Sunday, July 5, 2009

Basically Barbecue Sauce

Grilled meat is very caveman. However, most commercial barbecue sauces contain sugar. This is actually a good thing, because the sugar caramelizes during the cooking and produces wonderful flavours on the meat. However, since cavemen didn't have access to sugar, and stevia won't caramelize, we have to turn to another sweetener in the caveman's pantry - agave syrup. Yep, agave, the same plant from which we get tequila, is also the source of a sweet syrup which has a much lower glycemic index than sugar (for those of you who are worried about such things). honey. Disregard mention of agave - it's almost pure fructose! Brush this sauce on when your meat is almost done - don't make the rookie mistake of putting the sauce on at the beginning, or you'll end up with burnt offerings.

  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 clove minced garlic, if you don't mind chunky sauce)
  • 1 tsp onion powder (or 1 small minced onion, as above)
  • 1/8 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/8 cup agave syrup
  • 1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
  • a couple of drops of liquid smoke (optional, for smoky flavour)
  • a couple of drops of hot sauce (optional, for zip)

  1. Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer over medium heat for at least 30 minutes.
This is a pretty basic sauce framework - you have sweet and sour tastes. I haven't added salt, but you could certainly do so if you wanted to. I think you can probably customize this sauce about a million ways - try adding some lemon juice, for example. Or use honey in place of the agave syrup. Maybe some red wine?

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