Sunday, May 26, 2013

Mission of the Week (MOW): Better BBQ Sauce

Today I made a delicious Paleo lunch. Mini BBQ burgers, grilled onion, and riced spiced cauliflower (just riced cauliflower with salt and red pepper flakes). I took out salad ingredients but skipped it; wasn't feeling it today.

It's okay, because the burgers and onions and cauliflower rice really was enough. The fat came from about two tablespoons of ghee that I added when sauteeing the cauliflower.

Here's the thing: The BBQ sauce was so-so. I adapted it from a very simple Paleo BBQ sauce recipe I found on the web that called for equal parts balsamic vinegar and tomato paste. I had doubts it could be so simple so I added garlic powder, spicy brown mustard, unsweetened applesauce and about three tablespoons 100% apple juice.

Honestly, it was just okay. It certainly smelled like BBQ sauce and it certainly looked like BBQ sauce, but it wasn't. Not really. It was a sweet, tangy tomato paste.

I've seen Paleo BBQ sauce recipes ranging from 20 ingredients to 2, slow cooked to microwaved to not cooked at all. I'm sure the recipes I chose to skip - the one with 20 ingredients mentioned above - are the best, naturally.

But my criteria for this test kitchen recipe is that the sauce must be

  • Easy to make (very little chopping, simmering, slow cooking, grinding, etc.)
  • Quick to make (under 30 minutes, or under 1 hour if the sauce is REALLY GOOD)
  • Doable in large batches (Summer's approaching; I want to bottle this stuff and use it til it's gone)
  • Fewer than 10 ingredients including spices.
So that is the mission of the week. I've accepted it. I will be posting updates as I go, but basically I have 6 days (including today) to see if I can whip up a BBQ sauce that tastes just as good as anything found in Kansas City or a BBQ competition with no added sugar and 100% Paleo compliance. Can it be done?

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