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Sauces and Condiments

Kentucky bourbon barbecue sauce

Kentucky bourbon barbecue sauce
Christian K. Lee / Los Angeles Times

If there’s one dish that signifies summer in America, it’s ribs. Cooked outdoors in backyards across this great nation, ribs are a cherished pastime. They are the stuff of smoke and live fire, and the glory of long afternoons spent ... Read more

  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 6 to 8 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups Kentucky bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried mustard
  • 1 tablespoon salt, more to taste
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups ketchup
  • ¾ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup liquid smoke
  • ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Tabasco or other vinegar-based hot sauce
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup, if desired

Step 1In a heavy-bottom 3- to 4-quart pot, combine the onion, garlic and bourbon. Bring the bourbon to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and continue to cook until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.

Step 2Stir in the pepper, chile powder, dried mustard, salt, tomato paste, ketchup, cider vinegar, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, dark brown sugar, Tabasco and maple syrup, if desired, for a sweeter sauce. Continue to gently simmer for 30 minutes to give the flavors time to marry. Stir frequently, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent burning.

Step 3Remove from heat and purée the sauce until fairly smooth using an immersion blender or blending in stages using a stand blender. Set aside to cool, then refrigerate, covered, in a non-reactive container for up to 2 weeks. This sauce can also be frozen.


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