Even though our ground is still white with snow here in the north, we are all anxiously awaiting spring -- and barbecue season. What better way to get ready than a big vat of your own homemade barbecue sauce? It takes less than 5 minutes to measure all the ingredients into a saucepan, then 15 minutes of easy simmering while you have a cup of tea, or do the dishes, or put up your feet, and you are ready for manning the grill. Plus you have bragging rights that this is your own, homemade, secret-recipe barbecue sauce, rich with the complexity and depth of red wine, tangy with vinegar and sweetened with honey. Who knew it could be this easy? —Kitchen Frau
Test Kitchen Notes
This was very easy to make, with a great balance of sweet and spicy. The sauce is nice and thick -- it would pair well with beef or chicken. —The Editors
4 1/2 cups
cans tomato paste, 5.5 ounces each
red wine vinegar
full-bodied red wine
dark molasses (blackstrap or cooking molasses)
Mix all ingredients together in a large saucepan. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until thickened to your liking.
After about 10 minutes of simmering, taste the sauce and if you think it needs more kick, add a bit more cayenne pepper. Then continue simmering for the remaining 5 minutes.
Let cool, and pour into a bottle or jar with a tight-fitting lid. I like to keep some in a squeeze bottle for ease of use. (An empty honey or syrup bottle works well.)
This sauce will keep for months in the refrigerator, and it also freezes well.