I love barbecue in (almost) all its forms. For some reason, I don’t like brisket at all. I could eat pulled pork all day long. Or mmmm barbecue chicken. Even Sloppy Joe’s. The only problem is the ingredients. I’ve talked a lot before about how I care about what I put into my body. Have you ever taken a look at the ingredients on a bottle of barbecue sauce? Yikes, it’s a mile long, and I can’t pronounce most of them. And the healthy or organic barbecue sauces get expensive, so I got the easy route instead.
Yes, the easy route. I make my own barbecue sauce. I love it because it’s super quick to put together, and I’ll alter up the proportions or put in some extra ingredients or just change things around depending on my mood. This is the way I like my barbecue sauce, and you may like yours a little different, so play with it.
And yes, the base ingredients for this include ketchup, which frequently has more ingredients that I just don’t like to eat. Actually, I’m not a big ketchup fan to begin with. That said, I use the organic ketchup from Trader Joe’s (a very reasonable $1.99 by me), and this is a ketchup where I actually like the taste. Go fig. Once again, organic tastes better than conventional to me – and I did a blind taste test, in case you think I’m biased. I also use organic whole grain mustard (and sometimes yellow when I want to finish off the jar) simply because to me it tastes better and has fewer ingredients, which was the whole point of making my barbecue sauce anyway, right?
Oh yeah. And because it tastes awesome. And when you’re cooking, you always have to do taste tests, right?
So what do I do with my barbecue sauce after I’ve made it? Obviously, I store it in the fridge, but that wasn’t the question, was it? Little Miss asked for Sloppy Joe’s the other night, so I whipped up the barbecue sauce then browned ground beef with diced onion and some salt and pepper before finishing it by cooking it with the barbecue sauce. Yum. Or I’ll poach chicken and shred it, then reheating it in a saucepan with the barbecue sauce and serve it either by itself or in a flour tortilla as a barbecue taco. I’ll cook pork in a crock pot for hours on end, then pull it out and shred it and put it back in with the barbecue sauce for a half hour or so. It’s also a perfect topping for a fresh burger, especially with a good cheddar cheese and some caramelized onion.
The uses for barbecue sauce are endless. How do you use your barbecue sauce?
Homemade Barbecue Sauce
1 1/2 cups ketchup (trust me, the organic stuff makes a big difference and isn’t too expensive)
1/4 c whole grain mustard (or yellow if you need, but the whole grain or stone ground is awesome in this)
1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t pepper
1/4 c lemon juice
1/4 c brown sugar
1 t chili powder
Place all ingredients into a heavy saucepan. Turn on the heat and stir. Bring to a slow boil, and boil the sauce for two or three minutes. Either add to your meat immediately, or cool and refrigerate for up to a week. Uhhhh, yeah it’s that easy.