I have made about a million different iterations of BBQ sauce in my life but have never really settled on a master recipe. This problem is exacerbated by the fact that I have some friends from the south who argue at length about the relative virtues of regional BBQ variations and what, in fact, constituents a proper sauce.
Well, rather than try to mimic (or appropriate in the parlance of our time) a southern BBQ sauce, I decide to simply focus on the flavors I like and work out a master recipe that I can continue to tweak over time. After all, I’m not a southern boy, but rather a son of Pennsylvania now living in New England so why be fettered by BBQ provincialism?
I’d hardly call this done by any means, but initial batches are very promising. I started with a generic BBQ sauce base that seems pretty common across the internets and built from there adding in maple syrup as a nod to my New England home, roasted garlic, and Sriracha.
1/2 large sweet onion
1 head of garlic, roasted
2 cups ketchup
1/3 cup + 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 tbsp Sriracha or to taste
- Roast garlic in the oven and allow to cool for easy handling
- Roughly chop the onion and saute until it develops a golden color
- Add the onion to a food processor. Remove the roasted garlic from its husk and add to the food processor. Pulse until fine but do not turn it to mush!
- In a saucepan combine the onion and roasted garlic with the other ingredients and simmer until thickened (about 20 minutes or so) and adjust seasoning to taste.
- You can store in a container in the fridge for a week or two, or freeze it. Given the acid content, this recipe could also be canned in a water bath canner.
That’s it! I rarely make a recipe the same way twice but this is a good master recipe from which to tinker. My best friend of 35 years and his family will be arriving this Sunday and I will be smoking a large brisket on the Big Green Egg. This sauce will go nicely on a brisket sandwich.