Saturday, 1 January 2011

Ina Garten's Barbecue Sauce

Happy New Year to you all!!

I love barbecue sauce although I am quite fussy as to what I would call a "good" barbecue sauce.  The stuff in the bottles from the supermarket?  Well, the smoky barbecue sauce from Masterfoods is okay, but I would be thinking of a tastier, richer fuller-flavoured barbecue sauce while I eat it.  I find that the barbecue sauce that I enjoy the most is on food that I buy from cafes and places like that and it isn't replicated by something from the supermarket.  The obvious solution to this problem is for me to make my own, I realise this, it just never crossed my mind.

I am still not certain what precisely prompted me to give Ina Garten's Barbecue Sauce recipe a try.  I had already read Deb's review of the recipe over at Smitten Kitchen and I've read good things on other blogs also.  Perhaps my barbecue sauce frustration just couldn't be contained anymore.

Deb calls this recipe an ingredient dump and that's a perfect description. I am ashamed to say that I had all of the ingredients on hand (and in the right quantities!) except for honey - I only had 1/2 cup.  It was a great way to clean out the pantry.  I had many empty jars and bottles to clean once that sauce was on the stove.

The recipe itself is really simple.  Simply saute your garlic and onion in some vegetable oil and then add the rest of the ingredients.  Adding the rest of the ingredients was my favourite.  I can get lazy with my mise and measure as I go, but here it was like playing kitchen as a kid where you just add a bit of this and a bit of that no matter what it was.  Unlike playing kitchen, this actually worked.  The smell was incredible.

My sauce seemed quite runny to me, I'm not sure if it was meant to be that way.  Because of this, I simmered it for longer than the recipe stated to cook off some of the liquid.  I was much happier with the consistency of the sauce after it had reduced a bit.

Unfortunately, this sauce has now spoiled me for any other barbecue sauce.  The Masterfoods smoky barbecue sauce is now buried so far deep within my refrigerator I can't even see it anymore.  The flavour is strong and powerful and is almost spicy.  The sauce keeps and freezes really well, so I packed it up in containers and the sauce is now taking up a substantial portion of my freezer.

As for what to do with it, we have used it as a sauce for ribs and pulled chicken, on sandwiches and burgers and with all manner of other meats.  It's infinitely adaptable, I should really look for more ways to use it.

If you have heaps of random jars and bottles knocking about your kitchen and you feel like a good cleanout, make this sauce.  If you like a good barbecue sauce, make this sauce.  If you want a sauce that Ina Garten calls her "sauce nirvana", make this sauce.  If you... never mind, just make the sauce!!!

Deb has posted her version of Ina's recipe on her blog Smitten Kitchen and you can find the post here.

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