~ Thanks to Nicoletta & Beppe’s, located in the heart of Portland’s Pearl District, for bringing us Sound Tasting! ~


Are you looking for a barbecue recipe that will bring the house down? So much so that guests will flock over to your dinner table just to catch a taste? Well, you’re in luck!

Join host Marti Mendenhall in the kitchen with local saxophonist, composer, arranger, and recording artist, Pete Petersen for Sound Tasting Episode 7. In this episode, we will cover territory previously uncharted on this podcast, into the world of barbecued pork.

Tune in to hear how to make the “Death-Defying” BBQ sauce that goes delectably with the pork, Pete’s stories from touring, and how he feels music and food ultimately bring people together.


Pete Petersen, local musician, composer, arranger, educator, recording artist.

From Behind The Microphone

All of the ingredients for the dry rub and the sauce.

Pete with the meat on the grill.

The barbecue sauce being flambéd.

Pete instructing us in the ways of flambé.

The pork has now become pulled.

The finished products!
The sandwich can be served with dill pickles and coleslaw.



Deep saucepan with a lid that fits
Long spoon
Wire whisk
A well-ventilated area that is cleared of all flammable objects (not kidding about this)
long-handled lighter (aim ‘n flame or similar)
Dry ingredients:
Brown sugar (a large handful; approx 1 cup)
Paprika (approx 2 tablespoons)
Dry Mustard (approx 2 teaspoons)
Onion powder (approx 2 teaspoons)
Ground black pepper
Kosher salt or sea salt (go sparingly on this; the meat will already be salty)
Garlic powder (small amount when cooking beef; I usually leave out the garlic for pork)
Cayenne pepper (depending on how much kick you like)
(*Beef option: Onion soup mix)
Liquids: Bourbon (at least 2 cups)
(*note: Rum may be substituted for bourbon for a slightly mellower, sweeter flavor)
Apple juice (approx 1 cup)
Apple cider vinegar (about a cup)
(distilled white vinegar works too)
Options (use one or more of these depending on your taste preference and choice of meat)
Tomato paste
Yellow mustard
Dijon mustard
Maple syrup

1. Start with the bourbon and the brown sugar.
1a. It is important to taste-test the bourbon for quality SEVERAL times throughout the cooking process. Begin the quality-assurance process by pouring yourself a shot.
2. In a saucepan, pour about a cup of the bourbon in. Taste-test for quality assurance.
3. heat to NEAR boiling while you add the brown sugar and stir with a whisk to dissolve.
4. At this point it should be emphasized to maintain proper safety at all times.
4a. Drink a shot of the bourbon for luck.
5. Set the bourbon-sugar on fire with the lighter, stirring frequently with the long spoon. Keep the lid handy to clamp down in case it gets out of hand. (It’s good to do this before the bourbon reaches full boiling or the alcohol vapor will ignite above the pot and you’ll have a big problem.)
Ideally what should happen is that the sugar will caramelize and give it a nice flavor.
6. Clamp the lid on it to put the fire out.
6a. At this point, if you’re still alive and your house isn’t burned down, pour yourself another shot to celebrate your accomplishment.
7. Add the apple juice and the rest of the spices. Bring it back to a full boil again, then reduce heat and simmer while the rest of the alcohol cooks off.
7a. I use onion soup instead of apple juice when I’m making sauce for beef dishes. Take the onion soup mix and blend with hot water according to the package, then add this to the sauce instead of the apple juice.
8. Add the vinegar and continue to simmer.
9. Taste the mixture. Adjust any spice quantities at this point to your preference.
10. Add your choice of either tomato paste or mustard. Or varying amounts of both.
11. Resample the flavor. If it’s too intense, you can add more apple juice.
11a. Re-sample the bourbon.
12. That’s it; you can either use it to mop the meat while it cooks, or you can add corn starch and thicken it to make table sauce.

Pete’s playlist for cooking

Songs featured in this episode

  1. The Governor
  2. Tickle Toe
  3. Save That Time

Guest Biography

“Petersen’s an accomplished player. He has a big, throaty tone and a blowzy, swashbuckling style with the conversational touch of old-time sax players.” — Paul de Barros, Seattle Times

Pete Petersen is a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist from the Pacific Northwest. His exciting musical fluency and his ability to seem completely at home in a variety of different musical styles have made him one of the area’s most in-demand players.

In addition to his strength as a performer, Pete Petersen also is a very gifted and diligent orchestrator. His work has been featured on film soundtracks, national touring bands, and recordings. He has arranged and orchestrated horn sections for several working musical artists around the area including Patrick Lamb, Ellen Whyte, Solomon Douglas, and Chris Baum.

Sound Tasting with Host Marti Mendenhall, features interviews with chefs, musicians and foodies about music, food, behind-the scenes info and a how-to recipe on every show.


Marti Mendenhall, Jazz Singer, Food Enthusiast

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Join us Friday, April 13th at 2 p.m. for Sound Tasting: Episode 7, featuring Pete Petersen. Listen live at 99.1 FM in the heart of Portland – or online anywhere at PRP.fm.

This week on Sound Tasting, listen to the live show for a chance to text-to-win! The prizes include two CD’s containing Pete’s music. All prizes will be mailed to the winner.