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BBQ Sauce

There are tons of good recipes for barbecue sauce from scratch.  You can probably go online right now and find 10,000 of them with no problem.  The true test is whether it matches up to the flavor you are looking for.  For that you need to know your own sense of taste and the kind of food you will use it on.  I am going to throw out some simple guidelines for the ingredients that you should try to use in making your first BBQ sauce from scratch. As always, I am gonna ask you to experiment and play around with the flavors to find what suits your style and meal.

These are the things I start with: crushed tomatoes (some use ketchup), brown sugar, garlic, apple cider vinegar, orange peel zest (and some orange juice itself - fresh squeezed), cinnamon, caramelized onions, ginger, apple sauce (for thickening and flavor both), nutmeg, espresso, and butter.  The amount of tang and or zest that you drawl out of the ingredients will really depend on what you are going for.  That smoked flavor can be enhanced by browning the onions and garlic just to the edge of burning - perhaps even a bit beyond.

Start out with your tomatoes.  Brown or scorch the onions and garlic.  Add them with the  brown sugar and butter.  Now Start the tasting.  Add each subsequent ingredient one at a time and get a sense of the shift in flavors.  You can add more layers by coming back and re-adding something and seeing how it tastes.  It is really a sort of craft project in the long run.  You are experimenting and creating, layer at a time, until you land that perfect flavor.

I would suggest writing down what you add as you add it and then you can go back and write a recipe from the session.  I always start with my base recipe and add to it depending what I am serving and what I am trying to accent.

Enjoy the process.



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