I wanted to experiement with barbecue sauce last night.
Gosh. I just read that over and it sounded kind of nasty.
Let me rephrase.
Ernie was smoking some ribs last night and I decided to try making some barbecue sauce. Normally I'm not a sauce girl….on pulled pork I like a good basic North Carolina vinegar sauce but on ribs and the like I like them plain….just the spice rub….
We're planning to make a couple of batches of pulled pork for CynthiaFest though and I thought I would have a choice of barbecue sauces. I poked around online and picked a basic barbecue sauce. It was simple, simple, simple. I tried to make it according to the recipe although upon rereading it I realize I left out the cup of water because it wasn't specified in the ingredient list and who the hell reads the directions? I guess that would make it a heck of a lot thinner…hmmmm….gotta think about that. When it was done I found it good, but too sweet and too mild for my tastes so I added a container of fresh blackberries and two huge chipotle peppers in adobo. I mashed everything up with a stick blender and let it simmer spittingly for awhile. We let it cool and sit while we ran out and had a couple of drinks with our beloved Pat and Diane, Boo and Doug. Delightful….it was a last minute surprise, the air had cooled enough that it felt lovely outside and it always feels so good to be with them. Owen called midway to report that he thought the ribs should come off the grill and when we got home they were there waiting for us. I threw together a haphazard potato and arugula salad (not one of my better efforts I must admit) and used the sauce kind of as a dipping sauce. I gotta say—-I thought it was quite wonderful….fruit is always good with pork and the blackberries worked well with the chipotles…and the original sauce had been sweet enough that we didn't need any more sugar with the berries. I think one is a keeper—nothing blindingly original here but a nice match up of flavors!
Cynthia's Blackberry Chipotle Barbecue Sauce
adapted from Hickory House Barbecue Sauce in Saveur Magazine issue #76
2 cups ketchup
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp. white or cider vinegar
1 tbsp. barbecue spice (I just used the rub we put on the ribs)
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
container of fresh blackberries
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
Combine in saucepan and simmer for about 20 minutes. Puree as needed.
It turned out thick but relatively smooth. I didn't mind the blackberry seeds so didn't bother straining. If you're putting it in a squeeze bottle or something like that you might want to thin it a bit with some water.
There you have it….a delightful experiment!