Ollie’s Barbecue in Birmingham

Bill:

I have a copy of your book I bought and it is really great. I’ve been Queing for about 65 years now, but I still found some good tips in your book.

I lived in Birmingham for many years and they had some very fine Bar-B-Q joints — Ollie’s still make and sell their sauce in many locate chains even though they have been closed several years. Years ago they had one named Dr. Gus’ and they did landslide business everyday. Phillip Adrey (Dr. Gus’ cousin) that worked with him many years gave me this recipe and I thought I would share it with you. Maybe you could figure out how to make it a smaller batch.

Happy Qing
Bryant
Panama City Beach, FL

Dr. Gus’ Restaurant

Birmingham Alabama

1917—1952

Bar-B-Q Sauce

This sauce was made in quantity
for the restaurant to use on pork
shoulders, sliced or chopped. It was
given to me in 1968 by Philip Adrey
(Dr. Gus’ cousin).

½ Cup Black pepper
1 Cup Granulated Garlic
1 Cup Dry Mustard
1 Cup Pickling Spice (tied in cheesecloth bag)
4 Cups Sugar
1 Box Morton’s Salt
3 Gal. White Vinegar
6 Gal. Water
1 Cup Paprika
1 Cup Oregano
2 Gal. Tomato Puree
1 Gal. Tomato Paste
1 Pound Oleo
10 oz Lemon juice
10 oz Worcestershire
1 Cup Red Pepper (try ½ cup and adjust)

Mix all ingredients together and simmer for 5 hours.
They also bottled this and sold it at the restaurant.

Bill:

I’m a young 80 year old and still very active and it would be great to put in it on your blog and share.

I remember Ollie’s Bar-B-Q (opened in 1927) in Birmingham had eight men slicing shoulders around a big work table and passing the meat to 2 men on each end where the plates and sandwiches were assembled. They had one guy that his job was to keep the knives sharp. The outside meat was separated from the inside. You could order inside, outside or mixed. Occasionally someone would order chopped instead of sliced.

They could seat about 250 and would turn the seats three or four times from 11:00 until about 2:00. They cooked about 18,000 pounds of meat per week. Monday through Saturday — never on Sunday. Ollie McClung and his son donated enough money back in the 30’s to build a Cumberland Presbyterian Church outside Homewood Alabama. They continued to give 10% of the gross revenue from Ollie’s Bar-B-Q until it closed. You can Google “Ollie’s Bar-B-Q” and it will show a State of Alabama Proclamation for them.

One of the big draws were the chocolate pies with “mile high” meringue, they were delicious. They also offered many kinds of homemade pies to-go whole or slices. The pie makers were six black women that worked there probably thirty years.

I’ve enjoyed your book very much. Bryant

Leave a Reply