Yeah, I know. BBQ sauce in the middle of winter? I usually make this in the summer, but never got around to posting it. But lately I've been making quite a few batches as birthday gifts, and so I thought I'd share my version of it.
It started with a BBQ sauce that my husband loved and we bought several bottles of each summer. Of course it had to be imported from the States, and that meant it had quite a price tag. Being too busy and broke with the new house to go get any, I started trying out several recipes to make my own version.
I like Emeril's recipe over at Martha Stewart and I still use his Creole seasoning (go here for the recipe), but I decided the BBQ sauce recipe needed some serious tweaking and be allowed more time for the flavors to develop. He adds most of the ingredients (except onions and garlic) at once, but I found that adding them one after the other makes the sauce better. So here it goes:
Homemade BBQ Sauce (adapted from Emeril at Martha Stewart)
1 large yellow onion or 3 regular ones
4 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 cloves of garlic
4-6 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons cane syrup (or maple syrup, for German readers: Grafschafter)
2 teaspoons mustard (I use Dijon, but the smooth kind)
4 tablespoons cider vinegar (I love Maille's apple cider vinegar)
6 squirts Tabasco
6-8 teaspoons Emeril's Creole Seasoning
900ml ketchup in glass bottles (I buy two bottles with 450ml each)
cayenne pepper or ground chiles to taste (optional)
smoke salt (I use Spice Island's Hickory salt), about 1-3 teaspoons, to taste (optional)
Heat oil in medium sized pot. Finely chop onion and sauté over medium heat. Don't rush this. It takes a while. Your onion needs to be really soft, translucent and just beginning to brown. Then add garlic and briefly sauté.
Now, add the following ingredients one after the other, and let the mixture come back to a bubble before adding the next ingredient. The sugar takes the longest as you really want this to dissolve and brown a bit. So, add sugar, syrup, mustard, vinegar, Tabasco and seasoning. Finish with ketchup. Taste the sauce and adjust if you like it spicer. But remember that the flavors develop when simmered.
Let the sauce cook over low heat for a while, at least 15 minutes and as long as 45 minutes. Use a splatter guard and stir every once in a while.
Meanwhile rinse your ketchup bottles and soak to get the labels off. Clean with hot water and set aside. Taste your sauce and adjust seasonings. Add smoke salt if using.
Use a funnel to fill the hot sauce in your bottles and close caps immediately. Stored in the fridge, it lasts several weeks. And makes a pretty gift, too. Which is why you make a batch with two bottles. Same work, more out of it.
Oh, and that pretty stamp is from here. For this gift, I also made a large batch (four times the recipe) of the Creole seasoning so I'd have some to give along with the sauce.
I also used the stamp to make a birthday card. As for the bunting - that's a homemade stamp. But that's a different post!
What's your favorite sauce for grilling?