June 21, 2011

Barbecue PIzza Sauce

I'm a huge proponent for using as many fresh ingredients as possible, including and especially condiments.  Whenever I have time, I like to make a big batch of my favorite sauces instead of having to search through labels at the grocery store for products without processed ingredients.  So I decided to tackle a summertime favorite, barbecue sauce

I did a riff on what I consider barbecue sauce (not a southerner by any means) by using crushed tomatoes instead of ketchup and lots of apple cider vinegar.  After simmering for a couple of hours, the sauce is thick and tangy and great for pizza!

Barbecue Pizza Sauce
1/2 a red onion, diced
1 shallot, diced
4 cloves of garlic
28oz can of crushed tomatoes (Hunt's is a fave, but San Marzano if at all possible)
1.5 cups of apple cider vinegar
1 cup of light brown sugar
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1 teaspoon of sriracha
1 bay leaf 
salt and pepper to taste

The process of making barbecue pizza sauce was a lot like regular tomato sauce.  Saute the aromatics, add the tomatoes and spices, and simmer for a looooong time.  After adding the crushed tomatoes, I added the vinegar, the spices, and half of the sugar.  After bringing the sauce to a boil, I let it simmer for a couple of hours while I was preparing everything else that would go with the sauce.

When cooking a long simmering sauce, always remember that the final product is going to be a lot more intense than when you first put everything in the pot.  I only added half of the sugar at first because I knew the sauce would become sweeter as it reduced.  Once the sauce was almost done, I added the rest of the sugar a little at a time until I achieved a good balance of flavors.  The same can be said about the rest of the ingredients; if you taste it and hate it then change it.  If you want more heat, add more chili powder or chipotles for a smoky flavor or really anything!  The most important thing is that you love the sauce, and I love my version of this sauce

Upcoming: what I did with the sauce!

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