I’ve been on a quest for a while for a really good barbecue sauce recipe. I’m partial to Kansas City-style sauces. Original Blues Hog Barbecue Sauce and Sticky Pig Barbecue Sauce are two of my favorite commercial sauces. Both feature a great sweet and spicy taste and a thick consistency that really sticks to the meat. I’m not into “clone” recipes, so when I created this one I wanted a fairly simple, gluten-free sauce that was similar to these two, but with its own joys and nuances.
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/4 cup gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon granulated onion
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook until all the sugar has dissolved and the sauce starts to thicken a little bit (about five minutes).
Bottle and store in the fridge.
I called my dear wife over to help me taste test this sauce and knew I had a winner when (after a few little adjustments) she was eating it by the spoonful. The pomegranate molasses adds a great sweet/tart flavor and the teaspoon of balsamic vinegar is just enough to smooth the vinegar’s tang and round everything out.
The real test, though, will be this weekend when I try the sauce out on some racks of baby backs. I’ll let you know how that turns out.