Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Barbecue Sauce

This book got me excited to make my own barbecue sauce and preserve it, but their recipe just didn't quite seem like what I look for in a BBQ sauce (carrots? apples? no thanks).

I found Big Al's Bar-B-Q sauce on which looked much more up my alley. It's described as being "sweet, smokey, with a little bite", so I upped the spice, and downed the sweet (oh and totally got rid of the ketchup in the recipe, yuck).

Sometimes my favourite part of making something new is seeing my husbands reaction, especially when it's something he's normally picky about (he loves store bought BBQ sauce and is very brand loyal).
I gave him a taste of it after some had been in the fridge for quite a few hours.

"WOW. That's really good." he said in disbelief. "It tastes like real barbecue sauce!"

Here's the recipe with my own twist on it:

yield: approx 6 cups

4 cups tomatoes
2 onions
6 cloves  garlic
1 hot pepper
1/4 cup brown sugar*
1 1/4 cup  red wine vinegar
1/2 cup molasses
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 bay leaves

Chop tomatoes and let drain in a colander while you work. Chop garlic, onion, and hot pepper coarsely (it will be blended later).
Add chopped ingredients to a large saucepan or pot over medium heat. After about 5-10 minutes reduce the heat to simmer and add the rest of the ingredients.
The longer this simmers the thicker it will be. I probably ended up simmering mine for about 1 1/2 hours, maybe even 2 (mostly because I was running around my home doing a million other things, as I often do).
Once you feel it's getting close to the desired thickness, remove the bay leaves and blend.

If you'd like to can the sauce pour into hot jars leaving 1/2" headspace at the top. Wipe jar rims clean with a damp towel and put lids on just finger tight. Process in boiling water for 30 minutes. 

*Update! Well here I am a year later making a double batch of this sauce (yes, a double batch because it's so good I want to be able to give some away). This time the sauce seemed sweeter than desired/remembered and I ended up adding more tomatoes, lots more salt, and more vinegar to balance it out. I have now adjusted the recipe to call for half the amount of brown sugar but I would also suggest tasting it to see if you need more salt or vinegar.
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