So I was in the grocery store on Sunday with the boyfriend and, as the grilling season has begun, he was taking a look at the bottles of BBQ sauce. He kept turning to the ingredient list and again and again the first ingredient was: high fructose corn syrup. Thanks, but no. Then I found a brand I had used on occasion before - very good, and no corn syrup to be found. But almost $6 for 8 oz. Yikes! So I told him I was going to make some sauce (keep some in the fridge, freeze the rest). I've made a few specialty-type sauces, like a mango-chipotle bbq sauce, Helen Witty's banana ketchup and so on. But the boy's going to want a fairly traditional sort of sauce, tomato based, rather sweet. The majority of online recipes start with commercial ketchup (and we're back to the high fructose corn syrup). I've found a few recipes that start with tomatoes, but I was wondering if anyone had a great recipe they would be willing to share?
I don't have an exact recipe but can offer some tips. Traditionally, I have made my bbq sauce using ketchup. Lately, I've been trying to get away from that and make it "from scratch". Using tomato sauce (canned, unseasoned), works very well. I saute minced onions in a little butter or small amount of oil. Then I add the tomato sauce, a little worcestershire sauce, white, cider, or red wine vinegar, Tabasco or other hot sauce, yellow mustard, black pepper, maple or cane syrup, and brown sugar. I adjust the amounts to taste and never really measure exact amounts.
I use this sauce when grilling chicken, pork chops, etc. or on smoked meats. I don't use liquid smoke at all because the flavor comes from the charcoal and/or wood chips used.
You know it is not that hard to start ketchup with about 6-cups of tomato paste, vinegar, salt and simple spices like clove and cinnamon. The fun is adding small amounts of the odd flavors like tamarind, anchovy, and celery seed that are more muted in Worcestershire. Regular candy making.baking corn syrup seems to help the texture more than sugar and probably is not the same as the commercial HFCS stuff.
To make the basic ketchup into BBQ you can add heat from peppers and/or some horseradish/wasabi. Smoke flavor pretty much has to come from the extract/liquid -- it is potent stuff and not all that bad in a sauce. You can go crazy with the onion and garlic too, again I have played with fresh and extract, the extracts have a more uniform flavor and more all purpose texture. Similarly if you start with fresh tomatoes you end up with some really tedious labor and after cooking may find that the tomatoes you bought/grew don't have the flavor depth of a high quality paste. A tiny dab of juice from fresh or frozen tree fruit, like peaches, plums of pears adds a neat fresh finish.
The tough thing is that you end up with A LOT of sauce, as even going dropwise with the extracts you need a fairly large amount of the basic ketchup sauce to keep from having some flavors overwhelm the base.
• 2 ½ cups catsup;
• 1 cup finely chopped onion;
• ¼ cup brown sugar;
• 3 tbs Pickapeppa Sauce (or Worcestershire);
• 3 cloves garlic, minced;
• ¼ tsp hot pepper sauce or Tabasco.
Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for about 15 or so minutes, stirring occasionally.
We use this with our rendition of Memphis BBQ.
Mine is pretty similar to Den's recipe. I add a few teaspoons of dijon mustard and I grate my onion and garlic. I don't cook mine either, I make it when I am preparing food like bbq ribs and such and it gets slow cooked for hours in the oven so no need to cook in advance. You can make it as spicy or as mild as you like. We like ours tangy