Jan 24, 2010

Brent's BBQ Sauce

One year at Christmas, our friend, Brent, sent us some of the finest dang barbecue sauce I've ever had. Now, I grew up in the South, so barbecue for me means pork. I know, I live in Texas, and here, it's all about the beef. But as my husband says, pork is still the king of meats. I'm usually partial to a Carolina mustard-based sauce on pulled pork. But Brent's red sauce has convinced me that red can be as good as yellow.

This sauce is a little smokey with a nice balance of sweet (from brown sugar) and tangy (from cider vinegar and mustard) with a slow heat at the end (from cayenne and chipotle) that's really nice. Garlic, onion and molasses give it backbone.

There's a pot of it simmering on the stove right now — the perfect smell to go with a windy day and football playoffs in the background. I made a double batch so we'll have plenty. Brent's original quantities are listed below, but it's easy to double if you're feeling generous enough to share it with friends.

Tonight, we put this on chicken on the grill. (Note the dog's undivided attention on the chicken.) Tips from my husband, the grillmaster: don't put the sauce on the chicken until the last five minutes of cooking or the sugars will burn. He brushed it on and then turned it twice, so one side got a little more carmelized. Just keep a close eye on it.

For a quick meal, we also threw some zucchini and pineapple on the fire too. Next, I want to try it on pork and put it in a steamed Asian bun, dim sum-style.

A note on the ingredients: I used canned chipotles in adobo sauce. I picked out the biggest ones and chopped them up, seeds and all. If you want the flavor of the chipotles, but with less heat, you could leave out the seeds. Also, I made sure to use a natural liquid smoke with no MSG and no preservatives.

Muchas gracias, Brent!

Brent's BBQ Sauce

In a heavy-duty saucepot, sauté until onions are translucent:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 large onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 cup Jack Daniels

Brent flames it here, but I was a bit sleep-deprived when I made this and felt a little paranoid about lighting the kitchen on fire, so I brought it up to a boil and let it bubble for a few minutes instead. Such a girl move, I know.

Add and stir together:
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 teaspoons liquid smoke
1 tablespoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons cayenne
2 chipotle peppers

Let simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Yield: approximately 6 cups.

Adapted from Brent Warner.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

The Dog's nose in the frame is proof enough of this sauce's gustatory powers. Next time I grill (I'm much too cold--in LA, no less--to fire up my portable hibachi), I'll be sure to come back and get the recipe.