A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from October 16, 2007
Soppin’ Sauce (Sopping Sauce; Sop Sauce; Moppin’ & Soppin’ Sauce; Mop & Sop Sauce)

Soppin’ sauce (also “sopping sauce” or “sop sauce") is, to some, just a Texas term for a type of barbecue sauce or “finishing sauce.” A “mop sauce” is applied to marinate, tenderize and baste. Soppin’ sauce is added during the last five minutes of cooking, or is served at the table like a barbecue sauce. Mop sauce is usually thinner than soppin’ sauce; the soppin’ sauce often has sugar and ketchup than would burn if applied to the meat too early during cooking.

A few sauces are called “moppin’ & soppin’ sauce” or “mop & sop sauce,” for use like a mop sauce, a sop sauce, and a barbecue table sauce. The ingredients—Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, hot red pepper, garlic, salt—are often similar in both “mop” and “sop” sauces. Some contend that there is basically no difference between the sauces, with the difference only in how the manufacturer chooses to label and sell the sauce.


California Barbecue Association
While the meat is cooking, use a mop or a baste
A mop, and a sop are the same, just a difference in regional names. A mop or sop is a liquid that you put on the meat while it cooks. The mob or sop should contain only a little sugar (or tomato ketchup) as one containing much sugar will likely caramelize and turn black as the sugar burns and turns to carbon.  A mop is applied with a brush, a little barbecue mop or from a spray bottle. If you use a spray bottle, remember to filter the liquid before you fill the bottle as particles (like black pepper) will likely clog the spray nozzle.

A basting sauce is somewhat thicker than a mop or a sop and usually has a sugar or ketchup base.  Basting sauces are usually reserved for the last fifteen minutes of cooking or are applied to the meat after it is removed from the smoker.

Bar-B-Q Sauce Recipes
TEXAS SOPPIN’ SAUCE
2 Garlic cloves; roughly cut
1/2 t Salt
1 Small dried, hot red pepper
2 T Brown sugar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 c Cider vinegar
1/4 t Ground cumin
2 c Ketchup
1/2 t Anise seeds
Hot pepper sauce, to taste

Combine all ingredients through vinegar in the container of a blender or food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer mixture to a medium saucepan and add the ketchup. Heat to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 30 minutes. Add hot pepper sauce to taste. Makes about 3 cups.
[From: Cooking With Fire and Smoke by Phillip Stephen Schulz]

Texas Beef Council
6666 Soppin’ Sauce
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Servings: Makes approximately 6 cups

1 cup water
1 16 ounce can tomato paste
5 tsp. chili powder
1-1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 cup catsup
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/4 tsp. cayenne
6 Tbsp. honey
6 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer one hour, stirring occasionally.
If used as a basting sauce, baste meat with sauce when almost done. Can also be served as a sauce with the meal.
Great with ribs and brisket.

Rare Finds
Bodacious Red Soppin’ Sauce
Unlike a ‘mopping sauce’ which is used for slow roasting, ‘sopping sauce’ is used on quicker cooking items. And unlike BBQ sauce which is fairly thick and added right at the end of cooking, ‘sopping sauce’ should be applied liberally with a string brush to literally ‘sop’ the meat throughout the cooking process. Sopping sauces are one of the south’s best kept BBQ secrets. Bodacious Red Soppin’ Sauce will make your grilled steaks, burgers, and chops so delicious your grill will be open all year long! 

Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods (Fredericksburg, TX)
Bodacious Red Soppin’ Sauce
Our Bodacious Red Soppin’ Sauce is one of Texas’ best kept secrets. This blend will make your grilled steaks, burgers, chops and grilled game so delicious your grill will be open all year long!

Texas On The Plate - The New Texas Cuisine
Grilled Ribeye Steak with Bodacious Red Soppin’ Sauce
You will become the King, or Queen as the case may be, of Steak Grilling to your family and friends when you serve them these melt-in-your-mouth-delicious steaks. To serve 4

4 (12-ounce) ribeye steaks
1 cup Texas on the Plate Bodacious Red Soppin’ Sauce
Freshly cracked black pepper
4 (1/2-inch thick) slices of real butter (no cheating with margarine!)

Heat a gas char grill to medium-hot or build a good charcoal fire and let it burn down to where the coals are covered with white ash and glowing red underneath. Trim excess fat from the edges of the steaks. Pour the Bodacious Red Soppin’ Sauce in a non-aluminum baking dish large enough to hold the four steaks in a single layer. Arrange the steaks in the pan, coating the bottoms with the baste. Turn the steaks over and coat the other side. Set steaks aside in the baste while you heat the grill or build your fire.

When the grill is ready, slap those steaks on the grill rack and grind a liberal amount of black pepper over the top. Grill to desired degree of doneness, peppering the opposite side when you turn the steaks. Just before you take the steaks off the fire, lay one of the butter slices on top of each steak and cook just long enough for the butter to almost melt. Transfer steaks to serving plates and enjoy! 

Uncle Phaedrus, Finder of Lost Recipes
Mop and Sop Sauce
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon or more Tabasco Sauce
1 teaspoon or more chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Instructions:
Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil; stir occasionally. Adjust seasonings.
Mop this sauce on grilled meat 10 minutes before it is fully cooked.
Reboil sauce and serve for sopping at the table

Sycamore Hill Farms (Quitman, GA)
Sycamore Red Mop & Sop
Available in: Pints & 1 Gallon containers

Not everyone likes mustard, so we came up with a great Red sauce for the table and grill that has a taste you’ll keep coming back for. It’s a ketchup style sauce with the fullness of Apple Cider Vinegar, Molasses and Worcestershire sauce. I’ve even seen a great-neice of mine with a small bowl dipping her finger in it and eating straight from the dish. We call it Sycamore Red and it’s a Mop & Sop sauce too! Most folks down here think that if it’s red, it’s BBQ sauce. The sauce is not hot but might have a light spicy kick from the black pepper we use in it. 

Associated Content: The People’s Media Company
Perfect Texas Style BBQ Ribs Part 2 Soppin’ Sauce (Video)

8 June 1972, Vidette-Messenger (Valparaiso, IN), pg. 3, col. 1:
ROTISSERIE BEEF With Soppin’ Sauce
4 to 6 pound rolled rib roast
1 cup ketchup
1 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup strong coffee
1/2 cup butter or margarine
2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt

1 February 1977, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Legislator Wants Chili for Official State Dish” by Frank X. Tolbert, Section D, pg. 3:
“I would like to serve an old-fashion ‘sopping sauce,’ made from the juices dripping from the beef and wit ha lot of black pepper sn other spices and a little vinegar. The sopping kind of a barbecue sauce. It’s good just soaked in biscuits or light bread.”

17 February 1977, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Tolbert’s Texas” by Frank X. Tolbert, section D, pg. 3:
However, there is another sign which warns that diabetics or folks with stomach ulcers had better not try the barbecue sauce on the tables. It’s an old-fashion sopping sauce, although maybe with too much chili powder accents. Fairly peppery but seemed harmless to me.

8 July 1987, Frederick (MD) News-Post, pg. C1, col. 2:
Following is a recipe from Courtenay Beinhorn’s book “Beinhorn’s Mesquite Cookery.”

DOWN-EAT MOPPIN’ AND SOPPIN’ SAUCE
1 cup cider vinegar
2 teaspoons ground red pepper
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon safflower oil
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour into a shake bottle. Makes 1 cup.

7 June 1990, Chicago (IL) Daily Herald, section 6, pg. 1, cols. 2-3:
Certain outdoor cooks down South make a distinction between the moppin’ sauce and the soppin’ sauce. You use moppin’ sauce to marinate, tenderize and baste. It can vary from complicated to plain (beer), but its job is to flavor the meat and keep it moist. Sugar and ketchup would only burn over the long haul, so you leave them out. Schlesinger and Willoughby say a typical recipe might be 1/2 gallon vinegar, 2 warm beers, 1/4 cup cayenne and 2 secret ingredients.

Soppin’ sauce can be as basic as vinegar, salt and pepper, but as fancy as a concoction of 30 ingredients, and likely will get more sugary and ketchup-y. The main thing is, it shouldn’t hide the smokey taste of the meat. You smooth it on in the last five minutes of cooking so it won’t burn, and serve it on the side.

For common folk, most sauces are all-purpose, too. What works for spareribs usually works on beef, chicken and shrimp. And don’t let the purists bother you: Moppin’ usually works fine for soppin’ and vice-versa. Just warm it up.

Google Groups: rec.crafts.textiles.quilting
Newsgroups: rec.crafts.textiles.quilting
From: “Phyllis Andersen”
Date: 2000/01/14
Subject: Trek to Tucson-Day 2 even longer
I found some Side Saddle Sopping Sauce for my DH to use on the
BBQ.

Low Carb Friends
03-29-2003, 07:07 PM
Though this isn’t a recipe, I have found that the “sopping sauce”, a thinner type of bbq sauce, often makes a really good low carb substitute for regular bbq sauce. Of course, as always (LOL), check the label, but there should be at least one variety of this at your local grocer! grin

Google Groups: alt.food.barbecue
Newsgroups: alt.food.barbecue
From: “Greg Leman”
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2003 12:24:42 GMT
Local: Tues, Nov 25 2003 8:24 am
Subject: Re: Jamaican Jerk Sauce

You’ll have to look pretty hard to find something like an NC soppin sauce. 

San Diego Reader
Delayed Whomp
By Naomi Wise
Published January 6, 2005
(...)
Slopping on barbecue sauce as a marinade before smoking is a sure sign of inauthenticity, and a near-certain route to a nasty layer of charred sugar besmirching the surface of the meat. Texas barbecuers (especially white guys) often use a wet marinade or baste, which they call “mopping sauce,” and in Kansas City, some “Qs” immerse their pork ribs in a savory spiced brine, but most southerners rub the meat with a dry-spice blend (homemade or store-bought)—salt, pepper, paprika, plus dry mustard, garlic powder, whatever.

After that comes the sauce. If you travel through the South, every hundred miles or so you hit a different regional sauce, plus all the individual variations thereof. South Carolina’s mustard-based sauce is thin and yellow, Memphis’s sauce is red, light, and tangy, and rural Tennessee’s can be incendiary. Louisiana’s runs sweet and lemony, and the sweet-sour, tomatoey Texas sauce (called “sopping sauce” by the natives) is the model for the bottled sauces in the supermarket—and for the sauces served at most California barbecues.

San Diego Reader
Where Smoking Is Good
By Naomi Wise
Published January 18, 2007
(...)
Often, Southerners rub barbecue meats with an aromatic spice mixture before cooking; they may also baste during cooking with a strongly seasoned liquid (as in your typical Texas “mop and sop”—the mop is the baste, the sop is the thicker sauce applied just at serving, so the sugars won’t blacken in the heat of the pit). 

(Trademark)
Word Mark SOPPIN SAUCE
Goods and Services (ABANDONED) IC 030. US 046. G & S: Bar-B-Q sauce. FIRST USE: 20040304. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20040320
Standard Characters Claimed
Mark Drawing Code (4) STANDARD CHARACTER MARK
Serial Number 78379039
Filing Date March 4, 2004
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Owner (APPLICANT) Trinity Treats, LLC Ruth C McRae Celeste Caldwell Rochelle Chiles PARTNERSHIP LOUISIANA 9095 Hosston-Vivian Road Vivian LOUISIANA 71082
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator DEAD
Abandonment Date March 29, 2005

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (2) Comments • Tuesday, October 16, 2007 • Permalink


Inquiry:  Searching for the recipe for Texas on the Plate Bodacious Red Soppin Sauce.

Posted by Mickey  on  11/13  at  03:21 PM

I’ve been experimenting with different recipes trying to find one that I like.  I think I like the ones that have the lower concentration of vinegar in it.  I’m going to try the 6666 one next as it has part vinegar and part lemon juice.  I love the tangy taste of soppin sauces but don’t like the vinegar to completely over whelm it.  I will post another comment to let you know how it comes out.

Posted by Jarrod  on  11/21  at  11:42 AM

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