So, you are going celebrating a three-day fabulous summer weekend with a BBQ. May I make a suggestion? Take an hour while the meat is marinating, the beer is cooling and the cake is in the oven to make homemade BBQ sauce. This is a family recipe that I can promise BBQ lovers will not soon forget.
My grandfather Trevor has been perfecting his BBQ sauce recipe for years, including many spent in Louisiana where he learned to master gumbo, crepes and a variety of other delicious plates we’ve come to expect at our truly eclectic family table. Plus, it freezes well and is another great way to use up some of those jars you’ve got hanging around — you know, the dusty ones in the back of the pantry.
Double the recipe and you’ll have two great Fall gifts ready to go. Just be sure to leave yourself a couple inches at the top of the jar before you stick it in the freezer. If you decide not to freeze your batch, the sauce will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
Pap’s BBQ Sauce
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 green bell pepper
1 large celery stalk
1/4 white onion
3/4 to 1 cup light brown sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce
1/2 can of tomato juice
Cayenne pepper to taste
Using a three-sided grater, or your food processor, finely grate the bell pepper, celery and onion. Put the oil in heavy pot on medium-high heat. Add the grated vegetables and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Add sugar, vinegar, sauce and juice. Let simmer for 15 minutes and add cayenne and garlic powder. Taste and see if you want to kick it up with a bit more of each spice.
Let simmer for 40 minutes. If the sauce isn’t the thickness you desire, add 1/4 cup of corn starch to a cup of cold water and mix thoroughly before adding to sauce pot. Bring to a boil, stirring carefully. Take off heat.
Adding a dash of liquid smoke is great too!