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BBQ Sauce with Homemade Ketchup


It’s the height of grilling season which means it’s also the season for barbecue! For Father’s Day, I plan to make a rack of barbecued ribs. Although there are endless of varieties of BBQ sauce available at the grocer’s they are often sweetened with high fructose corn syrup and contain a lot of preservatives.

Making your own BBQ sauce is very easy – basically a combination of ketchup, vinegar, sugar and seasonings. But to make it really special, it’s worth taking the time to first make a batch of homemade ketchup. Your cookouts will be elevated to a new standard when you serve burgers and fries with some delicious homemade ketchup. And using the homemade ketchup as the base for your own BBQ sauce brightens the flavor.

Store the homemade ketchup and BBQ sauces in decorative canning jars to give as Father’s Day gifts to your favorite barbecue-loving guy.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup minced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes
½ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon dry mustard powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering, Sauté the onion until it is soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and continue cooking for two minutes.

Add the rest of the ingredients (tomatoes through black pepper) bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring often until the mixture has been reduced by about half and has thickened, about 45 minutes.

Set aside to cool in the pan. The ketchup will continue to thicken as it cools. Blend the mixture with an immersion blender until smooth. Put a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and strain out the solids. Use a wooden spoon to press out the saucy ketchup into the bowl. Discard the solids.

1 ½ cups homemade ketchup (or your favorite brand)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Hot sauce

Place all the BBQ sauce ingredients (except the hot sauce) in a small saucepan and cook on very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly, to dissolve the brown sugar and combine the flavors.

Add a dash or two of your favorite hot sauce such as Tabasco or Sriracha. After the BBQ sauce cools, taste it and adjust the seasonings, adding a bit more salt, smoked paprika or Worcestershire sauce if you prefer.