outdoors or around the dinner table. The crisp crust, infused with fresh herb flavor, serves as the ideal vessel for hearty skillet beans and a layer of slow-cooked pork shoulder with a hint of woodsy, bourbon flavor. Top it with other barbecue staples like slaw and pickled vegetables.

 

BARBECUE MEAT / Serves 6 

3–4 lb pork shoulder

1 1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup bourbon

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cloves minced garlic

1 onion thinly sliced

Coarse salt and ground black pepper

 

CRUST

1 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon fresh herbs, finely chopped (or 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs)

8 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

3–4 tablespoons ice water

 

1. Barbecue meat: Place all ingredients in a slow cooker along with the pork shoulder. Turn once to coat each side thoroughly. Cook on high for an hour. Reduce heat to low and and cook an additional 6–7 hours.

2. Remove pork shoulder from slow cooker and place on a large platter. Shred with two forks until completely separated. Return shredded meat to slow cooker and cook for 45 minutes.

3. Make pie crust: Sift together flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add herbs and stir well to combine with the other dry ingredients.

4. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

5. Add ice water a little at a time and stir briskly.

6. Form pastry into a ball, and chill in refrigerator for up to 30 minutes before using.

7. Place pastry on a floured board and roll into a 9 1/2-inch circle. Fit into pie plate and flute the edges. Optionallly, you can make mini crusts by rolling out the pastry and then using a cookie cutter to create mini shells. Place in a greased muffin tin and shape to fit.

8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Assemble pie by filling crust with 1 cup Skillet Beans. Top with barbecue meat. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until crust is browned and golden. Remove from oven and top with Brussels Sprout Leaf and Cabbage Slaw.

 

Special tip This pie utilizes two other recipes in the book, Skillet Beans (page 179) and Brussels Sprout Leaf and Cabbage Slaw (page 37). If you don’t get a chance to make those recipes, you may also substitute your favorite type of beans and regular slaw, or omit them entirely.

Barnett’s book “Tracing Roots” is a modernized homage to those recipes — to a different way of life — focusing on honest, classic meals with homemade ingredients. Carrot souffle sits alongside fried green tomatoes, summer squash casserole next to saltine-crusted catfish. A traditional hunter’s stew can be found mere pages away from a recipe for chocolate-covered pork cracklins'. Trace Barnett manages to take his family’s old Southern recipes and add some modern twists. The recipes are even organized by season, with periodic explanations on beekeeping and canning, gardening and winemaking, a beginners guide to homesteading. Through it all, Trace Barnett brings his wit and Southern charm to the table, creating a book that’s entertaining and informative.Visit Trace Barnett’s blog at thebittersocialite.com

Subscribe now to the print edition or get instant access to our interactive digital edition.

Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Events Calendar

  • Tybee Island Sprint Triathlon/5K

    May 31, 2020
    8:00 AM @ Tybee Island Visitor Center

    The Trybee Island Sprint Triathlon is a 750 yard ocean swim, 20k bike ride, and 5K run that takes place starting on beautiful Tybee Island, GA....

  • Live Music at Congress Street Up Speakeasy Every Thursday

    May 14, 2020
    9:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Congress Street Up Speakeasy

    Every Thursday evening, we have live music in the speakeasy featuring a rotating cast of local legends. Music starts at 9!

  • TEDxSavannah: Standard Deviation

    Jun 05, 2020
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Yamacraw Center for the Performing Arts

    Guided by a mission to share ideas worth spreading, TEDxSavannah welcomes the public to enjoy live speaker presentations from area residents and...

  • Forsyth Farmer's Market

    Jun 29, 2019
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM @ South end of Forsyth Park

    The Forsyth Farmers’ Market vendors offer a variety of local goods including seasonal produce, eggs, honey, pastured meat, bread, cheese,...

  • Beach Bum Triathlon /Duathlon

    Jun 13, 2020
    7:00 AM @ Coligny Beach Park

    The BEACH BUM TRIATHLON & DUATHLON Series rolls into 2020 with a lot of heat, salty water, and sand. This year's races promise lots more...

  • Mindful Triathlon

    Jun 14, 2020
    8:00 AM @ Coligny Beach Park

    Jiva Yoga Center and the Hilton Head Running Company are teaming up to produce the Mindful Triathlon - Hilton Head Island. What...

  • JCB Mud Fest

    Jun 20, 2020
    8:00 AM

    This year’s race will be another 5 miles or 5 kilometers of mud and obstacles – each year you ask for bigger and better...

  • 4th of July Dinner & Fireworks Cruise

    Jul 04, 2020
    7:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Savannah Riverboat Cruises

    Celebrate our Nation’s Independence with Savannah Riverboat Cruises!  Join us on board for a - one of a kind - 3 hour celebration! Enjoy a...

  • 4th of July Fireworks Cruise

    Jul 04, 2020
    8:00 PM - 10:30 PM @ Savannah Riverboat Cruises

    Join in on the fun as we celebrate the 4th of July! During the 1 1/2 hour cruise, dance to the music of our Riverboat DJ spinning your favorite...

  • Walk with the Turtles: Ossabaw Island

    Jul 20, 2020
    8:00 AM - 2:00 AM @ Delegal Creek Marina Skidaway Island

    Depart 8:00 am from Delegal Creek Marina on Skidaway Island, just outside of Savannah. After a 30-minute boat ride across Ossabaw Sound, arrive on...

  • Charleston Beer Festival

    Sep 26, 2020
    1:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Riverfront Park North Charleston

    Thousands of beer enthusiasts and newbies alike will enjoy a day of craft beer, live music, and games, all to benefit a great cause. Charleston...

  • Charleston Beer Festival

    Sep 26, 2020
    1:00 PM - 7:00 PM @ Riverfront Park

    Thousands of beer enthusiasts and newbies alike will enjoy a day of craft beer, live music, and games, all to benefit a great cause. Charleston...

  • Nine Line Run for Wounded 5K/10K

    Oct 03, 2020
    6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

    Join the Nine Line Foundation and Nine Line Apparel this Armed Forces Day, Oct 3, 2020, for our 7th Annual 5K/10K Run for...


Show More...

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Scenes of the South

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 5

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 4

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 2

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 3

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

FACES OF THE SOUTH-THE TRILOGY GALLERY 1

This is not a celebration. It is not a salute. This, readers, is a manifesto. It is a bold declaration of the richness of the South, of the majestic talents, relentless ambition and singular vision that reside just behind each face you pass in your travels. These are the faces of the people who are creating the new South through the sweat of their brow and the depth of their passions. But if you never look closer you may never know how deep that passion goes, and what it has accomplished.

February Brews for a Cause

February's Brews for a Cause was held at the Drayton Hotel on Thursday, February 27th. South Magazine and Southern Eagle teamed up to raise money through a large silent auction for the Savannah Ambucs organization. Craft Beer samplings from Wild Leap Brewing, alongside appetizers from the Drayton Hotel were offered to guests.

2020 Southern Coast Heart Ball

The American Heart Association held its annual Southern Coast Heart Ball on Saturday, February 8th at the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort and Spa. Guests enjoyed a cocktail reception with a silent auction, dinner and program, and dancing to end the evening. All proceeds went to the Open Your Heart campaign.

4th Annual Hearts for Healing Gala

Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center held its Fourth Annual Hearts for Healing Gala on Friday, February 7th at the Tybee Island Wedding Chapel. Guests enjoyed gourmet dining, dancing, and a silent auction. All proceeds from the auction benefitted the Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center's program for individuals with disabilities.

IDC Benefits the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire

The LeClerc Family owners of IDC (International Diamond Center) in Savannah 349 Mall Blvd held a benefit to support the 200 Club of the Coastal Empire on Thursday, February 6th from 5:30pm to 8:00pm. Guests enjoyed light food and drinks, while bidding on several silent auction items, including autographed footballs and helmets donated by Anthony Lanier II.

Royce Learning Center Annual Low Country Boil & Oyster Roast

The Royce Learning Center held their annual low country boil and oyster roast on Saturday, February 1st. Guests enjoyed mingling over the seafood selection. Royce Learning Center meets the needs of children and adults with learning differences and literacy needs through its unique programs.