Happy Indepence Day BBQ Sauce

I heart Holiday Recipe Club.   It keeps me creative.   I love to see what ingredients are chosen for each holiday.   (HRC is posted by Erin at Big Fat Baker.   Thanks for the challenges, Erin!)

Since our last challenge was for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, it is appropriate (and ironic)  that we come back across the pond for Indepence Day.    This time around the secret ingredients are blueberries, barbecue sauce, and/or whipped cream.   Even though we just have to choose one ingredient and we don’t have to combine them ALL  into an edible dish, I always hope that someone will tackle this feat and use them all together.  (Should we have a Chopped themed holiday at one point for HRC?)

This was an easy pick for me.   Please join me for a July 4th favorite:   homemade BBQ sauce.

Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce
Adapted from Top Secret Recipes (See below.)

2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 c. ketchup
3 c. apple cider vinegar
1 1/2  c. molasses
1 1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 T. liquid smoke
1 t. chili powder
1 T. Sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)
1 ½ t. sea salt
1 ½ t. fresh ground pepper (or more to your liking)

In a large sauce pan, heat olive oil and sauté minced garlic for one minute.  Do not burn.

Add ketchup, vinegar, molasses, honey, brown sugar, liquid smoke, chili powder, Sriracha, salt and pepper.  Whisk to combine.

You can see all the pepper floating on top.

Heat to boil, and then reduce heat to a low simmer.   Stir periodically.  Simmer for 45-60 minutes.   Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Makes about two quarts plus 1 cup(ish).

This recipe makes a lot.   It is easily halved.    Use this on any meat, add to bake beans, or use it as a dipping sauce for grilled shrimp and chicken or jalapeno poppers.  Really, I haven’t found anything this sauce doesn’t elevate.   (Well maybe blueberries with whipped cream.)  🙂

Here is a great BBQ tip when grilling:   Make a mop using rosemary sprigs.   Use the sprigs to sop up the sauce and brush on the grilled meat.   This gives this sauce (and any sauce used with grilling) another level of flavor.

This technique would also work with a bundle of thyme or sage. Just make sure it is a woody herb that can stand up to the dipping and heat.

We put a dry rub on these ribs (just a basic Memphis rub that my brother-in-law made for us) and then sauced them up during the last 10 minutes of grilling.    They came out very tender with just the right amount of caramelization.

Oh so tender with just the right amount of burnt ends! 🙂 These are a mess to eat but well worth the extra napkins!

This recipe is based on one from my favorite cookbook, one that I am embarrassed about.   I think I have mentioned this before.  I really don’t know why I hide this recipe book.   Maybe it is because it is a full of knock-offs of some of the big chain restaurants.   But, you know, with a little tweaking, some of these recipes are pretty darn good.   (It is definitely not a Dorie Greenspan, Yotam Ottolenghi or Julia Child guide to cooking!)  🙂

The original recipe came from the now defunct Tony Roma’s.   I was excited to have their BBQ sauce recipes because that was my father-in-law’s favorite restaurant for a while.     Here is the original (plus one more).  

You can see all the sauce spatters and notes.  It is a well-used recipe.

Happy Fourth of July, happy eating and happy grilling today!   Enjoy your time with family and friends as we celebrate the founding of our nation.    (Oh, and I hope you can ooh and aah over some fireworks as well tonight.)

The next HRC post will be  July 14th – Bastille Day (France).   The secret ingredients?   Mushrooms (limited to truffles, porcinis, oysters, and chanterelles), Champagne, Brie.

Check out the Holiday Recipe Club calendar for all the other upcoming events.

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