As mentioned on Facebook (you should follow me on Facebook. Look over there ——>) I have been craving BBQ sauce lately. A really good, complex, thick, rich BBQ sauce. So I tried to make my own… semi-successfully.
I’ve never attempted BBQ sauce before, so I started by scouring the internet for other peoples’ recipes and was quickly overwhelmed by the vast differences from one sauce to the next – all of which claim to be the best in the world. To the point where I feel like maybe I am committing a crime by admit
ting the sauce I made, while quite tasty, was not the best sauce in the world.
After being so overwhelmed by the plethora of flavor options and what not, I decided to limit myself to what I had available in my kitchen and pantry. Which knocked off things like liquid smoke, mesquite powder, and molasses. I think this is also where I limited the chances of creating the exact flavor I was going for, but I didn’t spend any money on an experiment either – woohoo!
Here’s what I ended up with for my first ever BBQ sauce:
Tangy BBQ Sauce:
Wrap these in cheesecloth and set aside:
6 Cloves of garlic – whole
¼ of an onion
a handful of fresh lemon thyme
2 heaping tbsp’s dried hibiscus flowers (hibiscus tea leaves are also fine)
5 matchstick peppers – whole
1” knob of ginger – leave the skin on
2 tbsp’s bacon grease
2 6oz cans of tomato paste
½ stick unsalted butter
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup dark brown sugar – loosely packed
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp hickory smoked salt (just use regular salt if you can’t find it – I couldn’t taste it anyway)
2 tsp’s brown mustard seed
2.5 cups of water
In a medium sauce pot melt the butter with the tomato paste and bacon grease. Add the vinegar and bring to a simmer.
Next add the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, salt, and mustard seed. Stir until the sugar dissolves then add the water. Stir the pot to incorporate the water then drop in the tied off cheesecloth.
Let the sauce cook over low-medium heat for at least and hour, stirring regularly to make sure nothing is sticking or burning. The color will become a rich dark red as the sugars cook and the flavor develop the longer it goes. There’s no real way to under or overcook the sauce (other than horribly burnt) it’s really just a matter of taste…and hunger level. I let it cook for a total of two hours.
The result is a tangy, sweet sauce that lends itself very well to pork in particular, but serve over your favorite meat, burgers, veggies, or however you like BBQ Sauce. I had some leftover pulled pork, so I globbed it on top of that. It’s definitely something I would make again, it just didn’t satisfy the exact craving I have had since our travels through some of the BBQ hotspots across the country.
I’ll have to try again soon!
For now, ENJOY!