Post #604 Mock Up A Que Sauce

October 18, 2018 at 11:15 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post #604 Mock Up A Que Sauce

Way back in the misty years of time, while I was a young adult still living with my parents, my younger brother came over and asked if anyone had any cash on them.  This was in the days before debit cards, ATMs, and the like, and even credit cards were “not the norm” in our town.  Heck, the big thing going then were check guarantee cards, and it took a lot of work to get one of those suckers.  So, if you had no cash on you, you just didn’t have any money to spend immediately.  He had no cash, and oddly, neither did I or my parents.

Dad asked, “What did you need it for?”  If the need was great enough, he was going to write a check, which in those days was the alternative to cash.

He said, “We’re going to barbecue some chicken and need some barbecue sauce.  And some potatoes.”

I chuckled, “Some chicken too?”

He grinned, “Well, now that you mention it.”

Mom and I went to the kitchen.  She grabbed some chicken and some potatoes and a couple of other things for him, but she couldn’t find any barbecue sauce.

“Don’t worry,” I said.  “I’ll throw some together.”

I know my brother’s tastes, or I did then.  This was over 40 years ago.  And I knew what I liked.  So I looked at what we had.

First, I didn’t want to cook this at all.  He wanted it now so they could start their dinner.  So I needed something that was already a sauce.  Well, tomato sauce was the obvious, but it would need to be cooked.  Oh, ketchup!  It has a robust tomato flavor, and a sweetness that would hold up well with some tangy elements.  It would help cling to the chicken while on the grill and caramelize nicely.  So I grabbed a big bowl and dumped a couple of cups of ketchup into it.

Ketchup by itself would not do, though.  It needed some smoky earthy flavors.  I put a couple of drops of Liquid Smoke (remember that stuff?) and some Worcestershire sauce.  Then for added flavor I put in some garlic and onion powder.

I also wanted some kick and some tanginess.  Heck, we lived in the desert southwest, so kick was easy.  I diced a jalapeno and threw it in, with the seeds.  For tanginess, I thought about vinegar, but I didn’t want to dilute it, so I put in some prepared grainy brown mustard.  With the addition of the peppers, the sauce got chunky instead of staying smooth, so I decided to put it in the blender.

So, after pouring the whole thing in, on a whim, I added several cloves of garlic, a slice of onion, a spoonful of brown sugar, and a drizzle of honey.  Then I put it on puree and let it go to town.  This blender was the workhorse of blenders that my mom had owned since the day she got married.  I defy a glacier to stand up to those blades.  In a few minutes, the sauce was ready and had a nice reddish brown color.

I called my brother out to the kitchen and held a spoon out to him.  “Taste.  Let me know if it needs anything.”

He shoved the spoon in his mouth and swallowed.  His eyebrows went up to his hairline.  “That’s great!  How’d you make that?”

I shrugged.  “It’s a gift.  It doesn’t need anything?”

He shook his head.  “It’s perfect.”

I poured about half into a jar and closed the lid tight.  “Enjoy!  Let me know how everyone likes it.”

They loved it and I was forced to actually write down the “recipe” for it.  Years later, my niece was after me for the “recipe.”  I was forced to tell her that it was just a mash up that I’d thrown together of flavors I knew we all liked.  I re-created  what I remembered, and she’s used it ever since.

So, I thawed out the ribs we got at the farm over the weekend and I wanted to put a dry rub on them to cook into them.  I wimped out and used a prepared rub.  I rubbed the stuff over the ribs and put them in the pan.  I sprinkled more over them, then drizzled olive oil on them.

The combination of the dry rub, the olive oil, and the natural juices from the meat created a wonderful sauce in the bottom of the pan that tasted like a really good barbecue sauce.

The ribs themselves were amazing!  You may recall that this farm was all organic, no hormones, and humane slaughter.  The ribs tasted like it.  So much flavor you just don’t get from the large meat packaging plants.  So tonight I’m braising the chicken we got from them in a roasted salsa verde.  Can’t wait.

Let me know about your favorite mock ups.

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