Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Every Father's Day - every holiday for that matter - my dad says the same thing. "Don't get me anything." I understand why he says it, but what he doesn't seem to understand is that we want to give him gifts. He's given me - and my sisters - so very much that the least we can do is do something to bring a smile to his face. Not that this is an easy feat, mind you. Why are men so hard to buy for? I don't like to buy dust collectors, and T-shirts and ties are nice, but I think that's more my mom's territory. So I did what every daughter who loves to cook should do. I gave him food. And it made both of us happy.

I got to expand my DIY repertoire and scratch one cooking goal off my list: homemade barbecue sauce. (Add it to the list of buttermilk, baking powder, cake flour and pizza sauce, which I plan to share with you soon!) It was so easy to make, and I even tried two recipes - I wanted to try a traditional sauce and a sweet one. I also got to visit one of my favorite stores in town, The Fresh Market, where I bought him the perfect accompaniment to barbecue sauce: ribs.

So if you're looking for a fail-safe, multi-holiday gift for the man in your life give this a shot. Everybody likes food. And if you make it yourself - you know, put a little bit of love into it - your special someone will love it even more.

Homemade Barbecue Sauce

Sweet and Tangy Barbecue Sauce (Orange)
Adapted from epicurious
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1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, minced
2 cups ketchup
8-ounce jar of honey mustard
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1. Heat oil in large saucepan. Add onion and cook until soft and translucent.
2. Add remaining ingredients, stir, and simmer 10 minutes.
3. Remove pan from heat and use immersion blender to process mixture into a smooth paste. (You can also use a blender, but make sure to blend the sauce in small batches because hot liquids expand, and you don't want to make the blender explode.)
4. Return pan to stove, and gently simmer sauce another five minutes.
5. Divide in half, and use one part to marinate meat and the other half to glaze the meat during grilling. Be sure to discard the sauce that you use to marinade the meat, but leftover sauce from the basting container can be used as dip at the table.

Classic Barbecue Sauce
Adapted from Everyday Food
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2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small white onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 6-ounce can of tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1 28-ounce can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
2 cups water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1.5 teaspoons ground pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
2. Add tomato paste and mustard; cook, stirring constantly, until paste turns a brick red color, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water, tomato sauce, molasses, Worcestershire, vinegar, salt and pepper and stir until smooth.
3. Bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low and partially cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 2 hours (thin with water if sauce becomes too thick). Season to taste with vinegar, salt and pepper. Let cool completely before using. (To store, refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 4 months.)