Taste the Air-Chilled Difference®

Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

by , Owner, Hartz Spice, Portland, Oregon

Makes 1 gallon

Bourbon barbecue sauce with a kick! This recipe makes a large batch of sauce. It can easily be cut in half, of course, but I like to make a gallon at a time and freeze it in quart-sized zip-top freezer bags. (Remove all the air, then lay the bags flat in the freezer.) If you want the sauce spicier, add some Tabasco sauce while it is cooking.

  • 5 dried arbol chiles* (also called Japanese chile pods)
  • 4 dried New Mexico chiles* (also called Guajillo chile pods)
  • 7 dried pasilla chiles* (also called negro chile pods)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 3/4 cup garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 2 bottles of beer
  • 7 fluid ounces cider vinegar
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 7 ounces light Karo syrup
  • 10 ounces chili sauce
  • 5 ounces Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 12-ounce can of tomato paste
  • 5 teaspoons cumin
  • 5 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt

Remove the stem and seeds from the chiles. Tear the chiles into pieces and soak overnight in two quarts of water at room temperature. The next day, drain the chiles though a colander.

In a 6-quart stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic; sauté for about 5 minutes or until they are translucent. Add the chiles and sauté for another 5 minutes, being careful not to burn. Remove the pot from the heat and add the bourbon. (Always remove the pot from the heat before adding alcohol to ensure that it doesn’t ignite while you’re pouring it.) Place the pot back over the heat and reduce until almost dry

Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour.

Using a blender, puree the sauce. Always use caution when blending hot liquids. (I remove the center cap of the blender lid and place a towel over the hole before turning on the blender. The towel allows the steam to escape while blending.)

This sauce will keep for one week in the refrigerator or one year in a freezer.

*Available in many grocery stores, specialty food stores, and Latin markets.