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Monday, July 4, 2011

Making a BBQ Sauce

I decided to have a pulled pork sandwich for dinner tonight. I cooked the pork butt yesterday, pulled it and gave it a little extra seasoning. But, what is really going to make the sandwich work is going to be the sauce. Now, I have a plethora of commercial sauces for testing and others that I have come to consider 'house' sauces, but, since I want this sandwich to be something special, I decided to make my own sauce. First up, I need ketchup that is low in sodium and without standard sugars common to commercial ketchup. I made this.
Ketchup Recipe
2 cups cider vinegar (in my case, organic Spectrum Cider Vinegar)
1 tablespoon oil (can be olive oil, I used canola oil)
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground Phu Quoc Black Pepper
8 whole cloves
2 small bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon cayenne or chile powder
1 teaspoon ground mace
2 large cloves garlic, coarsely chunked
1/2 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/8 cup Bragg's Amino Acids
1/8 cup Red Boat Fish Sauce
32 oz. can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
8 little packs of Truvia Sweetener ( I really need to find the spoonable stuff)

Bloom spices in oil over medium heat until aromatic, I add the powdered ingredients at the last moment. Then add the garlic and onions and sweat until translucent. Add vinegar and bring to simmer for 15 minutes. Once slightly reduced, remove bay leaves and cloves, then blend until desired texture is achieved. I like a little bit of texture left. Return to pot (unless you used a stick blender) and add fish sauce, Amino acids and San Marzano tomatoes. Cook over low for 10 minutes. Add Truvia to taste. Allow to cool.

Here is the sauce made, after the addition of 1/8 cup of Black Currant infused balsamic vinegar, 1 more packet of Truvia and 1/8 cup more cider vinegar and a teaspoon of Lucky Dog hot sauce. This remained uncooked.
The above ketchup recipe creates a spicy flavor with distinct tomato and savory flavors and a nice sweet heat on the finish. I really want a rich tomato flavor to ring through on the initial taste. This is not at all as thick, sweet or salty as commercial ketchup, it is more of a ketchup sauce. The additions for the BBQ sauce punches up a few of the flavors and adds a fruity character as well. Here is a close-up to show the thickness and texture of this sauce.
This sauce is closer to the pork sauces you see in the south, thin with a distinct tang and a little heat. It is a sauce designed for pork. And this was it's final destination.
 A pulled pork sandwich, soft white bread, sweet pulled pork, spicy red sauce and some cole slaw and green tomato relish to round it all out. This is what a nice pork cooks ends up being all about.

1 comment:

  1. I should have read this yesterday when I discovered we were out of ketchup. Never mind, I don't have any amino acid around the house, ha ha.

    Very nice attention to detail on this one, Bob.