14 March 2010

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Where possible I've always tried to avoid using pre-made sauces and packet marinades. You know the added preservatives and so on, plus its always a lot more fun and rewarding when you make your own. With the weekend to play with, I wanted to try and make my own BBQ sauce at home. At first when I saw this recipe and noticed that 11 of the 13 ingredients called either came from a bottle, jar, can or packet, I was a bit reluctant to try it out. However, Deb @ smittenkitchen.com vouched for it and the original recipe is from Ina Garten. With credentials like that, how could it not be good ?!

It was actually deliciously good. We ended up having BBQ two days straight. I think I slapped the barbecue sauce on all the reserved meats which I had defrosted from my freezer. Chicken wings, Chicken Thighs and the pork spare ribs.

I did find the taste of cumin a bit overpowering. The next time I make this marinade, I would probably try halving the amount, or try substituting the cumin with all spice or chinese 5 spice powder. I also didn't think I got the onions down to a fine enough texture. The next time I think I would puree them in my food processor first before using. I did also toss in a couple of bay leaves. I religiously include bay leaves in sauces, soups and stews. So this barbecue sauce was no exception. I'm not actually sure if they actually improved anything, so you can exclude them if you prefer to keep to the original recipe.

Ina Garten’s Barbecue Sauce
Adapted from her Food Network show as seen on smittenkitchen.com

This is a tangy, subtly spicy, delicious mutt of a barbecue sauce. On her show, Ina Garten explained that she had at one point tried to develop different sauces to complement different cuisines — from Asian to various South Eastern regions — but only when she mixed them all together in frustration did she find exactly her barbecue sauce nirvana. I couldn’t agree more. I make this all summer, freeze leftovers in one-cup servings, and sob when we run out.

Makes 6 cups
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves - optional
  1. In a large saucepan on low heat, saute the onions and garlic with the vegetable oil for 10 to 15 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not browned.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 30 minutes. Use immediately or store in the fridge.

  • Do ahead: This sauce freezes excellently, for months at at time.

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