For a while I have been wanting to make a house barbecue sauce with one of Matt's beers, and we are very pleased with this sauce. It's debut will be at a friend's barbecue this weekend. Now unless you are able to procure some of Matt's Lady in Red Irish Red, you won't be able to completely recreate this sauce. However, if you select a red ale that is malty, caramelly, a little nutty and not hoppy, you can get a close approximation. I also used honey from my Aunt Lisa and Uncle Tilman's bees, so you probably can't get that either, so just pick a good quality wildflower honey. If you don't make chicken stock at home, then use store bought, but make absolutely sure that it is as low sodium as possible.
This sauce is tangy, sweet, smoky, with a hint of mole flavor and just the right amount of spicy heat. If you don't want the spicy part, omit the ancho chile, and halve the amount of cayenne, but don't omit cayenne entirely. Also, I prefer a thick barbecue sauce, but if you prefer a thinner sauce, simply simmer for a shorter time.
The ingredient list is lengthy, and I suggest that before starting to cook, excepting the first 8 ingredients, measure all of the wet ingredients into one container and all of the dry ingredients into another.
Since there is sugar and honey in the sauce, don't marinate anything in this sauce, for once you put it on a grill, it will burn before your meat is cooked. It is for brushing on in the last minute of grilling, or as a condiment on cooked meats and vegetables. You can also heat a little in a saucepan, add shredded cooked chicken, then pile it onto a toasted bun for a quick, tasty dinner. The sauce will keep about a month in the fridge, tightly sealed, and you can also freeze it.
Makes about 1 quart.
- 12 ounces Lady in Red Irish Red beer
- 3 TBS chopped garlic
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 ½ cups ketchup
- 1 Ancho Chile, stemmed and seeded
- 3 tsp liquid smoke
- 3 TBS apple cider vinegar
- 3 TBS Worcestershire sauce
- 2 TBS low sodium soy sauce
- 2 TBS Lukas honey
- 1/2 cup homemade chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 4 TBS dry mustard
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 ½ tsp mexican oregano
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- ¼ tsp ground chipotle
- 3 TBS cocoa
- 1 bay leaf
- Put oil into 4 qt. pot, heat over medium-low heat.
- Add onion, salt and black pepper, cook stirring regularly until onion softens.
- Stir in garlic, cook for about a minute.
- Pour in the beer, bring to a boil and boil for one minute.
- Add the ancho chile, ketchup and all remaining wet ingredients, dry ingredients and bay leaf.
- Stir until smooth (excepting for the chile and bay leaf)
- Bring sauce to a low simmer.
- After simmering for 5 minutes, remove ancho chile.
- Continue to simmer sauce, stirring from time to time for an hour or hour and a half, until thickened to desired consistency.
- Strain sauce through fine mesh strainer