Barbecue Sauce

Cooking in my family is sometimes hard. My dad abhors tamarind, while my mom likes almost nothing containing coriander or molasses. Any recipe I come across is instantly doctored to suit my family’s tastes. And in this case, it worked out for the better– I made this barbecue sauce recipe that I found on Annie’s Eats (she does have wonderful recipes), and the only thing I can say is mmmmm!

Let me back track a bit, and start by saying that my family only eats homemade barbecue sauce. Seriously. The homemade stuff packs a spice-filled tang with which the sickly sweet store-bought stuff can’t compete. The only problem is that we cheat a little, as I think do most people whose bbq sauce is “homemade”– my mom usually uses a ketchup base. So when I found this recipe that makes the sauce from scratch, I pounced.
That being said, I’ve changed the recipe a bit, and have ended up with a much different result that Annie’s. We both halved the recipe, but while she ended up with 2.5 Mason jars of it, I ended up with a little less than 3 cups, or enough to fill a Mason jar, coat 3 racks of ribs, and have a little bit extra.
I still think it’s missing a bit of something– next time I would add cayenne pepper as well as more cumin, chili powder, and a bit more molasses. Rather than using store-bought chili powder which packs a lot of extra salt, we make our own. If you’re interested, its recipe is below. Annie has the bbq sauce recipe she used posted at her website (the link is above), but because I’ve doctored it, here is my changed recipe* as well!
*you should all note that because I’ve doctored the halved recipe, that’s the one I’ll be posting. “Scant” means “not quite,” and for the spice measurements feel free to add a bit more than what’s called for.


Chili Powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Combine ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

Barbecue Sauce
Scant 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tbsp unsulfured molasses
Scant 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 can crushed tomatoes
3/8 cup cider vinegar (or halfway between 1/4 and 1/2 cup)
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Black pepper to taste
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-low heat with the onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions are translucent and tender. Mix in kosher salt, chili powder, and cumin, then add the dark brown sugar and molasses. Mix well and boil for about a minute and a half, then stir in the tomatoes and cider vinegar.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for about an hour and a half, or until the sauce becomes thick and has darkened.
Above, the sauce before thickening. Below, after simmering for 1.5 hours.

Stir in the Worcestershire sauce and ground black pepper. Add the mixture to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth (here, Annie adds water to ease the blending process and achieve a less viscous consistency, but I liked the consistency of the sauce without the extra water and had no trouble blending it. Feel free to add water, 1/4 cup at a time, if you are having trouble blending or if the sauce is too thick for your  tastes).
Happy barbecuing, everyone!
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