Sunday, November 13, 2011

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Grilling the peppers.
The diced chiles.
A while back I made BBQ sauce for the first time. It seems that all the sauces you by at the grocery store have high fructose corn syrup in them. It was something I'd decided I'd never be able to make on my own because I just couldn't find a recipe. And for some reason, it seemed very complicated. But I'd successfully made ketchup and for some reason, never thought I could make BBQ sauce... maybe it seemed too complicated, or its recipes were long-kept secrets... But one day I  was skimming through the excellent cookbook "Put 'em up!" by Sherri Brooks Vinton, and stumbled upon a recipe for charred chili barbeque sauce. And that day I was looking for things to do with the excess of chiles and tomatoes I had. In fact, this recipe called for one pound of chiles and five pounds of tomatoes, and I had more than that. So I decided to make it. It wasn't quick, but it wasn't difficult either. I think I'm glad I have a year of canning under my belt so that I don't get bogged down with things beyond the basic recipe. And it was really fairly straightforward and had so few ingredients... chiles, tomatoes, onions, brown sugar, vinegar and spices... Within a three hours, I'd canned two quarts and two pints of barbeque sauce. We didn't try it for a few days, but then Rich made chicken wings with the sauce, and they were delicious... the sauce is just the right amount of spicy and sweet, but not too sweet to be cloying. Next year, I'm hoping to make more, and maybe even tweak the recipe a little bit to add a different flavor profile to some of the jars... We'll see. For now, though, we'll enjoy this sauce over the winter. And I hope you enjoy my periodic recipes, pictures, and musings...

Add fresh, peeled tomatoes.

Add onions, vinegar, spices...

Simmer for many hours.

Simmer until it's reduced & thick & fragrant.

Put into jars for processing.

A few hours' work = a few month's worth of BBQ sauce!