Lazy Sunday Barbecue Sauce Off

Let me set the stage for you. We are couped up in a small apartment, the temperature dropped 12 degrees and it started blizzarding. We don’t own a barbecue. We have two beautiful racks of short ribs. We are out of anything and everything that resembles a sauce to baste those bad boys with. So we had a barbecue sauce cook off.


What was supposed to be a competition, ended up with no clear winner – both sauces were good. Joey’s was super spicy and tinted with curry. Mine was classic, smoky and sweet with just a bit of heat. I know Joey liked it – he told me it was dirty. Dirty is a good thing.

Sweet & Smoky Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp grape seed (or olive) oil

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 jar crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup ketchup

1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp smoked paprika

2 Tbsp dijon

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 chipotle peppers

1 Tbsp adobo sauce

salt & pepper

Heat the grape seed oil over medium heat in a large cast enamel pan.  Add the onion and stir until they’re starting to get translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir until fragrant.  Add the paprika, chili powder, salt & pepper (to taste) and stir them for about a minute or until you can really smell the spice.  Add the cider vinegar and let it cook down for 30 seconds to a minute (this helps get rid of some of the extra tang).  Add the tomatoes, ketchup, brown sugar, dijon, adobo sauce and two whole chipotle peppers.  Stir this to combine and then simmer for 1-2 hours on low heat, stirring occasionally.

Once the sauce has simmered, let it cool slightly and then blend it until it’s completely smooth.  It will keep in a jar in the fridge for about 1 month.

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