This is the recipe I've procrastinated for over a year. For months I've gone back-and-forth over whether I should publish this recipe. I mean, this one is near to my heart, and I kind of wanted to keep it a cherished secret. A fun, foodie lock that only I would have the key to.
Some of my favorite pastimes with John are cozying up to each other in a grungy barbecue joint over a plate of slow-smoked meat, baked beans, and mac and cheese.
It took me many trial and errors to create a barbecue sauce that replicated our favorite sauces and rubs from our many trips to Memphis, Arkansas, and Birmingham, but I did it.
And I'm here to share it!
It's been long awaited, friends. Without further ado:
The BEST Scratch-Made Barbecue Sauce
- 2 cups of ketchup (homemade is best, but you can also get your best quality organic brand)
- 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons of rehydrated minced onion
- 1 Tablespoon of seasoned salt
- 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper
- 1 small bay leaf
You can also customize this recipe by adding honey, molasses, a few dashed of hot sauce, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or liquid smoke or browning sauce (those last two are NOT very healthy, but do add an extra layer of flavor).
Simply combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then, reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.
Here's where you have to make a choice: Do you want to eat this sauce fresh, within the next 2 weeks? If so, put 'er in a container and pop it in the fridge.
If you want to preserve this saucy goodness, then prepare half-pint jars and your water bath canner.
Process your half-pints of barbecue sauce for at least 30 minutes. Any jars that don't seal should be consumed within 2 weeks or re-processed.
Are you ready to try this simple, DELICIOUS barbecue sauce? I hope you hold this recipe near to your heart, just like the memories and great times John and I have from our travels and eats in the barbecue belt of the South.
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