Rachel’s New Classic Barbecue Sauce

1 large shallot
12 ounces tomato paste
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Coca-Cola
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons mustard powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground chipotle
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon mesquite liquid smoke

Pulse all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and simmer on the lowest setting for 15 minutes or until heated through and slightly thickened. Allow to cool completely. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate.

My thoughts:

This year I have found a new interest in making homemade barbecue sauces. It wasn’t that I had been using bottled sauces until now, I hadn’t been using any barbecue sauce at all until this summer. The few times I encountered a bottled sauce they were always too sweet or weak tasting.

So I decided to start making my own. It seemed like most of the tomato-based recipes I came across called for my old nemesis, ketchup. Since I detest ketchup and its cloying sweetness, I knew that was not for me. So I decided to use intensely flavored tomato paste as a base and add some of my favorite ingredients to create my own ultimate sauce. The balsamic adds a fruity roundness, the coke adds a light sweetness (and no one would guess that it was an ingredient at all!) and the savory Worcestershire sauce adds an extra depth of flavor. I wanted a spicy-smoky note in the sauce so in went a dash of my favorite mesquite liquid smoke and ground chipotle pepper. The result? A tangy, spicy, smoky, not-too-sweet sauce that is perfect for any meat.

This sauce is also fantastic drizzled over pork or beef sandwiches, meatballs or in pulled pork.


  1. Your BBQ sauce sounds delicious. I will be making some for my BBQ tonight and keep the rest (if there is any leftover!) for the weekend!

    I sometimes use Coca Cola in my marinade for BBQ meat, it makes the meat tender and balances the saltiness of the soy sauce I use!

  2. Yummy in my tummy

    mmmm….sounds really good. something i might have to try for summer grilling!

  3. cookies and cups

    I am totally going to try this recipe out! I am ALWAYS on the look out for a new BBQ sauce and this one sounds like it is right up my alley! Thanks!

  4. This sounds amazing! We are doing BBQ chicken and ribs this weekend and I may have to make this for it!

  5. Your BBQ sauce sounds great.

  6. Oh my, this would do the job nicely? we will give it a spin this week end…4th of July Barbee. best, s

  7. OMG it has COKE in it!!!!

  8. Sounds awesome. I love the idea of combining Coke and Worcestershire in BBQ sauce – two of the best things in the world!

  9. bellacuisine.blogspot.com

    This looks lovely! I agree with you about Ketchup based sauces- they are not my preference either.
    Your version looks delicious- can't wait to try it.

  10. I detest barbecue sauce for precisely the reasons you describe. However, your sauce (and explanation) is forcing me to rethink that notion and give your interpretation a try.

    I'll let you know how it goes…

  11. That sauce looks so tasty & so fabulous!!

  12. Yum! I have been using bottle BBQ sauces, but wanted to try my hand at making some. Yours sounds delicious!

  13. Heck yeah! I forgot the shallot, which I'm sure would make this even better, but it was really good! Finally a recipe for bbq sauce without ketchup. Thank you 🙂