Friday, March 16, 2012
The Unrecipe-- Homemade Barbeque Sauce
Recipes can be really expensive-- like, really really expensive-- especially if you don't cook very often. Let's say, for example, you were interested in making a spice cake with a maple syrup glaze. So then, you'll need to buy cinnamon ($4), baking powder ($2), ginger ($4), flour ($4), maple syrup ($10 for the small bottle), sugars (white, brown, & powdered $9), cloves ($4), allspice ($4), and butter ($3.50). You're looking at around a $40 ingredient investment to make one little snack cake.
It is because of this that being comfortable cooking without a recipe becomes a valuable skill to cultivate. Now that you've made your $40 cake, you have all of these terrific ingredients stocked in your pantry just waiting to be used and it would be a serious shame to let them decay and dust over with disuse. Making your own barbeque sauce is a great way to to use up ingredients and condiments that you may have about.
Barbeque sauce is an interesting (yet extreme) microcosm of how to cook, I think. It is a game of balance between salty and sweet, earthy and bright, smoky and clean. Starting from this premise, the actual ingredients can very wildly allowing great flexibility for the home cook. A safe place to start? Ketchup.
This is an un-recipe so I shall write it as such.
I sauteed some garlic in bacon fat (I know, crazy. Right?!). Then I added about a 1/2 a C of ketchup, and a bit of the following:
1 spoon of the spice rub from the pulled pork (see previous post)
dash of liquid smoke
splash of orange juice
I would have added 1/2 red pepper & an onion if I weren't out. Oh well. Maybe next time.
Simmer for about 5 minutes and pour it into a mason jar and refrigerate or serve immediately. Ta-dah!