Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Obi Wan Has Taught Me Well

As anyone who has followed my food posts on this Blog knows, I acquired for myself earlier this summer a smoker shaped, as one reader commented, like a stripped-down R2D2. I've spent a good deal of my time this summer taking what I already knew about cooking and grilling, and applying it to developing my abilities in the pursuit of barbecue. And I feel that I've been fairly successful. I may not have the years of experience that some barbecue chefs do, but I was already a good cook, and took to this new cooking form.

But something was missing, something that held me back from true mastery of the form, and I knew what it was. This weekend, I set about to right that wrong, and I believe I have. I've accomplished what is, in my esteem, the barbecue equivalent of a jedi building his own lightsabre to mark his graduation.

I have made my own sauce.

Oh, I'd come up with recipes of my own before -- I'd modified certain techniques to fit my own taste, even delveloped my own dry rub and baste recipes. But the finishinf sauce, that was still coming out of a bottle. Until now.

My sauce is definitely a more western-style sauce, since it's a sweet and spicy tomato-based sauce. TFR tried it by itself and thought it too sweet, but had to admit that once applied to the meat and cooked in, it was quite good.

And so, without further ado, my sauce recipe:

In a medium saucepan combine the following ingredients:

2 cans (10 3/4 oz. each) tomato puree
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp oregano
1 1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until sauce starts to bubble. Reduce heat, simmer, stirring frequently until sauce is smooth. Apply to food by taste.

I tried it on beef short ribs Saturday. The sauce was good, the flavor was goot, but the ribs were too damned fatty. I'm sticking with pork spare or back ribs when it comes to rib barbecueing. TFR suggests I should try this on chicken. I'm going to try slow-cooking a Beer Butt Chicken (TFR prefers I use the term "Beer Can Chicken", but let's be honest...) on the smoker with this sauce recipe, I'll let you know how it goes.

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