Reader, we let you down last week. We missed, not one, but two posts. Granted, we had a fair enough excuse (visiting our lovely friends WAY upstate at Farm Sanctuary), but that’s no excuse. So, in an effort to patch things up between us and you, internet, we have for you our lovely homemade barbeque sauce recipe. Why make barbeque sauce at home, you ask? Well, first off, and most importantly, it tastes 110% better than even than best store-bought stuff, if we do say so ourselves (and we do). Secondly, it’s completely HFCS-free. What’s HFCS, you ask? Really? Did you ask that? Well, HFCS is high fructose corn syrup and, to put it lightly, it’s the downfall of our civilization. Maybe that’s not putting it lightly, but, despite what those bizarro commercials claim, the stuff’s gross, bad for you, and supports the overproduction of corn, which seems to be all our country wants farms to grow anymore. That and soy, we suppose. But, main point being, this barbeque sauce is good, yo. And quite the addition to any summer grilling event. Plus, the recipe yields something like one liquid ton of the stuff and it freezes well. So, unless you hook yourself up to an IV of this, it’s a once or twice a season kind of job.
So here’s what you need:
• 1 large Vidalia Onion (or other sweet, non-geographical-indicator-type onion), chopped
• 1 large fresh mild pepper (depending on propensity for heat, Pablano—which we usually use, Ortego Chile, Paprika, or, if you’re anti-heat, a Bell Pepper)
• 8-10 canned Chipotle Peppers (Goya makes these, as do a number of other companies, and they can be found in most grocery stores wherever tacos shells and salsas and such are kept)
• 8 medium Garlic Cloves, smashed and coarsely chopped
• 2.5 – 3 6 oz. cans of Tomato Paste (get a nice traditional Italian brand or an organic one)
• 1/3 cup Black Strap Molasses (other kinds are fine too)
• 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
• 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
• 1/2 cup Bourbon
• 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (we like Spectrum Organic)
• 1 tbsp Hickory Smoke Flavor/Liquid Smoke
• 1.5 cups of Water
• 1 tbsp Coriander (ideally freshly roasted and ground, but store-bought, pre-ground is totally fine)
• 1 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (we like Droste)
• 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
• 1/2 tsp Clove (again, ideally freshly ground, not roasted though)
• 1 tsp Nutmeg (freshly-grated, if possible—freshly-ground nutmeg RULES)
• 1 tsp Cinnamon (freshly grated, is possible)
• Salt, to taste
So, really, this is pretty easy. Lots of ingredients, but well worth it. First off, heat the oil in a pan on medium heat (as usual, we recommend a large, deep cast iron skillet—they = the best). Once its warmed, add the onions and garlic and saute until soft, allowing the onions to become a little translucent and making sure the garlic doesn’t brown too much. Bring the heat to low and add the smoke flavor, sugar, bourbon, molasses, vinegars, spices, and cocoa. Stir gently and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring a little as you go. Now cut the peppers into large chunks and add them along with the tomato paste, salt, and 1.5 cups of water. Now go read a nice book or surf the interweb for a while and allow the ingredients to simmer for about 1.5 hours covered, stirring every now and then and adding more water if it starts to look too thick or anything looks like it’s burning or drying out. Remove from heat and allow to cool for half an hour or so, long enough that you’re not endangering your life if there’s any splashback with the blender. Then, puree everything in batches in your blender, adding the batches to a pot and then stirring well once it’s all in the same place. Now, friend, you have a wonderful homemade barbeque sauce, sure to wow your friends and family on everything from a veggie burger to seitan on the grill to a spoon when you need a quick, savory fix.
Enjoy. And, again, our most sincere apologies.