Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Apple Butter BBQ Sauce

In my adulthood, I have come to adore barbecue sauce.  As a kid, I frequently avoided any of it unless I knew it had proven to be smokey and spicy without the slightest hint of sugary sweetness.  After awhile, all barbecue sauces began to disappoint me.  I spent a good part of my life sticking my nose up to it... which wasn't terribly difficult because I didn't eat a lot of meat during my teenage years.  However, now that I am in the throws of a deep affair with meat, smoking, and all things delicious, I have an addiction to BBQ sauce.  New formulas are constantly swirling around my head, and this version is a definite winner.

Like every... er... genius?  I came to the idea of using apple butter as the sweet component in my sauce while just blankly staring at the contents of my fridge.  Independent of outside influences.  Since I made this, I have browsed around the interwebs and found several apple butter barbecue sauces.  It doesn't seem to have caught on the way should have though.  (Apparently TGI Friday's has a version...?  I only go there when my friends want 2 for 1 margaritas, but I have not seen it on the menu.)

Obviously, quality ingredients are the key to any good meal.  I hit the apple butter jackpot with my aunt's homemade apple butter.  It is seriously the best I have ever had!  It is naturally sweet and tangy with a lot more apple flavor than any kind I've bought in the grocery store.  So, if you happen to know my Aunt Michelle, hit her up at the end of summer so you can make this perfectly.

Apple Butter BBQ Sauce
1 14oz can tomato sauce
heaping 1/4 C apple butter
1/4 C cider vinegar
2 Tbsp yellow mustard
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cinnimon
pinch clove
hot sauce (your favorite, I love Tabasco) and salt to taste*

   Combine ingredients except hot sauce and salt.  Simmer over med-low heat for 20-25 minutes.  Add salt and hot sauce.  Simmer another 5 minutes.
   Use as desired.
   Makes ~1 1/2 C.

I just added some shredded chicken to the sauce and cooked it for about 8 minutes... easy.  Delicious.

*I don't like to add hot sauce in the beginning of cooking usually because I find that it gets bitter.  For the salt, you probably won't need it if you tomato sauce has salt.  If it doesn't have salt, you don't want to add any until after the BBQ sauce has reduced.

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