BBQ Bourbon Sauce

Accent your meat with a homemade barbecue sauce

Simply cooking meat on the grill is enough to produce mouth-watering results. Searing the meat at high heat locks in juices and carmelizes the outside, bringing out the meat's natural flavors. It never hurts to gild the lily a bit, though with barbecue marinades and sauces, especially for tougher or less flavorful cuts.

Barbecue marinade recipes should always include an acidic ingredient, to act as a meat tenderizer. Common choices are lemon juice, red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Add to that your favorite herbs and spices, and of course salt and pepper, and even the lowliest cut of meat will shine.

A homemade barbecue sauce adds a touch of flair to the finished product, and sets you apart as a true grill king or queen. Barbecue sauces are usually tomato based and include something sweet (like honey, molasses, apricot jam or brown sugar), something sour (like lemon juice or vinegar) and something spicy (like chili powder, hot pepper sauce, or fresh or dried chili peppers). Add depth and character to your homemade barbecue sauce with herbs and seasonings, garlic, onion, Worchestershire sauce, mustard, fruit, liquid smoke or any liquor. Experiment to create your signature sauce, and then guard the recipe closely. Here's our suggestion to get you started:

  • 2 tablespoon butter/margarine or cooking oil
  • 1 cup tomato ketchup or tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp bourbon or whiskey - optional

Stovetop preparation:

  1. Melt butter/margarine or heat oil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Sautee onion and garlic until clear and tender.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  4. Simmer uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes or until desired thickness.
  6. Let cool and refrigerate in a covered container.

* To prepare an alcohol-free barbecue sauce, substitute ½ tsp of bourbon or whiskey for ½ tsp of water.

Makes approximately 2 - 2 1/2 cups

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