Barbecue sauce is too often made with lots and lots (and lots) of pre mixed, pre made, and precooked ingredients. In terms of control, that is not optimal, so this recipe is gonna address that. Below are all the steps but if you wanna watch a video instead, help yourself :
Step 1: Vinegar, Sugar and Tomatoes
These are the key ingredients of a bbq sauce. I use 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, cause it is a staple food in most bbq-y regions. Then 3 tablespoons of Molasses, or dark sugar if you can't spot some. Finally 1 tablespoon of tomato puree. You could start with fresh tomatoes but this stuff is packed with umami. All those ingredients influence the final taste : sour, sweet, umami. And also the final color : Dark, red.
Step 2: 3 Ingredients to Add Necessary Flavors
The base needs at least 3 ingredients to be more palatable :
- Chop 1 onion, roughly.
- 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped.
- 1 mild chili. (or one Naga Viper if you really feel like it), finely chopped.
Fry those ingredients in fat, will it be oil, butter or bacon fat. Bacon fat looks tantalizing but I would recommend a neutral fat like oil instead, which will make the sauce more versatile.
Step 3: Water, Salt & Time
Add a cup of water, a pinch of salt, bring to a low simmer and reduce the sauce down for at least an hour.
The texture should be silky, and the color quite dark. Add more salt at the end, if needed.
Step 4: Blitz
Blitz this sauce to a smooth shiny syrup in a food processor. You can keep it chunky, but it will then be a pain to bottle it, and to pour it as well. Keep it in an air tight jar, in the fridge for about a week, surely more.
Of course you can twist that recipe by adding tons of flavors to it. I kept it simple to give you an insight on how to make the core of a bbq sauce. Be creative :)