Friday, July 11, 2008

Spicy BBQ Dipping Sauce

Stolen from a note Stefania sent out to a friend in New York:

First a paragraph about how I make it and why and the reasons I choose the ingredients that I do - so that it makes sense and you can feel free to adjust it to your tastes accordingly.

The sauce originated from a recipe my dad started, to go on his spicy ribs, as a sweet complement to them but then I fired it up and added more heat. The base was from homemade blackberries but I've substituted any jam or jelly I've had on hand in the house, including orange marmalade. The one you had at the house was from fresh blackberry sauce - easy to make and I'll put notes at the bottom if you want to experiment around.

Amounts are approximated, adjust according to your thickness and taste preferences.

In a pan, bring to a very low boil and stir constantly:

1/4 - 1/2 c. Jelly or Fruit Jam
1/4 - 1/2 c. Ketchup
1/4 c. Generic BBQ sauce
1/4 c. Brown sugar
1/8 - 1/4c. Acid, I use lemon juice but have added white wine too if I want it thinner (cider vinegar is ok to use too)
1-2 dashes Worceshtershire Sauce
1 Tbsp +/- Sriracha Sauce (1 Tbsp is a lot, start with less and adjust to taste)
1 -2 dashes Tapatia hot sauce
1 capful, never more, of liquid smoke, 1 capful = about 1/4 tsp

I don't add any dry spices - salt/pepper or seasonings because those are usually already a rub on the meat.

To use fresh blackberry sauce, take 1 container of fresh berries, heat to boiling with a little bit of sugar until they are soft and wilted, then moosh thru a sieve (gently!!!) to extract the juice. Just like the seeds in grapes, the seeds in blackberries are very tannic and if you purree in a blender or food processor or moosh them too roughly, you will get an unpleasant bitter edge to your berry sauce.

If you are using blackberry jam or strawberry jelly, sometimes they have seeds, strain those as well. Strawberry seeds will have that same tannic quality.

Other variations I've made include chardonnay jelly, apple mint jelly, apricot jam, plum, name it. When I don't have homemade to use I'll buy whatever is on sale for 2 for 1 at Safeway (because $6 for jam in a bbq sauce seems high).

I generally add ketchup or more bbq sauce when I want it thicker, or more acid if I want it thinner, and of course as much sriracha as Paul will let me get away with.

Let me know if you have any questions and please feel free to pass this along.



Stefania said...

The fruit based bbq sauce was originally intended for my dads spicy pork ribs - the rib rub he liked to use had ~5 "hot" spices, and ~5 herbs. Over the years I've adulterated that recipe too and have at times included New Mexico dried green chile powder and Chipotle Flakes. My dad started using smoked paprika and that's become a staple in my spice cabinet as well.

Anonymous said...

Jelly maker says applemint should be one word, as it is the variety of mint. Though you could call it "appley applemint", as it is made with applemint (and some peppermint) leaves steeped in apple juice.

Jelly maker also learned from his mini test batch of elderberry jam and has just produced an excellent blue elderberry jelly that would work well with this recipe.

Blueberry jam has also worked well.