July 20, 2011

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Inspired By A Barbecue Sauce

I’m one of those lucky people that can barbecue just about any day of the year. Be it the middle of summer or two days before Christmas, I’m able to head out to the grill and be pretty assured of good weather. I have been out there with an umbrella when an unexpected shower threatened to get in the way, but that’s pretty unusual here in San Diego. Even though I do grill all year long, I seem to only do something with “barbecue sauce” during summer months. Maybe it comes from growing up in the northeast where summer is only three months long, but I it wasn’t until today with temperatures pushing up towards eighty that I even thought about making a barbecue sauce.

I went to my files in search of a Texas sauce that I’ve been making since I found in Food & Wine a few years back and instead unearthed a recipe that I’ve never tried-Ancho Barbecue Sauce. I glanced at the ingredients and was fairly certain I had everything in the pantry, except the ancho chiles. After a little digging around in the back of the cupboard I found the chiles that I needed. Within a half hour the house was filled with the heady scent of the chile sauce that was simmering on the stove. The recipe makes about 4 cups and I immediately began thinking about what I’ll slather this on next. Tonight it’s a mere pork tenderloin, but I know that there will be ribs and probably chicken in our future. And maybe I should brine some pork chops (now that I know the joys of brining) and throw them on the grill.

Ancho Barbecue Sauce

3 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 cups diced onions
7 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1-1/2 tbsp. mustard
2 tsp. salt

Soak the ancho chiles in hot water for 30 minutes or until soft. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes or until they begin to wilt. Add the ketchup and anchos and saute for 4 minutes. Add all of the remaining ingredients and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool. Place in a blender or food processor and puree. Use immediately or store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 3 weeks. Reheat before serving.

Recipe comes from Saveur magazine.

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