Project Wonderful

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bitchen' Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

With yesterday's orgy of smoked meat - thanks to the opening of Schmidt Family Barbecue - I'm on a serious BBQ bender right now. And after the discussion about the fact that Schmidt's doesn't offer BBQ sauce, I decided to quell the angry masses and make my own.

Although it's got several ingredients, this recipe really couldn't be easier to make, and uses bourbon to help imbue the final sauce with an amazing flavor. If you think the best you can do for BBQ sauce is Sweet Baby Ray's, look out: this one will change your mind.

The recipe uses ketchup as a base, but you could easily omit the ketchup and roast up some fresh tomatoes into a sauce that will dramatically improve the flavor.

It's also relatively mild when it comes to the pepper. I'm not a big fan of peppery BBQ sauce, so feel free to tart it up with your favorite heat. A 1/3 tsp should be more than enough, but your mileage may vary.


1/2 onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup of bourbon whiskey (always use good bourbon. Life is too short for cheap booze)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tbs salt
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbs liquid smoke
1/2 cup of brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp dried basil

In a large saucepan, combine the onions, garlic and bourbon.

Simmer till the onions have absorbed the whiskey and turned translucent, about 10 minutes. 

In a mixing bowl combine everything else. 

It helps to mix this up first, before adding it to the pan.

Bring the heat to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let it bubble slightly for about 20 minutes. 
After simmering, toss everything in a blender for about 30 seconds to get a smooth texture.

Be sure to remove the center section of the blender top and place a towel lightly over the opening. Otherwise you will decorate the ceiling and walls of your kitchen with scalding barbecue sauce. 

Pour that pitcher full of awesome into a bowl and let it cool. 
The sauce should be fairly thick. If you want it a little thinner, add a little more apple cider vinegar.

After it cools (I placed the bowl on top of an ice pack), use a funnel and pour the sauce into a mason jar. You should have just slightly more than enough for a full jar. 

Label and date the jar, toss it in the fridge and you're good to go. Because its made fresh, without chemicals and preservatives, it probably won't keep more than a month in the fridge. Around my house, this sauce wont keep for more than a week, but that has nothing to do with it going bad.


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