Saturday, June 24, 2017

The Time Has Come ...





... the Walrus said, to talk of many things:
Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax.
Of cabbages and kings,
And why the sea is boiling hot,
And whether pigs have wings* ...




You know what goes great with pigs and wings? Tom's barbecue sauce. I've debated forever whether to share his sauce. He tweaked it until it was perfect and then guarded it carefully. I, unable since birth to actually follow a recipe, have continued tweaking. For the good of all mankind and summer cookouts, here it is.

Tom's Barbecue Sauce


28 oz can crushed or pureed tomato
1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c honey
2 T lemon juice
2 T Worcestershire sauce
2 T olive oil
1/2 c brown sugar
2 t chili powder
1/2 t basil
1 small onion, finely diced
1/2 t thyme
1/2 t cayenne
1/2 c white vinegar
2 cloves garlic
1 t mustard powder

Combine in a heavy pot and leave on a high simmer (but do not boil) for 2 hours. Cool to room temp the chill for 2 days before use.

A few things to keep in mind. In case you don't already know this, barbecue sauce is an art, not a science, and it's open to interpretation. Also, if you ever cooked with Tom you know he had a rule to double whatever the spices called for in a recipe. These spices are already doubled. But go for it and let me know if you like quadruple thyme (btdt, you won't).

Also, "honey" and "brown sugar" are open to interpretation. You like malt syrup? Go for it. You want to use light brown instead of dark brown? There are no rules in barbecuesauceland. In today's iteration I'm using maple syrup and maple sugar in their steads. I would not recommend corn syrup or white sugar unless you consciously want to highlight another ingredient. In which case  you have to report back.

Also, for the love of God, at least double the recipe. I usually quadruple it. After it's aged I throw it into ziplock bags in 2-cup measures and freeze flat, with newsprint between layers to keep them from freezing into a giant block.

And if you've stayed with me this long, you've earned a bonus "recipe." To make Tom's pulled pork, cook a Boston Butt in a slow cooker with a bottle of liquid smoke poured over (Gross, I know, right? But it works.) for 18-24 hours on low. Remove the bone and waste, discard the liquid, and and break up the meat. Return the pulled pork to the slow cooker, stir in about 2 cups of barbecue sauce and heat through. This honestly could not be an easier recipe unless you used store bought barbecue sauce, which I have been know to do and it hasn't killed me yet, And now I'm wondering what oysters in barbecue sauce would taste like.

Mangia!

* Excerpted from Lewis Carroll's The Walrus and the Carpenter




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