Bourbon Barbecue Bad-assedness

Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

A few weeks ago I posted about my readers choice barbecue extravaganza where I made bourbon barbecue salmon.  Silly me, I mentioned the recipe for the barbecue sauce but never did go back and post it.  That night, I was rushing to please two of my favorite dinner companions and didn’t have a chance to put the recipe down in type.  So, along with my deepest apologies, I hope you will also take my word for how good this is and put in the effort to make it.

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2 T. Olive oil

1 medium Onion, chopped

3 cloves Garlic, chopped

1/2 C. Bourbon

2 T. Bourbon

1 C. Ketchup

1/3 C. Water

1 T Ginger, minced

1 T. Ground cloves

2 T. Ancho chile powder

1 T. Paprika

1 1/2 T Dijon mustard

1 T. Red wine vinegar

1 T.  Honey

1 T Molasses

1 Canned Chipotle chile in adobo

2 T. Brown sugar

How to

First and foremost, let’s talk about bourbon.  When I began cooking with bourbon, I was kind of an ass about what I would and wouldn’t use to cook.  As I developed a palate for bourbon and a better understanding of spicing and flavoring food, I realized that more expensive bourbon doesn’t necessary lead to better flavor.  You have to determine what bourbon you will use based on how “bourbony” you want the food item to taste.  For instance, when making my cookies, I use a cheaper bourbon because I like that flavor to be identifiable.  If you use a super smooth bourbon, like Blanton’s, you will barely be able to taste the bourbon because the bite will cook out.  This lead to an internet search that turned up a list of top 10 bourbons to cook with. I came across Blue Kitchen’s ( list while scouring the shelves for something that didn’t make me feel dirty to buy (due to a plastic bottle, I just can’t stoop that low) but didn’t blow the budget.  I went with Rebel Yell, mostly because the name was cool, but also it has a good price point and glass bottle.  Ok, onto the meat of the matter…the instructions.

Start by chopping up all your veggies and measuring your dry ingredients into a small bowl.

Put your olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot (I use good ole’ dutch oven) and heat to medium. Put in your onions and cook for 4 minutes.  Put in your garlic and cook one minute.   You can chop them coarsely because we will be using an immersion blender to get it good and combined at the end of cooking.

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After about 5 minutes of cooking your onions and garlic, pour in the 1/2 cup of bourbon and let it cook down for about 10 minutes, until reduced.

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Once the bourbon is reduced, add in your ketchup and water, bring to a boil then simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add in the remainder of your ingredients and let it simmer for about 10 additional minutes.

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Delicious! Pull the sauce off the heat, allow to cool for 5 minutes, then use your immersion blender or food processor to combine all ingredients.  Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature, add salt and pepper to taste, your extra bourbon and let it sit till it is cool.  Refrigerate in an airtight container until you are ready to sauce up something yummy.

I’ve used this sauce on chicken, salmon, steak; on the grill, in the oven, in a crock pot. Its extremely versatile and very tasty! Give it a try.

And if you make the homemade ketchup, you can use that instead of store bought.

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