The Best Barbecue Sauce

4 1/2 cups (may be doubled)

For the sauce

  • 2 rounded tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (preferably Tamari)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 generous tablespoons “Better Than Bouillon” (beef version), available in well-stocked supermarkets
  • 1 or 2 fresh habanero peppers (also called Scotch Bonnets), or jalapenos, pierced several times with a fork, or 1 to 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce, to taste (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups prepared ketchup
  • 2 cups (two 12-ounce bottles) prepared chili sauce (I use Heinz)
  • 1 generous cup Minced Yellow Onion
  • 8 large cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
  • 1/4 cup mild-flavored honey

Any time I’ve suggested a tool, a piece of equipment, or a culinary term that’s unfamiliar to you, you can go to Learn to Cook for more information.

Kitchen jargon mentioned in this recipe

Mince: To chop into very small pieces.


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Canned & Jarred Goods
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
1/4 cup soy sauce (preferably Tamari)
2 cups (two 12-ounce bottles) prepared chili sauce (I use Heinz)
2 cups prepared ketchup
2 generous tablespoons “Better Than Bouillon” (beef version), available in well-stocked supermarkets
2 rounded tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Dry Goods
1/3 cup dark brown sugar

Produce
1 generous cup Minced Yellow Onion
1 or 2 fresh habanero peppers (also called Scotch Bonnets), or jalapenos, pierced several times with a fork, or 1 to 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce, to taste (optional)
8 large cloves Minced Garlic

Spices & Baking
1/4 cup mild-flavored honey
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

To assemble the sauce

Combine all the ingredients except the ground black pepper in a 2 1/2-quart, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive saucepan. Stir well to combine and place the pan over medium heat, with the cover ajar. Bring the mixture to a full simmer, stirring occasionally, and then turn the heat to low. Continue to simmer until the sauce is thickened and the color deepens considerably, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally (see below). Uncover, stir in a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper, and remove the saucepan from the heat. Let the sauce cool, uncovered, until just warm. If making a doubled or tripled amount, simmer the sauce for 45 minutes. (While cooling, lay a clean kitchen towel over pan to prevent debris from falling into the sauce.)

To strain the sauce

Pour the sauce through a triple-mesh wire sieve that’s positioned over another bowl and, using the flat edge of a sturdy rubber spatula, or a wooden spatula, force the sauce through, leaving the onions, garlic and peppers behind. Discard the solids, pour the sauce into jars, and affix their lids. Store the sauce in the refrigerator. 

This sauce can be fully assembled and stored in the refrigerator for 6 months.

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