Sunday, January 10, 2010

Making BBQ sauce

I have never had great luck in making BBQ sauce from scratch, and there is really very little incentive to even try - unless you live in the suburbs and have a big smoker and enter cook-off competitions for fun - because there are roughly 500 BBQ sauces in bottles at the store. With names like Sticky Bones, and Smokey Joe.

City folk should just buy BBQ sauce.

But, occasionally I still try. Sauce vehicle first. Pork ribs, St. Louis cut.

And a rib rub. Chipotle, chili, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper and brown sugar.

Rubbed, both sides, and left at room temperature for a couple of hours because I didn't do this ahead yesterday.

Now the BBQ sauce. Hmm. We'll try tomatoes, red wine vinegar, olive oil, chili pepper, dried mustard, cayenne, tomato paste, garlic, shallots and brown sugar...and maple syrup.

And today's secret ingredient. Black Strap rum. The darkest of dark rums.

Teeny tiny mince shallots. I cried. And garlic press garlic. I hate that thing and only use it after I've forgotten what a pain it is to clean it.

Take the shallots dark. They're hard to caramelize. They burn quicker than onions. Then add garlic.

Puree tomatoes and add to shallots and garlic.

Then add tomato paste.

The brown sugar and spices.

Then a very healthy couple of glugs of rum. Then one more.

And maple syrup...and vinegar. Maybe more than I think I should.

Hmm. Maybe some Worcestershire sauce? Tinkering now.

Not smokey at all. Secret ingredient #2. Very smokey Hungarian paprika.

And, maybe some honey? Getting dark and sticky. It's very hot too!

Rubbed ribs, wrapped tightly in foil.

And into a very low heat oven for a couple of hours.

Then taken out and painted with a healthy coat of BBQ sauce on both sides. Cover lightly with foil again, and back into oven for another half hour.

Then painted with sauce again and run under broiler until a bit burnt and crunchy.

Was it worth making BBQ sauce? Actually....yes! Dinner.


  1. Where do you get all these tiny cups of beans?

  2. that bottle of rum...on the stove....near fire...scares me!