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BBQ Season: Red

posted May 12, 2009, 7:22 AM by Guy Barbato

i suppose it's officially barbeque (barbecue?) season!! which always leads to the never-ending controversies of "what kind of bbq sauce is best?"!! red or white, is the usual question -- though i completely disregard the entire 'mustard' issue... i will NOT use mustard in my bbq. if you like it .. check out south.carolina! naturally, i have my own opinion in this matter.... we'll start with the best of the reds ...

This is an old (and barely modified) recipe from my days at Va.Tech. We used it pretty liberally for pork bbq, whole-pig roasts, and grilling anything.

Va.Tech Pork BBQ Sauce

  • 1 quart apple cider vinegar
  • 1 box brown sugar
  • 1 - 10 oz bottle catsup
  • 2 tbsp black pepper (fresh ground)
  • 2 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 small bottle hot sauce (Texas Pete is traditional; but the Chipotle Tabasco is quite nice!)

mix all the ingredients in a bucket. thanks to all the vinegar, you can store it in an empty vinegar bottle in the fridge. like all red bbq sauces, it should only be used at the END of the grilling process (so the sauce doesn't burn). but, this can be used as a 'mop' for the real thing.

this next recipe comes from an old NYTimes clipping (in a column by Craig.Claireborn and Pierre.Franey), entitled (i think) Lillian Duncan's Superior BBQ Sauce. I've never seen the reference since... but, here is our modified version. it's just...

Superior BBQ Sauce

  • 1 cup coffee (espresso is best!)
  • 1 cup Worcestershire sauce (go ahead, use Lea&Perrins -- it's gluten free!)
  • 1 cup catsup
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 med onion (chopped)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tbsp ground black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • get a non-reactive saucepan... saute the onion and garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp butter. as the onions begin to wilt, add the spices -- and continue to saute for a few minutes. add the liquids. squeeze the juice of the lemon into the saucepan, then quarter the half-lemon and toss into the pan. add the sugars and chocolate and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. taste the sauce and add more brown sugar or vinegar to taste. the longer you let it sit, the more flavor develops. verrry tasty.