Time to scrap the supermarket sauce and make your own barbeque sauce
So, it's summer time, or the mild wet season as we like to call it Ireland, and it is time to get out the barbecue grill and partake in that manly adventure like form of cooking. Whether you use a coal or gas fired barbecue really doesn't matter; food prepared on a barbecue simply tastes better.
When I pulled our gas BBQ grill (one of those with lava rocks) out of the garage a few weeks ago it came to decision time as to what to throw on first. Sausages, pork chops, burgers, steaks, ribs, chicken wings and legs, fish, prawns (known as shrimp to our fellow Americans), lamb chops, the list of things you can barbecue just goes on and is probably only limited by your imagination.
I would also say that it is irrefutable scientific fact that barbecued food tastes even better again when it has been marinated in a thick and sticky barbecue sauce, ideally for a few hours prior to cooking. While there may be many off the shelf sauces available in local supermarkets, I decided this year to do some in-depth research and development and see if I could come up with the ultimate recipe for the best BBQ sauce.
And I think I have succeeded in my mission to fin the best barbecue sauce. My research led me all around the world to websites in the UK, US, Canada, Australia and Germany, where I found different recipes with different ingredients, and pretty much all of them were very good. However, after a couple of tries and different mixtures of ingredients I think I have come up with a contender for the best barbecue sauce and marinade in the world.
First The Ingredients For This Recipe:
1 cup of finely chopped onion
6 cloves of garlic crushed or finely chopped
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 cups of ketchup
1 cup of tomato paste
1 cup of cider vinegar
1 cup of honey or molasses
½ cup Worcester sauce
1 tablespoon of chilli powder (2 if you like it spicy)
½ tablespoon of cumin
½ tablespoon of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
And now the secret ingredient for the best barbeque sauce:
½ cup of Bourbon
Add the vegetable oil, onions and garlic to a saucepan and sauté for 5 minutes. Then add the bourbon at a low heat and wait for another 5 minutes. During the preparation process the alcohol in the Bourbon will sadly boil off, but this does mean that you do not have to make a separate batch for children. For an extra bit of a punch you could have an adult only batch where you add a little bit more Bourbon after the sauce has cooled down.
At this stage you will add the remaining ingredients; the great thing is that there is no right or wrong order to add them. The important thing though is to make sure you stir all the ingredients very well. Once all the BBQ sauce ingredients have been added, bring the mixture to the boil. Then let it simmer uncovered until it is reduced and thickened, which can take 15 to 25 minutes.Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/like_the_grand_canyon/
Putting The Best BBQ Sauce To Good Use:
Here is a quick overview how I used the sauce at a recent family event, where it was a great success with young and old. The night before the barbecue I marinated pork chops and ribs in the sauce and kept them in the fridge overnight. Once the BBQ was fire up and ready to go I made sure that the meat was well covered in the barbecue sauce on all sides and then carefully placed it on the preheated grill.
While the meat was cooking I noticed that some of the sauce was dripping down onto the hot lava stones (I have a gas fired barbecue). At first I was alarmed, even distraught, as the sauce was meant to stay on the meat. But then I noticed that this was creating very flavoursome smoke and I realised that this would add to the culinary experience. However, to make sure that the chops and ribs did not lose too much sauce, I kept pouring more of it onto the meat as it was barbequing.
The result: absolutely delicious and succulent meat and hands and faces covered in BBQ sauce; party time for the taste buds. I would also recommend splitting the batch of barbecue sauce in two, using one to marinate the meat, and one to put out on the table to dip. Just bear in mind that it is important to keep the two batches of sauce separate, as you do not want to use the marinating batch for anything else due to its contact with raw meat.
Now, bring out those animal spirits, buy the ingredients and get cooking, you won't be disappointed! Let me know how you liked it in a comment below, or maybe share this with friends and family.
Image Credits: Like_The_Grand_Canyon