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Monday, May 16, 2016

BBQ Pitmaster Rodney Scott at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills

Rodney Scott of Scott's BBQ with Morgan McGlone at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills

If there's one man that knows barbecue, it's Rodney Scott. The barbecue pit master of Scott's BBQ in Hemingway, South Carolina, barbecued his first whole hog at eleven years of age. When Anthony Bourdain visited Scott's BBQ for Parts Unknown: Charleston, he introduced Scott as "a man sought after all over the world for some of the finest whole hog barbecue there is".

South Carolina? That's a long way away from Sydney. So what did Morgan McGlone do? He brought Scott's BBQ to Sydney, with a two-day stint at Harpoon Harry.

Scott's BBQ menu at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
Scott's BBQ menu at Harpoon Harry

Scott's BBQ started in the early 1970s by Rodney's parents. They began with one whole hog every Thursday. Now they cook up to 10 hogs per week. And they're only open Wednesday to Saturday.

The whole hogs are cooked using hardwood from the immediate area. The hogs are butterflied open and barbecued low and slow for twelve hours. Scott's signature is a mop he uses to baste the meat with a mixture of ground red pepper, vinegar, lemons and "lots of love".

Queue for Scott's BBQ at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
The queue

Barbecue fans were told to arrive early at Harpoon Harry. And they did. Even though the barbecue would not be served until 3pm on Sunday, there was already a queue by 1.40pm. By 2.45pm, the queue was at least 300-deep.

Rodney Scott and Anthony Puharich serving Scott's BBQ at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
Rodney Scott from Scott's BBQ and Anthony Puharich from Vic's Meats

In Sydney, Scott and McGlone had set up the barbecue pit at Randwick Racecourse. The whole hog - from Vic's Meats - had gone on at 11pm on Saturday evening. It was basted throughout the night. By the time they'd transported the cooked hog to Harpoon Harry in Surry Hills, McGlone admitted he'd only gotten two hours sleep in the truck. Scott had had none.

Rodney Scott and Anthony Puharich serving Scott's BBQ at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
Plating up 

After joining the queue at 2.10pm - and about 50 people deep - I finally reached the front about 70 minutes later. There's an efficient production line in place with Scott, Puharich and McGlone all providing a friendly face for customers.

Morgan McGlone plating Rodney Scott's pulled pork at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
Morgan McGlone plating the pulled pork

McGlone is on the pulled pork station. Each serve nets about 150 grams of pulled pork.

Ladling Scott's BBQ pimento mac n cheese at at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
Ladling the pimento mac n cheese

Out the back in the kitchen, chefs are churning out tubs of Carolina slaw and pimento mac n cheese.

Pork cracklings at Scott's BBQ by Rodney Scott at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
Pork cracklings

And then there are the trays of pork crackling, adding a mouthful of crunch to every platter.

Scott's BBQ pulled pork, pork cracklings, Carolina slaw and pimento mac n cheese at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
Scott's BBQ Plate $25
Rodney's pulled pork, pork cracklings, Devils white bread, Carolina slaw and pimento mac n cheese

The BBQ plate is a generous meal for one hungry person that includes pulled pork, pork crackling, Devils white bread, Carolina slaw and pimento mac n cheese. The Devils white bread is another classic Scotts BBQ trademark, eschewing the usual corn bread for thick slices of soft and fluffy white bread. It's ideal as a sandwich maker or for mopping up sauce.

Scott's BBQ pulled pork from whole hog barbecued for 12 hours at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
Pulled pork from whole hog barbecued for 12 hours

The pulled pork is incredibly soft and tender, like a super slow roasted pork that just falls apart. There's more texture here too, unlike the indistinguishable mush of a lot of other pulled porks I've encountered. Many of the pork hunks come apart in long strands. Scott calls it "pork spaghetti".

Scott's BBQ Carolina slaw at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
Carolina slaw

The Carolina slaw is terrific too, a light and crunchy salad of red cabbage, white cabbage and carrot that is lightly tangy with vinegar.

Scott's BBQ pimento mac n cheese at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
Pimento mac n cheese

And we dig the pimento mac n cheese, doused in lashings of cheese sauce and dotted with little squares of red capsicum.

Rodney Scott of Scott's BBQ at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
Rodney Scott

I can't wait to one day visit Scott's BBQ in South Carolina. This was a tasty little preview!

Anthony Puharich, Rodney Scott and Morgan McGlone at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills
The team: Anthony Puharich, Rodney Scott and Morgan McGlone

Rodney Scott is back at Harpoon Harry today (Monday 16 May) for one last time. Barbecue starts at 6pm but I'd definitely get there early to queue. If you need any consolation about waiting, you'd probably spend longer checking in for that next flight to South Carolina!

Rodney Scott of Scott's BBQ at Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills

Rodney Scott's BBQ will be available at Harpoon Harry on Monday 16 May from 6pm until sold out.

Harpoon Harry 
40-44 Wentworth Avenue, Surry Hills, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8262 8800


Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Harpoon Harry, Surry Hills

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 5/16/2016 02:07:00 am


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