12 ounces apple butter
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup rye
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon hot mustard (I used Löwensenf extra)
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon mesquite liquid smoke
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Pulse all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and simmer on the lowest setting until heated through and it reduces slightly, about 15 minutes or so. Allow to cool. Keeps in the fridge about a week.
Yield: about 2 cups
Recently I came across a article that poked fun at people who make their own barbecue sauces when there were so many available at the supermarket. Of course, I found this sort of silly. Barbecue sauce couldn’t be easier to make at home and you can customize it to your taste. I think most store bought bottles are way too sweet and one note. This sauce uses apple butter instead of the more traditional tomato based. Apple butter has a similar consistency to tomato paste so it is an easy substitution. The resulting sauce has the same thick, rich quality that a tomato based sauce would.
I also like using apple butter in BBQ sauces because it adds a natural, fruity sweetness without having to use a lot of sugar or honey. Now, I did add a tiny bit of sugar to the sauce because my homemade apple butter isn’t terribly sweet so you might want to eliminate the the sugar if your apple butter is more on the sweet side. The spices and other flavorings making this sauce simultaneously sweet, tart and savory. I thought this sauce was perfect on pork but I think it would work in pretty much any recipe or occasion that called for barbecue sauce.