Thursday, July 3, 2008

Every 4th Of July Needs A Good Barbecue Sauce

So does Flag Day, Labor Day and any day in between.

This is my all time favorite barbecue sauce, which I always tinker with a bit. I've made others over the years and they never compare to this one. It's definitely a sweet sauce with none of the super sour notes that many Southern vinegar-based barbecue sauces have. It's adapted from a James Beard recipe, so you know it's good.

Jim's recipe was for spareribs. 99% of the time I use this on chicken. It's good slathered on hamburgers too. You can use it as it comes out of the pot, or you can process it into a thick unctuous sauce that glides on food beautifully and can also be spooned on crusty baked potatoes for a robust side dish.

Make vats of it and freeze it. I tailor the recipe to accommodate the amount of onions I have. Once I measure those, I adjust the other ingredients accordingly.

James's and My Barbecue Sauce (makes 2 cups)
(So what if I pretend that we worked on it together?!)

Printable recipe here

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 enormous onion or 2 cups onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons supermarket chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried basil or 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed medium pot. Add the onions and salt. Stir to mix well over medium high heat. When you hear a sizzle, stir in the garlic, cover and cook on low heat for at least 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When you lift the lid, there should be plenty of steam. If there isn't, raise the heat a bit, cover and continue to cook. The onions should be completely softened, before you go any further.

With heat on low, add the chili powder and cayenne. Stir over lowest heat for 3 minutes. (Okay, 2 minutes is better than nothing.)

Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, covered. Use as is...

OR let cool slightly and pour into food processor, fitted with the metal blade. Process until as smooth as you like it. Cool before freezing.

I like to put a bit on the chicken before it gets baked, broiled or grilled. Then about 15 minutes before the end of cooking, brush it on liberally. Serve (a lot) on the side too.


Emiline said...

That looks really good! I'll have to try making it. I love BBQ chicken.

Sue said...

You would love it. You have my permission to make and photograph it and then it would actually look as good as it tastes.

Anonymous said...

Do you think it would be possible to can this sauce? What would the shelf like be?

Sue said...

I would be happier with freezing it, which I've done many times. It lasts forever in the freezer.

Lys said...

Yay! A sauce that doesn't take a bizillion ingredients and, if you swear by it, I know it's going to be good. Will have to put this on my "must try" list.

Shulie said...

Am keep making this after you gave it to me was it a year or two ago. Today with chicken. My guys are LOVING it! TY!

Sue said...

I'm so happy! I love it too and I've been making it for at least a decade!