Barbeque sauce never passed my lips until I moved to Dallas, Texas, for my first job after college. I moved a lot as a child, but never lived in any barbecue states, so to speak. I’ve lived in California, Washington, New York, and Utah, plus France, and barbecue was unheard of in these places, at least growing up.
When I first tasted barbeque sauce, I wasn’t that impressed. It was probably because I also wasn’t impressed with the meats with which they were served. Especially ribs – they’re so fiddly and messy to eat. And I thought brisket was dreadfully stringy. But looking back, I can see why many barbeque sauces didn’t appeal to me. Some are overly sweet, some are overly tangy, some are overly smokey.
Then I started making my own. Of course, some of them weren’t quite traditional, like adding rum and plums or whatnot, but it seemed to me that it was pretty darn easy to make a good, basic barbeque sauce. I especially detest the over-sweetness of purchased barbeque sauces, but that’s something you can definitely control in your own kitchen.
So now I have my own favorite barbeque sauce. I don’t know really how it began, but it evolved over time, just like all of our favorite recipes we customize as home cooks. It’s a little bit different, but I warn you it is delicious and addictive. Here’s to sharing recipes!
My Favorite Barbecue Sauce
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
3 – 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon, strained
When the butter begins to brown, stir in the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, mustard powder, and seasonings.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes or so over low heat, uncovered.
Add the vinegar and stir to combine. Simmer for one minute, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
It’s really good with chicken, but it’s especially good with spicy, smoked brisket! I’m sure it’s good with spare ribs, but I’m still not a huge fan of them.
For my brisket, I used my sous vide machine. The machine makes the meat so amazingly tender that you’re just excited that the brisket isn’t tough and stringy. Plus I did use a rub, and smoked it post-the 48 hour sous vide in my stove-top smoker for 45 minutes using hickory chips.
One thing that I’ve been doing when I sous vide is making a double seal when I vacuum seal the bags containing meat. If there’s any liquid at all in the bags, the vaccum sealer sucks out the liquid as well as air, and this might keep the seal from being water tight. Just for safety reasons.