Summer will be upon is before too long, and we all know what that means: barbecue season! I would like to make a proposal, though. Instead of buying expensive barbecue sauces, or making do with the cheap stuff at the dollar store, why not try making your own? Here's my own special recipe which came about as a result of modification from a variety of recipes found on the web, plus some good old experimentation.
Ingredients (for about 2 cups finished sauce):
2 cups tomato ketchup
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup Frank's Red Hot (could be optional: more on this in Step 2)
1/2 cup bourbon whiskey (anything decent will do, it need not be expensive)
1/4 cup honey (or molasses, more on that in Step 2)
2 Tbsp (equals 1/8 cup) soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Tools and equipment:
Sauce pot (I have a saucier-like device from my Wolfgang Puck set of stainless steel pots)
Silicone spatula (my favorite sauce-making tool)
Splatter guard (indispensable for sauce making)
Step 1: Ketchup Is Thicker Than Water
First, we have to gather our ingredients together. This is probably the most difficult part of this recipe.
This is also a fine place for a debate about ketchup-based barbecue sauces. You see, I actually never liked the ketchup-based sauces, until I decided to try this one. I even have my own special recipe for a non-ketchup-based barbecue sauce, but that's another Instructable. My point is, don't dismiss this recipe out of hand just because of its base ingredient. Like me, you might be pleasantly surprised.
Anyway, collect all of the ingredients together, then throw them all into your sauce pot, stir together, and bring to a simmer. It really is that simple. When it's reduced to about two cups (somewhere around 2/3rds to 1/2 the original volume), it's done, and ready to cool down for storage.
Step 2: Further Notes on Ingredients
Sorry I can't come up with an amusing title for this step.
Many people might think this sauce is too hot due to the amount of Frank's in it. That's okay. I can make some suggestions for adaptations, with the caveat that I have not tried any of these (except for item 3), so further experimentation is up to you.
1) Replace the Frank's Red Hot with half of it's amount (1/4 cup in this case) of a decent white wine vinegar. You see, the Frank's isn't there just for the kick. Its vinegar component is an important aspect of the final sauce's flavor.
2) For a sweeter, stickier sauce, increase the amount of honey, up to double if you'd like.
3) For something quite interesting, replace the honey with molasses. This is something I actually have done, and it works very well.
In fact, if I wanted to make a nice, sticky-sweet version of this sauce, I would double the amount of honey (or perhaps go half-honey, half-molasses) and then replace the Franks with 1/4 cup of vinegar as I outline above. I'm going to try that for my next batch.