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J-Lo’s Special Sauce

I told you I’d start more recipe blogging.

This is a post about making your own barbecue sauce. This is a recipe that started based on a concoction my brother in law J-Lo (who has been featured here before) discovered. It has since gone through several iterations. This is the current version which will no doubt change as it does often. Fire up your smoker (optional but if you’re cooking some food on it, may as well cook the sauce there too). Phase one:

8 pieces of thick cut bacon
1 large onion, finely chopped
8 teaspoons minced garlic
5 tablespoons chili powder
1 – 2 chopped cayenne peppers. Note that these can be fresh or dried. I grow my own and the plants produce a lot. So, I hang the excess peppers from a string and let them dry out in the garage. They’ll keep for a very long time.

In a skillet, fry up your bacon. Eat bacon for breakfast because if you’re smoking some meat, you probably started early. Retain the bacon fat. You can substitute a stick of butter for bacon fat but why would you? Unless you’re a vegetarian. But if you’re a vegetarian, I imagine your need for barbecue sauce is low. To the bacon fat, add the onion, garlic, and peppers. Cook until the onions become tender. Add chili powder and stir. Cook for a few minutes longer. Remove from heat and allow to cool. You’re only going to allow this to cool because getting hot stuff on you can burn. After you’re satisfied that you won’t burn yourself, pour the mixture into a food processor. Hit frappe and allow it to run until the mixture is mostly liquefied.

Transfer the liquid to a large pot and put it on the stove. To the mixture, stir in the following:

4 cups ketchup
1 cup yellow mustard
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/2 cup honey
2 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons of ginger powder
1/4 cup Soy sauce
ground black pepper to taste (I like mine peppery)
Kosher salt to taste

Bring mixture to a gentle boil and reduce heat. After a few minutes on reduced heat, transfer to your smoker. And let it cook all day. I said the smoker was optional. If you do not plan on using one or don’t have one, no worries. Just keep cooking it on the stove. If you do not use a smoker, I recommend adding a bit of Liquid Smoke to add some smoky flavor. And keep it on your stove on low for an hour or so.

I like mine a bit spicy so I’ll also add some hot sauce on occasion.

You can use the sauce on any thing you’d put barbecue sauce on. Once the sauce cools, I transfer my sauce to a large and clean ketchup bottle and keep it in the fridge. It will keep for several months.

8 Responses to “J-Lo’s Special Sauce”

  1. tgirsch Says:

    For what it’s worth, whenever I make bacon, I put a clean paper towel into a small fine-mesh strainer and pour the bacon fat through that into a glass container. This can be put in the fridge and will keep approximately forever. Then, whenever I need cooking fat for whatever purpose, I can just spoon out what I need. Refrigerated bacon fat scoops pretty much like ice cream.

    This makes for a tasty and surprisingly not-all-that-bad-for-you butter or margarine replacement for pan sauteing, because you can get away with using about 1/3 to 1/2 of what you would if you were using butter or margarine. 1 tsp of bacon fat is all you need if you’re cooking up a couple of boneless skinless chicken breasts. That would take at least a tablespoon of butter.

    Anyway, my point is that it’s good to keep a standby of bacon fat on hand.

    My next installment: making your own lard, and why it’s what you should use instead of shortening. 🙂

  2. tgirsch Says:

    Also, I guarantee you that this recipe would be greatly improved by grinding your own ginger rather than using the powder. Just buy a hand of the stuff, break off a couple of fingers, and peel and grate them. Because it’s not powder, you’ll probably want to throw the grated ginger in just before the frappe step. Otherwise, a stick blender is your friend.

  3. Mad Saint Jack Says:

    I’m a fan of this BBQ sauce because of the pure snark on the bottle.

    Pappy’s Sauce For Sissies

  4. Rivrdog Says:

    linked @ Rivrdog blog. I’d send a pingback, but it looks like you don’t do them.

  5. SayUncle Says:

    yeah, had to kill pingbacks due to spammers.

  6. SayUncle Says:

    good idea on the fresh ginger. but i rarely have it.

    I think the next version will have some bourbon in it too.

  7. James McManus Says:

    While your pouring into the blender, chuck in a teaspoon of cumin and one serrano chili.

  8. John Kindrick Says:

    Its a bizzaro world we are livin in…