Prep 15 mins
Cook 1 hr
This is a homemade BBQ sauce with a very complex blend of spices akin to a dark mole. I used some techniques I learned from America's Test Kitchen's Quick Tomato Sauce recipe to sweeten the sauce naturally with yellow onion and crushed tomatoes, rather than add a bunch of brown sugar like most recipes. Great on ribs, burgers, etc.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1⁄2 yellow onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 chipotle peppers, in adobo chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 12 fluid ounces stout beer, stronger the better
- 1⁄4 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1⁄4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- mirin, to taste
- Melt butter in a heavy saucepan on high heat.
- When butter foams, add onion, garlic, chipotle peppers and salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes until onions begin to brown.
- Add all dry spices and stir until blended into a thick paste, about 30 seconds.
- Deglaze the pan with the beer, scraping up any brown bits of aromatics on the pan.
- Add molasses, vinegar, liquid smoke and crushed tomatoes, then stir until evenly incorporated. Make sure molasses doesn't stick to the bottom or sides of the pot.
- Simmer the sauce for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the texture is thick like barbecue sauce.
- Add olive oil and sweeten with mirin, to taste. I probably only use a few teaspoons of mirin, but if you like it sweeter you could go heavier.
- Move to a blender or food processor for about 1 minute until the sauce is smooth. Tastes great fresh, but will taste better after 1-2 days.
- NOTE: This sauce could also be used as a braising liquid for roasts, brisket, short ribs, etc. Instead of thickened the sauce, add it to a roasting pan with the browned meat and slow-cook for hours until fork tender.