This cherry barbecue sauce is fuelling the fire that is my condiment addiction.
It takes the corner stones of classic barbecue sauce; tomato, sugar and mustard, and marries them up with the fruitiness and spice of classic British brown sauces like Daddies and HP. It’s sweet, spicy, smoky, fruity and full bodied all at once.
The key ingredient here is cherries. The spoiler was in the title really. Cherry barbecue sauce. Not only do they give this sauce that intense red colour, but they bring a real tang of fruitiness which is exactly what I was looking for.
There are also five extra ingredients in the recipe too. Something I really want to encourage you to do with this is make it your own. That’s the ‘secret sauce’ here. By choosing one of the extras in the recipe, you’re adding yet another layer of flavour to what we’ve built up in the pan. Each one brings something new to the sauce so that you can personalise it for yourself, adapt it to fit a meal you’re planning or make it an extra special gift for someone you love. Let me give you a few examples:
For me: I love anything smoky so I add some liquid smoke to mine.
For the ribs recipe I’m sharing next week: choosing the coffee option really grounds the sauce with rich, earthy notes that work great with ribs.
For Matt: he’s a whisky kind of gent and I know he’d love the background taste it would add to this barbecue sauce.
You don’t have to worry about proportions, I’ve tested them out and I’ve covered that too.
Let’s talk about making this jar of wonderful savoury goodness:
Although there are quite a few ingredients, the process of making this barbecue sauce recipe, is really straight forward. Fry the onion and garlic, add everything else, simmer for 30minutes. I’ve noticed a lot of food blogs recommend you use time like that to clean the kitchen, wash up etc. but I like to keep my blog honest. I made this at the weekend and whilst it was simmering, I was sat on the sofa watching Community. So it is my suggestion that you do something similar whilst your sauce is simmering. If you need a list of other 30 minute long shows, let’s see: 30 Rock, Parks and Recreation, Arrested Development, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Scrubs, Family Guy, Friends.
By the time it has finished, your barbecue sauce will have turned from this:
I’ve been having this in bacon buns, with sausages, on burgers, with ribs. It really is meat’s best friend but it also makes me rather happy to spread a little bit on a cracker. I’m not sure if that sounds a bit odd to you, but we’re sticking with the honesty. Now I think about it, cracker + barbecue sauce + cheese might be a winning combination.
- 1 Onion, diced
- 2 Garlic cloves, minced
- 200g Soft brown sugar
- 200ml Passata
- 150g Cherries, stoned and halved
- 4 Tsp Mustard
- 4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tsp Smoked paprika
- 1 Tsp Chilli powder
- ¼ Tsp Salt
- For a richer, earthier sauce add 50ml strong coffee
- For an extra smoky sauce add ¼ tsp liquid smoke
- For a warmer sauce add ¼ tsp all spice
- For a whisky barbecue sauce add 50ml whisky
- For a stout barbecue sauce swap 100ml of passata for 100ml of stout.
- In a large saucepan on a medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil and fry the onions until translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the remaining ingredients, including your chosen extras from the list above. Stir well to combine.
- Bring the contents to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 30minutes the sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon when dipped in.
- Transfer the contents to a blender and pulse until smooth.
- Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
Alternatively, follow these additional instructions to can and preserve the sauce so it can be stored at ambient temperature for up to 1 year:
- Add the jars to a large pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil for ten minutes. Turn the heat off and leave the jars in the water until ready to use. Do the same in a separate pan for the lids or rubber seals
- Add the sauce to the hot jars and tighten the lids. Leave to cool.
- Before storing, check to ensure a vacuum has formed. The lids should have 'popped' in, becoming slightly concave. If using a two part lid with a metal screw band, remove the band once cooled and the flat vacuum seal should remain firmly in place.
- If any have failed to seal, follow the instructions below to process in a water bath.
- Close the lids and add the filled jars to a large pan. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Boil for thirty minutes then leave until the water is completely cool before removing. To check the seal, unclip the jar and lift the jar by the lid alone. It should stay firmly sealed.