A crackling fire in the dark, the smell of spices in the air. Since the earliest days of humanity, the primal act of cooking on fire has brought people together.  

Our dark-ages days might be long past but these days we still love the smell of a barbecue.

Julia Stephenson the force behind Jackalope Food Co. is bringing traditional Texas-style barbecue downunder in a unique way.

Read on to hear about her love for sharing her heritage and to make her special recipe for delicious chipotle and Coca-Cola pulled pork. Smoker optional :)

Coca-Cola chipotle BBQ sauce ingredients

Makes (litres)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoon coriander
  • 2 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 700 gms tomato purée (passata)
  • 125 gms chipotles in adobo
  • 150 gms apple cider vinegar
  • 2 can Classic Coca-Cola
  • Salt and pepper

Pulled pork ingredients

  • 2 kilogram pork shoulder
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • Salt and pepper

How to make the Coca-Cola chipotle BBQ sauce

  • Total Time: 40 min
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  1. Sauté the chopped onion and garlic in your preferred vegetable oil over medium heat until soft.
  2. Add the coriander, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper and fry off until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the tomato puree, chipotles, vinegar and Coca-Cola and stir to incorporate thoroughly, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pot.
  4. Let simmer, uncovered, until thickened – it should coat the back of a wooden spoon – for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and cracked pepper to taste.
  6. Makes about 1.5 litres. The sauce will keep in the fridge up to two weeks.

How to make the pulled pork

  • Total Time: 8 hr 20 min
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 8 hr
  1. Season the pork with salt and pepper and brown off in medium hot oil on all sides.
  2. In a slow cooker, lay a bed of onion slices then place browned pork on top.
  3. Pour the BBQ sauce over the pork until it reaches about halfway up the sides of roast.
  4. Cover with lid and cook on low setting for 8 hours.
  5. Alternatively, cook in a standard oven 135°C for 8 hours, wrapped in aluminium foil.

Bringing Southern Hospitality Down Under

In Texas barbecue is a way of life. It’s as etched into the landscape as prairies, cowboys and rodeo.

The knowledge, methods and secrets have been passed down for generations. Texas-style barbecue is the subject of fierce competitions and cook-offs globally and even reality TV shows.

Great food and authentic barbecue has always been in fashion. For Julia Stephenson a Corpus Christi, Texas native and proponent of Texas-style barbecue, the most important part for her is the creativity of it all.

“It’s meant to be immediately shared,” Julia said. “Feeding people is a big deal. There’s immediate satisfaction in that.”

Her advice to people looking to up their barbecue game at home: “Use coals or wood, take your time, do it with love.”

What’s the history of the Texas BBQ?

The history of barbecue in Texas folds in many elements from the history of greater USA. From pork barbecue that arrived with pre-Civil War East Texas African slaves, to barbecue sausage from the great influx of German immigrants in the 1800s and beef barbacoa from Mexico.

“Texas barbecue is varied and constantly evolving,” Julia said. “Whereas Southern US barbecue is a purebred with clear roots, Texas barbecue is a relative mutt with many bloodlines.”