Sunday, October 23, 2011

Homemade BBQ sauce

After the first week at the new office was over (much quicker than I expected if truth must be told, despite the long hours) I dove head first into the week end with lots of cooking and entertaining for friends and family. It felt great to have meals to plan and things bubbling on the stove. I am always so worried about summer and the long days of light ending, that I tend to forget how much I love the fall and all it has to offer. There is something great about the air turning crisper, the leaves changing color and falling and the feeling you get when you walk into a house and get enveloped in the warmth of a kitchen that smells of cinnamon and simmering stocks.

I have pulled out my appropriately autumn-colored crock pot more than once in the past weeks and cooked up comforting meals. The last one I prepared required barbecue sauce, which I did not have in the house and couldn't find at our two neighborhood supermarkets. Let us not forget I live in Italy.

After making my own ketchup, I really had no excuse not make BBQ sauce so I turned to the same source, my faithful copy of Joy of Cooking and was thrilled to find out I had each and every listed ingredient in my kitchen. That is not something that happens all too often and fills me with great satisfaction. The list may seem daunting but I can assure you you will have most of them on hand and it takes just 5 minutes of simmering to get delicious results.

In case you are curious, I will be back very soon with the recipe I used it for. In the meantime, here is the secret to making your very own finger licking BBQ sauce. I wish you all a good beginning of the week.

1 1/2 cups ketchup
1 cup cider vinegar
1 cup brown sugar (next time I am using less, it was a little too sweet for me)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worchesteshire sauce
1/4 cup, or to taste, Pimenton de la Vera (the recipe actually calls for ground Cayenne pepper but I was out of it and liked the idea of the smokiness P de la V would add)
2 tbsp dry mustard
1 tbsp grated, peeled fresh ginger or 1 tsp ground ginger (I had both but used the latter out of laziness)
2 garlic cloves minced (I used 1 tsp garlic powder for the same reason as above)
2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
3 slices lemon (I omitted)

Mix all the ingredients above into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. You can store the sauce for up to two weeks in the fridge in an airtight container.


  1. In fact I have never seen bbq sauce in Italy (or maple syrup for that matter...)! This recipe sounds delicious. I actually like bbq sauce more than ketchup! :-))))

  2. I could eat barbecue sauce by the tablespoon but I'm always worried about all the chemicals it probably contains, so thank you for the recipe! I never realized it was difficult to find in Italy. I guess that until you don't know it exists, you don't really need it :) Have a great week too

  3. Mmm there's nothing like homemade bbq sauce is there? It always tastes so much better! :D

  4. Homemade BBQ sauce is so delicious, and you can tweak the sugar and spice to your exact taste. Your version looks delicious - I've never made my own ketchup though and would love to give that a go!

  5. Manu - You can actually get both pretty easily now but not and the neighborhood Moms&Pops store.
    LaCR - Even making it at home without chemicals it is quite daunting to see how much stuff goes in. But it is certainly healthier.
    Lorraine - and it especially does not taste like a pale imitation, there really is a great similarity to the store bought thing. Sometimes when you make things at home they are healthier but not really reminiscent of their "junkier" version, which is what we are actually craving.
    TheLL - Tweaking is key. Which reminds me, I must add into the post that I would diminish the amount of sugar. It was a little sweet for my taste buds. Thanks!

  6. Sounds like a great BBQ sauce! I rarely ever use it, but I agree with Manu that I prefer it to Ketchup.

  7. You are reminding me of how long it has been since I have had a decent bbq; no excuse, I live in bbq mecca here in Texas! Yours sauce sounds like " a classic!"

  8. I rarely use BBQ sauce, but if I had such a yummy home made version like this one, I think I'd make it a point to eat it. Sounds delis!
    *kisses* HH

  9. Only you could make BBQ sauce look this lovely. Thank you for sharing another of your delicious treats. I'm drooling. I hope you are having a lovely day full of laughter and love. Many blessings from Austin, my friend.

  10. You're right- again- as always- there's nothing like home made bbq sauce- or a kitchen that smells of cinnamon and simmering stocks.

  11. Great sauce! I'm sure that this will be perfect with some chicken wings.


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