Summer is running up on us and for many the greatest culinary impact of that fact is the uncovering of the almighty grill. We pull off the tarps, brush off the leaves, and clean off the dirt and dust and get ready to embrace our inner caveman and throw a piece of meat on hot coals.
Grilling is primal, its speaks to our most primordial ideas of food. While grilling alone can be a gateway to great things, we have come far from slaying a beast and roasting its flesh over an open pit. We’ve evolved and gained finer tastes. Charred meat is no longer all we require, we need more, we need flavor.
Man has invented many ways to introduce flavor to food, but none is more direct then simply slathering on a sauce, and when you say grilled food the only sauce on everyones mind is BARBECUE!
BBQ sauce is a sweet and tangy flavor packed sauce who’s powerful flavors compliment the brash bold charred taste meat gets when cooked over an open flame.
Things You Should Have
-A large pot with a capacity of at least 6 quarts, if you don’t have one Wal-Mart can easily hook you up on the cheap
-A stove or other heat source, if I have to explain this we have a problem (living in a dorm or basement apartment you can pull this off on a grill with the skillet or use a camping stove)
We’ve all had BBQ sauce before, most of us are fooled into thinking a plastic bottle with a squeeze top is as good as it gets, but when you understand how easy it is to make good BBQ, you’ll never look at the bottle the same way.
Sweetness is a key factor in BBQ sauce. Its what makes it unique, and when you realize that sweetness is what you want you can then branch out past using just plain sugar and go for something more interesting.
BBQ is indicative of the American South and the fruit that most defines the South would have to be the peach.
This recipe will yield 1 gallon of sauce.
-Peaches, these can come in any variety, I prefer sliced and frozen. Fresh peaches can be used, and you dont have to peel them, but its a bit of a waste of good fresh fruit. Canned can also be used, but the peach flavor wont be as strong. You want about 2 quarts or 4 pounds of usable peach (if you go for fresh get 5 pounds to account for pits)
-Red Onion, get one large or two medium sized onions
-Diced Tomatoes, get one quart
-Chipotle Peppers, I prefer the dried variation, though you can use the canned chipotles in adobo, though the flavor will be different and slightly spicier
-Brown Sugar, get three pounds, you’ll need two and then use the third and final pound to adjust the flavor if you like
Vinegar, red wine vinegar is best, apple cider or rice wine will work as well, get one small bottle, you’ll need about 2 tablespoons and more to adjust the flavor
-Onion Powder – 1/2 cup
-Garlic Powder – 1/4 cup
-Paprika – 1/2 cup
-Celery Seed (or celery salt) – 2 tablespoons
–Do Work Son!–
1) Slice the peaches and onions, it doesn’t matter how, just cut them (make sure to pit the peaches and peel the onions)
2) Put everything in the pot, give it a good stir, put the heat on low and let it cook for two to three hours, if properly on low it shouldn’t burn, but give it a stir very 20-30 minutes just to be safe and to distribute the heat evenly
3) Around the 2 hour mark start checking for doneness, the onions will start to dissolve and the peaches (especially if canned) will begin to break down
4) Once doneness is reached turn the heat off and let it sit for at least thirty minutes to cooldown. This is VERY important if you’re using a bar blender so that when you buzz it the steam build up doesn’t blow the lid off.
5) Now you’ll want to blend it. If using a bar blender you’ll have to work in batches, however you do this keep in mind that you’ll want to put the blended sauce BACK on the stove. If using a stick blender, start it on a low speed and slowly stir the pot with it, once the big chunks have been broken down, turn the speed up, slowly and keep stirring till its nice and smooth
6) Put the blended sauce back on the heat for another thirty minutes
7) Now check the seasoning and flavor. You’ll need salt, and I prefer a lot of black pepper, the heat goes well with the sweet peaches.
7a) If you want a sweeter sauce stir in more sugar, a tangier sauce add more vinegar, if you want spicier add in another chipotle (if using dried make sure to cook it for another 15-30 min to soften) You get the idea.
This sauce can be used as a base and by switching out some ingredients you can make a whole new sauce. Swap the peaches for apples or pears, and the diced tomato for apple cider and add in some cinnamon and you’ve got an amazing sauce for pork chops.
Grill well, and prosper!