Classic Barbecue Sauce

My family is definitely a cooking family.  Some of my best memories in life center around the kitchen – bustling around with my parents and brothers, my husband and sister-in-law, and now my kids.  As with anything, after you’ve cooked enough meals together everyone sort of falls into their own specialty – my dad will set an alarm every three hours all night to feed the smoker, my grandma makes amazing potato salad, my mom pulls together insanely good sides, I typically make dessert, and, in the case of a bbq, Ross always makes the sauce.  The recipe comes from one of our dearest friends, James, and exists only in an email sent from him to my husband 8 years ago (it’s a picture taken of a recipe).  I haven’t changed anything about the recipe, but I’m tired of searching through the archives of Ross’ email every time I want to make barbecue sauce so I’m sharing it here.  James is one of the best barbecue-ers (meatists?) I know, so his authority on sauce is commendable.  It’s only fitting that I share it now, as he’s about to move across the country and we won’t be seeing him for a while (though, he offers us an excellent excuse to visit L.A.!)

The smell of smoking brisket and homemade barbecue sauce is one of my favorite smells in the world and given that our sense of smell is tied so closely to my memory, it’s no wonder I have so many wonderful memories of cooking.  If you’ve never made your own sauce, give it a try – it’s not very hard and it tastes a million times better than what you could purchase at a store.  We’re hoping to try some new varieties this summer (I’ve grown some awesome peppers in my garden, so a spicy version is on tap for the near future).  This makes about a quart of BBQ sauce, enough to serve and have plenty left to keep in the refrigerator.  It you reduce it enough it fits perfectly in a large mason jar.

James’ BBQ Sauce

3T olive oil

3 cloves garlic

2 1/2 cups ketchup

3/4 cup chicken broth

3T soy sauce

6T brown sugar

5T molasses

3T red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Mince the garlic.  Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook for about a minute, until fragrant.

2. Add the other ingredients, stir, and allow the mixture to come to a boil.  When it does, turn the heat to low, and allow the mixture to simmer and reduce for 20-30 minutes.  Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

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