We did something different for the 4th of July this year. Instead of firing up the grill and loading up on carcinogens, I made oven roasted pork ribs and smothered them in homemade b-b-q sauce.
Years ago when I gave up corn syrup and sugar, I started making my own b-b-q sauce. I have quite a few varieties of flavors but this one is born out of a recent gift from a friend. And while b-b-q sauce has no hard and fast rules, my version goes something like this:
1-28 oz can of tomatoes
1/4 cup of white vinegar + 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of honey
1 TBSP ground mustard (or a heaping spoon full of commerical mustard)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 heaping tsp celery seeds
1 tsp of liquid smoke
1 cup of diced onion
2 TBSP Sesame Oil (coconut or olive)
1 tsp of black pepper
1/4 tsp hot peppers (I used my personal mix, cayenne would be fine–but you may need a lesser amount)
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or several cloves of garlic)
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp corriander
1/4 tsp paprika
Adjust seasonings to your taste. Combine this and cook it down until it thickens.
Now, this is probably not as sweet as some people like their sauce and certainly not as sweet as the gift from my dear friend. To make it sweeter, I would double the honey and maybe add more vinegar.
This basic recipe is a good foundation for a spicy and good flavored sauce. It has many variations. If you don’t want the heat in it leave out the hot peppers. My favorite is a southern bourbon sauce so I usually add a big splash of good bourbon (the alcohol cooks off and it is perfectly safe for kids). It adds flavor without the extra sweetness.
B-B-Q sauce can be as individual as the person or the occasion, matching the flavors with the particulars. If you travel the country visiting various B-B-Q places it won’t take long to realize that this topic is very diverse in content.
Now, for my oven baked pork ribs, I make this and do not cook it down. Just mix it up and let it cook down on the uncovered pan of ribs for about an hour and then I cover it and let it cook until very tender. This allows the flavors of the sauce to really cook into the meat. I usually start the ribs off at 325 and the lower the temp to 250 when I cover the pan.
And, of course I would serve this Southern Style with GAPS Baked Beans, Cole slaw and gallons of tea. A key lime tart would make a good completion to the meal.