The BBQ season is restricted to the summer, or warmer months for many people. But not these people! We grill and smoke meats year round at this house. Glenn has become a BBQ expert over the last several years. He watches and records shows about it; reads books about it; and visits lots of restaurants to taste it! We have actually taken vacations strictly for tasting different BBQ. A few years ago we traveled with friends [we’re not the only crazy ones] from our home in Michigan to Nashville and Memphis to sample the southern cooking we kept hearing about. This trip was loosely based on the TV show Diners, Drive-In & Dives. We had seen some of our destinations on the show. We sampled foods in many, many, many restaurants over 5 days. We even had shirts made before we left that read “Famous Stamous [a combo of letters from our last names] BBQ Tour, Nashville/Memphis” for the trip. The second day or so we all wore our matching shirts for laughs. One restaurant manager actually thought we were “somebody”, from a show or something [we did not correct him], and provided us with additional free samples of other menu items! That certainly brought on more laughs and encouraged us to give it another go! In Memphis, we found a “Taste of Memphis” tour where we went to 10 restaurants in one day. Yep, one day! Now these weren’t full meals, it was samples of one or two menu items at each stop. It started at a chicken joint for 1 chicken wing each and ended on Beale Street with fried dill pickle slices and a beer.
In the end, it was a fun and filling day. It even encouraged a second trip 2 years later to return to our favorite stops. On that trip we got smart and had a cooler so about 5 dozen pieces of the most perfect fried chicken ever could make the 13 hour trip home from Memphis with us…now that may be crazy! To fill the void in between trips, we have become quite the BBQ connoisseurs ourselves, and this sauce is fabulous. Pair it with the rub on this blog and your BBQ’d meats will, quite simply, be perfect.
32 ounces ketchup [4 cups]
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups apple cider vinegar
2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup honey
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons tamarind paste
1 Tablespoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon hot sauce [or more to taste]
1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper [powder]
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Simmer until the tamarind paste has dissolved and all of the ingredients have combined.
- Bring sauce to a rapid boil for 5 minutes.
- Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes so all of the ingredients can “get to know each other”.
- Cool for 10 minutes, then serve.
Tamarind Paste can be found in Asian markets, or larger supermarkets.
Save the ketchup bottle to store the extra sauce in; the squeeze top is perfect for serving. [To remove the “gummy” label, soak in a sink of hot water with 2 scoops of OxyClean; after 20 minutes or so the label will float to the to the surface.] The bottle and lid are top-shelf dishwasher safe.
This sauce goes well with chicken, pork or beef.
Pair with the DivaQ’s BBQ Rub on this site for the perfect marriage of BBQ yumminess.