FANFOOD RULES: #10. Know Your BBQ (sauces)

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BBQ Sauce 101
Kansas City Sweet Sauce
South Carolina Mustard Sauce
East Carolina Mop-Sauce
Lexington Dip
Tennessee Whiskey
Kentucky Black
Texas Mop-Sauce
Alabama White Sauce
New Orleans Barbecue
Memphis Dry Rub & sweet BBQ
Hawaiian Huli-Huli

 

There are several regions which have evolved their own unique barbecue and sauce styles, often influenced by the available meats and their ethnic origins. They are not all sweet and red! Their flavors and history are fascinating. They are also the subject of much controversy and vilification between regions, each claiming authenticity. Some break down regional styles into microcosms reminiscent of wine appellations, claiming “authenticity” in one state and fraud in another.

 

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BBQ Sauce 101

 

To most Americans, barbecue sauce is red and sweet and smoky and it comes from a shelf near the ketchup. To those who travel and would rather lunch in back of a rickety shack under a shade tree rather than under the golden arches, barbecue sauce comes in a rainbow of colors and flavors, and most tied to the area of origin and its ethnic roots. Indeed, barbecue sauce is a cultural phenomenon.

In the eastern half of North Carolina barbecue sauce is practically transparent with cayenne pepper flakes that flurry in it like a snow globe. In western half of the state it is practically pink going on garnet from ketchup. In much of South Carolina it is yellow from mustard, popular with German settlers. In many dingy brown joints of Texas it is close to brown from meat drippings with big chunks of green peppers and other flotsam in it. And in a corner of North Alabama it is white with black pepper flecks. In Memphis the “sauce” often comes from a shaker and is no more liquid than the paprika that is its backbone.

To the cook, barbecue sauce is alchemy. It is downright fun to make. Standing over the pot adding a dash of this, a pinch of that, taking a taste, adjusting, tasting, and adding something else makes one feel like a wizard. To add a personal flair to your next cookout, serve your homemade sauce from a jelly jar and be prepared to take a few bows. If you feel ambitious, serve your guests a choice of several sauces and repeat what you read here.

American barbecue sauces owe their differences to their colonial histories and can be divided in three basic categories, vinegar based, tomato based, and mustard based. Then there are at least 11 distinct classic American regional barbecue sauce styles and infinite variations (if we stretch the definition of “sauce” to include Memphis dry rub).

* IMPORTANT NOTE: Many sauces contain sugar and can burn quickly, so the secret is to hold off on the sauce until the last 10 to 15 minutes. 

 

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Kansas City Sweet Sauce

 

The first Kansas City barbecue sauces were hot, probably mostly vinegar and pepper, like the sauces of the Carolinas (below). Evidence is that this was the case for Henry Perry’s sauce, and he started it all in 1907 in the city that is best known for barbecue in the world.

The style has evolved to become the iconic classic rich red, tomato-based, sweet-tart sauce with molasses or brown sugar and balanced with the tartness of vinegar. Many have liquid smoke added to help create that outdoor flavor for folks who cannot cook outdoors. They are by far the most popular in the nation and imitated around the country. But beware: Most commercial sauces are waaaaaay too sweet. If you pick up a bottle in the grocery and sugar or high fructose corn syrup are the first ingredients on the label, put it down. KC sauces are, if you study their content lists, is really just amped up ketchup, and many of us love it on fries and burgers instead of ketchup.

KC sauces don’t penetrate the meat well, and sit on top like frosting. But recipes like my KC Classic, while not the same as KC Masterpiece, is mighty tasty and caramelizes beautifully over a hot fire making a crisp coat. They also burn easily, so coat your meat no sooner than 10 minutes before serving. If this is your favorite sauce, make sure you read this article on saucing strategies.

Now that We’ve defined the genre, let’s point out an important exception to the rule: Arthur Bryant’s Original Barbeque Sauce. Arthur Bryant’s has been one of the iconic barbecue joints since 1930, perhaps the most holy of them all in the city that means barbecue more than any other, and they have been making a tomato based sauce that is thick, intense, with a solid black pepper and garlic theme. No noticeable sweetness or liquid smoke flavor. Nada. This is probably because the Arthur and Charlie Bryant were disciples of Perry.

 

Best “Kansas City” BBQ Sauce

 

INGREDIENTS:

Tomato Paste, 6 oz-can
¼ cup white vinegar
½ medium onion, chopped
1 Tbs packed brown sugar
1 ½ tsp prepared horseradish
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp celery salt
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp ground anise
½ tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne

PREPARATION:

Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan with ¾ cup water and bring to a simmer.

Reduce the heat to low and cook until the onions are tender and the sauce thickens about 30 minutes.

Refrigerate the sauce overnight to all the flavors to combine and mellow.

Makes about 2 cups

 

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South Carolina Mustard Sauce

 

Nowhere are there more regional sauce preferences than in the Carolinas where barbecue is not chicken, burgers, hot dogs, or even ribs. Barbecue is pork, often whole hog, cooked low and slow, chopped or pulled into succulent shards, mixed with sauce, and served either in a pile on a plate or on a bun, often crowned with cole slaw.

The most distinctive sauce, and by far my fave, is the mustard based sauce found in barbecue joints from Columbia to Charleston. Mustard and pork go together like peanut butter and jelly. Early German immigrants in South Carolina knew this and the names of many of the best barbecue joints that serve mustard sauce have German names, like Shealy, Sweatman, Meyer, and Zeigler. The classic SC mustard sauces are a runny mix of yellow mustard, vinegar, sugar, and spices. Simple but very effective. There are also pockets of Georgia where the mustard sauce has taken hold. They are especially good on pulled pork.

 

Columbia Gold Barbecue Sauce Recipe

Makes a little more than 3 cups and takes 30 minutes. Keep it for months in the refrigerator.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups prepared yellow mustard
2/3 cup cider vinegar
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon chipotle Tabasco sauce or you favorite hot sauce
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules or 1 cube
2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon celery seed
3 teaspoons mustard powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

About the mustard. To be authentic, use yellow ballpark style mustard, not Dijon. Besides, it just doesn’t taste right with Dijon.

About the tomato paste. You can substitute ketchup if you wish.

PREPARATION

Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl.
If you are using a bouillon cube, crush it with a spoon in a bowl or mortar & pestle and add it to the bowl. Crush the rosemary leaves and celery seed in a mortar & pestle or in a blender or coffee grinder and add it to the bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Let it sit for a an hour in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld. No cooking necessary. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a month or more.

 

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East Carolina Mop-Sauce

 

On the coast of North and South Carolina, a.k.a. “East Carolina” or the “Low Country”, the philosophy is “Whole hog and keep the mustard for your hot dogs and the ketchup for your fries.” The African slaves of the Scottish settlers in the region pioneered American barbecue and their simple sauces were plain a kiss of hot pepper flakes and ground black pepper in vinegar. And so they remain today, where the sauce is used both as a mop or baste on the meat while it is cooking, and then as a finishing sauce at tableside. Thin and piquant, they are designed to penetrate the meat, not just sit on top as thicker ketchup and mustard sauces do. They do a great job of cutting the fat in lipid-laced pork. There is little or no sugar in the mix, so your kids will hate it.

 

Eastern Carolina BBQ Sauce

 

our next BBQ sauce recipe comes from the low country and does double duty as both a baste (a.k.a. mop) and a sauce. A mop is brushed on the meat while it cooks to cool it and flavor it. Because it is so thin, it penetrates deep. For people who love vinegar and a bit of heat, this simple sauce is all you need on a properly smoked shoulder or whole hog (in the eastern part of NC, whole hog is the cut of choice). Many of you will find it a bit severe and will want to use it as a mop in place of a BBQ sauce.

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon tiger sauce
Dash or two of Tabasco
Dash of Sriracha

2 teaspoons salt

 

PREPARATION:

Mix all ingredients together in a sauce pan and let simmer for 10 minutes. Can keep for up to a month.

 

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Lexington Dip

 

In Lexington, NC, and in the “Piedmont” hilly areas of the western Carolinas, they prefer to make their barbecue from the pig’s shoulder, a rich flavorful clod of meat. In North Carolina, otherwise kindly old men have been moved to fisticuffs over the question of whether barbecue is properly made from whole hog or shoulder. In Lexington and west, they often call their mop-sauce “dip”. It is vinegar and pepper based, a lot like the East Carolina mop-sauce, but laced with a hint of tomato sauce or ketchup added, not a lot. The red stuff helps tame the fierceness of the vinegar a bit, and the hint of sweetness counterbalances the acidity.

There is one other popular style in the Carolinas. In western South Carolina on the Georgia border, the locals are partial to a ketchup based sauce similar to Kansas City sauce.

 

Lexington Dip

This is fairly thin and liquid, like all mopping sauces – much like the mopping sauce from the east part of North Carolina. It’s designed to be thin so that the meat – i.e. invariably pork, most likely a whole hog roast soaks it up – after repeated basting, and along with hickory smoke, takes on the strong and tangy flavor. This is in contrast to say, Kansas City BBQ sauce which is so viscous it doesn’t really pour without the assistance of a spoon. It has a strong tomato base and includes a whole range of other flavors.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup ketchup
1 cup water
1/2 cup cider vinegar (I like cider vinegar, but opinion is divided on whether it should be plain old distilled vinegar)
1 medium onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp brown or molasses sugar
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp Tabasco Sauce. or some other hot sauce
1/2 tsp ground black pepper(or more)
2 teaspoons salt

 

PREPARATION

 

Heat the oil over a medium heat.
Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent.
Stir in everything else.
Reduce heat to a low simmer and continue cooking for 20 minutes or so until it thickens slightly.
Adjust the seasoning or Tabasco as you see fit.

 

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Tennessee Whiskey

 

The Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue is considered by many to be the most prestigious competition in the world. As do many competitions, they have a sauce tasting, but theirs has a twist: Jack Daniels whiskey must be in the blend. Well, just as they planned it, whiskey-laced sauces have spread across the nation.

There are so many that I think it must be considered a legitimate category of barbecue sauce.

 

Tennessee Whiskey Barbecue Sauce

 

Aged corn whiskeys have a wonderful sweet vanilla flavor that is great in barbecue sauces, but it is easily lost among the bold flavors of the alcohol and the other ingredients of a barbecue sauce. To showcase the whiskey flavors, this sauce does not have many ingredients, but it still is very complex. The secret is to begin by gathering the essence of Bourbon by reducing a cup to a few tablespoons.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups Jack Daniel’s Black Label or Bourbon
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons malt vinegar
4 tablespoons dark molasses
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

 

PREPARATION

Taste the whiskey to make sure it is up to your standards.
Pour 1 cup of whiskey into a saucepan and set aside the remaining whiskey.
Bring the saucepan to a boil and reduce the liquid to about 2 tablespoons.
Don’t let the alcohol flame.
Add 1/2 cup of the whiskey and the other ingredients.
Simmer over a low heat for 30 minutes and reduce it by about 1/3.
Use it immediately or bottle it and keep it in the refrigerator for a month or more.
Drink the remaining whiskey.

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Kentucky Black

 

The most obscure of the regional sauces because it can be found in only a small area of Western Kentucky just east of Louisville around Owensboro, this fascinating blend is mostly distilled white vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. It is designed to go with the specialty of the region, slow smoked mutton (mature lamb), but it is also used on chicken and other meats. It is used as a baste on the pit, and then as a finishing sauce. Some places, like the Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, the most famous of them all, have two slightly different recipes, one for basting, and one for serving.

 

 

INGREDIENTS

 

2 cups water
1/2 cup Lea & Perrins Worcestershire
1/2 cup distilled vinegar
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
7 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
1 1/4 teaspoons lemon juice

PREPARATION

Mix all the ingredients in a pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

Makes. 3 cups. Keeps. Because it has a high acid content, it can keep for months in the refrigerator.

 

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Texas Mop-Sauce

 

In Texas they barbecue pork and beef ribs, pulled pork, chicken, mutton, goat, and sausage they call “hot guts”, but the star of the Lone Star State is beef brisket, an impossibly tough cut from the chest area that is magically converted to buttah-like tenderness with 12 to 18 hours of low and slow smoke roasting.

There are three important culinary influences on Texas barbecue:
1) European immigrants who brought expertise in smoking meats, especially Germans, Czechs, and Hungarians
2) freed slaves from the Southeast, and
3) Mexicans (Texas was, after all, a part of Mexico, and its cuisine leans heavily on Spanish, Mayan, and Aztec cultures).

The old-fashioned classic Texas sauces were fashioned to complement beef brisket first and they were not very sweet. Nowadays they have been influenced by the popularity of Kansas City sauces, and have gotten redder and sweeter.

Some traditional Texas pitmasters use their sauce as both a mop to cool and moisten the meat during direct cooking, and as an optional finishing sauce. Most common are thin, tart mops that are flavored with vinegar, American chili powder or ancho powder, lots of black pepper, cumin, hot sauce, fresh onion, and only a touch of ketchup.

Some of the best sauces have beef drippings, and therefore cannot be bottled. As a result, the stuff served in the traditional old restaurants is vastly different than the stuff sold in bottle. In hallowed joints like Cooper’s, in Llano, they often resemble a thin tomato soup with a beef stock base. They penetrate the meat easily rather than sit on top. I prefer them on brisket, not pork. In this picture, the bottled sauce sold at Cooper’s is poured into a large pot and is kept warm on the holding pit. Trimmings are tossed in the pot, and when you order, if you ask for sauce, the meat is dipped in the pot. It tastes a LOT different than the bottled sauce served on the tables.

Before the meat is cooked, it is seasoned with a Texas Dry Rub, formulated for brisket with little or no sugar, lots of black pepper, and so they are very different from Memphis and most other rubs. Try my Texas Mop-Sauce for a taste of a real old-fashioned hard to find anymore down on the ranch Texas barbecue mop and sauce.

 

Galveston Dry Rub

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tbsp Mustard Powder
1 ½ tsp grated lemon zest
½ tsp ground cayenne
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp black pepper
1 tsp crumbled bay leaf

 

PREPARATION:

Mix together dry rub ingredients.

 

A spicy dry rub is the secret to the Texan flavor and this one comes from Galveston. Remember not to put the sauce on before cooking, as the long grilling will burn the sugar, instead brush some on the last 5 or so minutes.

 

Texas Barbecue Juice (Mop Sauce)

 

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons American chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon of butter *
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup Lone Star beer (or any other lager)
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons steak sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons of hot sauce
2 cups beef, veal, or chicken stock

About the butter. Butter work fine, but to make it authentic, use rendered beef fat from the a brisket.

PREPARATION

Mix the paprika, black pepper, American chili powder, and cumin in a small bowl.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter or fat and gently cook the onion over medium heat until translucent.

Add the garlic, bell pepper, and the spice mix. Stir, and cook for two minutes to extract the flavors.

Add the stock and the rest of the ingredients. Drink the remaining beer. Stir until well blended. Simmer on medium for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust as needed. Divide it in half and use half to mop the meat when cooking. Use the remainder to splash on the meat when you serve it.

Makes about 5 cups. This has beef stock and possibly beef fat in it so it should not be kept for more than a week or two.

 

Texas BBQ Sauce

1 onion, coarsely ground
3-5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Ketchup
¼ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup cider vinegar
2-3 dried Chipotle peppers
1 cup beer, plus extra if needed
1 cup water, plus extra
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp mild red chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
S&P

PREPARATION:

Mix together the onion, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, beer, water, cumin, salt and pepper and half the vinegar.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until it forms a thick sauce. If the sauce sticks or threatens to burn, add more beer and water. When the sauce is thick and flavorful, add the rest of the vinegar.

 

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Alabama White Sauce

 

Developed for chicken by Big Bob Gibson’s Bar-B-Q in Decatur, Alabama, this mayonnaise and vinegar sauce has become so well known among barbecue fans that it has generated many admirers and a handful of imitators. I don’t recommend it for pork, and not everyone likes it on chicken, but it is so popular in Alabama it must be considered a regional classic.

 

White BBQ Sauce:

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 ½ tablespoons cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon kosher salt, finely ground
¼ teaspoon cayenne
Finely ground kosher salt and ground black pepper
½ cup vegetable oil

PREPARATION:

To prepare the sauce: Combine all the first six ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Place in an airtight container or bottle and refrigerate until you’re ready to use. Keeps up to 4 days.

 

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White BBQ Sauce#2:

3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

PREPARATION:

For the sauce: Mix all ingredients in blender until smooth, about 1 minute. Refrigerate sauce in airtight container for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

 

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White BBQ Sauce#3

 

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup apple juice
1 tablespoon powdered garlic
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish from a jar (either in vinegar or creamy)
1 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon finely ground cayenne pepper

PREPARATION

Whisk together all the ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate in a jar for at least 2 hours, if possible, to allow the flavors to meld.

 

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New Orleans Barbecue

 

In Louisiana anything that can be put on a grill is called barbecue, from fish to crawfish to nutria (kinda like a rat). The first bottled hot sauces came out of Louisiana, home of Tabasco Sauce and in Louisiana, hot sauce goes on everything. But the classic New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp is sereved in a buttery hot sauce that is used to pan cook shrimp. It is served on rice or reaches its peak in a traditional sandwich called a po-boy. But it can also be used on andouille or other sausages, pork chops, pulled pork, or chicken.

 

New Orleans Barbecue Sauce

 

INGREDIENTS
4 ounces (1 stick) butter
3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and minced or pressed
1 tablespoon Memphis Dust
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce
About the hot sauce. Use your favorite brand. Tabasco is from Louisiana, so it would be a good choice. If your andouille is hot, you might want to skip the hot sauce. If you are from New Orleans, crank up the heat!

PREPARATION

Pour the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir fry for about 1 minute, no longer or it will brown and get bitter.

Add the Memphis Dust and cook for another 30 seconds to extract the flavors.

Add the lemon juice, hot sauce, and stir gently until it dissolves and blends in.

Take the pan off the heat.

Taste and add more heat if you wish.

In N’orleans they like everything hot, but it will not be so hot when you use it on meat.

 

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Memphis Dry Rub & sweet BBQ

 

Memphis is second only to Kansas City as a town of barbecue renown. Ribs and pulled pork are the stars, although their local special, perhaps best called their local oddity, is barbecue spaghetti. No, they don’t put the pasta on the pit, it’s just doused with barbecue sauce.

Alas, there is no distinctive indigenous Memphis sauce style. Around the nation a lot of pit stops call their sauce Memphis style, but they’re kidding themselves and us. In fact, many Memphis purists prefer their ribs “dry” with only a spice rub. A restaurant’s gotta have confidence in its meat to serve it with spices only and no sauce. Many Memphis restaurants have bowed to public demand and now offer a choice: Dry or wet, with wet usually meaning a Kansas City-style tomato-based sauce perhaps a bit thinner, more vinegary.

Memphis dry rubs are usually paprika based, and typical ingredients are salt, garlic, onion, black pepper, American chili powder, and oregano. Meathead’s Memphis Dust is a very versatile recipe perfect for pork, but readers have told me they love it on everything from turkey to salmon.

Perhaps the most revered dry ribs are served at Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous (called “The Vous” by some of the locals). There are a lot of recipes on the internet that the owners have palmed off on gullible media.

 

Memphis Dust Rub

great on everything, especially pork related. The flavor really comes out when smoking.

INGREDIENTS:

¾ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup paprika
¼ cup kosher salt
4 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
2 tablespoons ground ginger powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves, ground to a powder

 

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Memphis BBQ Sauce

The center of mid-South barbecue, Memphis offers a range of sauces that take the high middle ground between Eastern and Western styles. Like this version, they are often medium-bodied mixtures, moderate in sweet, heat, and everything else except taste. Here is a recipe for A sweet, vinegary Memphis style sauce.

INGREDIENTS

3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 Cup minced onion
1 Cup white vinegar
1 Cup tomato sauce
1/4 Cup worcestershire sauce
2 Teaspoons sugar
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 Teaspoon cayenne
Dash tabasco sauce

PREPARATION

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the onions and saute for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onions begin to turn golden.
Stir in the remaining ingredients, reduce the heat to low, and cook until the mixture thickens, approximately 20 minutes.
Stir frequently.

Use the sauce warm. It keeps, refrigerated, for a couple of weeks.

 

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Hawaiian Huli-Huli

 

Huli-Huli Sauce was originally a teriyaki sauce, which, in Japan, is a simple blend of soy sauce, mirin (a sweet rice wine), and a little sugar reduced to a glaze. It was always popular with Hawaiians, and then in the 1950s a grillmaster with a head for marketing renamed it Huli-Huli Sauce, and everyone stole his name. Although Huli-Huli was designed for chicken, it is common to see it on ribs, pork chops, whatever. It had become a signature dish beloved throughout Hawaii, served mostly by shade tree cooks from roadside stands, parking lots, and parks at fundraisers. Drive around Oahu and if you see smoke rising and smell something sweet, it is likely Huli-Huli chicken. The locals keep napkins in their glove compartment just in case. Every vendor on the islands has his or her own secret recipe.

 

Hawaiian Huli-Huli Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup or red barbecue sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
4 tablespoons fresh ginger, skinned and grated fine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dark Asian sesame oil
2 teaspoons Sriracha Sauce
4 medium cloves of garlic, pressed or finely minced

About the chicken broth. Feel free to substitute white wine, sherry (it doesn’t matter if it is dry or sweet in this recipe), or even water.

About the vinegar. If you wish you can swap some fresh lemon or lime juice for all or part of the vinegar.

About the Sriracha. Sriracha is a garlicy hot chile paste. It is special and widely available, but if you can’t get it, feel free to use whatever hot sauce you have around. This quantity is not very hot, especially when painted on chicken, but you can use less or add more to your taste.

 

PREPARATION

Mix all the ingredients together in a saucepan and simmer gently for about 10 minutes. You can refrigerate it for several weeks.

NOTE: Because it has a high acid, salt, and sugar content, it can keep for months in the refrigerator.

 

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Other Flavored Sauces 

 

Modern chefs are nothing if not creative, and just about anything you can imagine is used to make barbecue sauces. These sauces rarely have regional logic. There are a number of wonderful sauces that start out as start out as basic tomato based barbecue sauces and then are amped up with fruits, jams, and jellies as flavorizers and sweeteners. Raspberry, cherry, and apple are common.

 

St. Louis Barbecue Sauce #1

 

St. Louis Barbecue Sauce is thinner and has more of a tangy flavor than its Kansas City cousin. Being at the crossroads St. Louis style barbecue has many influences, so here is one of the many ways of making this style sauce.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

 

PREPARATION

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over a low heat.
Stirring occasionally and simmer for 20 minutes.
Sauce should be thin, but not watery.
Allow to cool.
Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.
Sauce is better if allow to sit for a day.

 

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Spicy Root Beer Barbecue Sauce

 

This sauce works fantastic on poultry and pork and adds a slightly sweet and spicy flavor to your barbecue.

 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup root beer
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt

PREPARATION

Place all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Sauce can keep in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

 

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Iced Tea Barbecue Sauce

 

The annals of barbecue have seen some pretty strange sauces. This one may seem over-the-top, and yet, canned iced tea has a lot in common with the flavor profile of a good barbecue sauce. It’s sweet. It’s tart. It’s earthy and aromatic. What more could you ask for?

 

INGREDIENTS:

3/4 cup canned iced tea
3/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons A.1. steak sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar, or more to taste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

PREPARATION:
Combine the iced tea, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, steak sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, liquid smoke, onion and garlic powders, and pepper in a heavy saucepan with 1/4 cup of water and gradually bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Reduce the heat to medium to obtain a gentle simmer. Let the sauce simmer gently until slightly reduced, thick, and richly flavored, 6 to 8 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding brown sugar or lemon juice as necessary; the sauce should be highly seasoned. If sauce is too thick or intense, thin with a little more water.

Transfer the sauce to a bowl or clean jar and let cool to room temperature before serving. Any leftover sauce (in the unlikely event that you have it) will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for several weeks. Let return to room temperature before serving.

Makes about 2 cups

 

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Jamaican Jerk Marinade

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, roughly chopped
2 habanero peppers, stemmed and seeded, white parts removed
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 Tb fresh Thyme leaves
1 Tb ground allspice
1 Tb kosher salt
2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

PREPARATION

In a blender, combine marinade ingredients and process for about 1 minute. (don’t forget to use gloves when prepping the habanero, you’ll thank me later).

 

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Jerk Rub:

INGREDIENTS

1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs dried onion flakes
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
pitch of ground habanero chili

 

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Jamaican BBQ Sauce (for fish):

INGREDIENTS

1 cup seafood stock
2 heaping Tbs honey
1 Tbs tamarind concentrate
1 Tbs peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 Tbs Jerk Rub

 

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Recipes

 

Marinades | Rubs | Sauces |

 

 

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