THE BEST BBQ SAUCE, EVER. This Memphis barbecue sauce would make cardboard taste great. I don’t use the term “best” lightly, but this qualifies.
Publisher note: this is a republish from April 19, 2010. The fourth month of the blog. Maybe that is why it has not got the attention it deserved. I have re-edited photos and rewritten the text. I have changed to my current rating system and post structure. Plus I added dog pictures, of course.
This is a copy cat recipe from an Ann Arbor institution, Zimmerman’s Road House. The pork is great but the sauce even better. Their “Red Rage”- Memphis barbecue sauce is wonderful. It was sweet, tomatoey, and spicy all at once. They don’t sell it by the bottle although they will sell you a small container. So it was time to recreate that taste.
There seem to be two variations on the internet called “Memphis BBQ Sauce” both repeated in many places with some variability. The first one that had a lot of butter, some chili sauce and lemon juice among many other things. It just was not what I was looking for. The second seems just about right. There are several variations, but I chose the version from Fine Cooking as the inspiration recipe. As usual, I varied the spices a bit and eliminated what I thought was unnecessary oil.
An absolute 5. As high of a 5 as possible. And my wife agrees. It may not be Red Rage, but it’s close to my memory of that wonderful sauce. Maybe better. What more is there to say?
Notes on Memphis BBQ Sauce:
I’m specifying Heinz or Hunts Ketchup. I believe you get what you pay for in ketchup. Any other than Hunts or Heinz will never come into my house.
Mustard taste is heavy at 1/2 c. Cut it down to your taste. I usually go for 3/8 cup.
I’m specifying nonreactive cookware here. Cookware that is nonreactive would be stainless steel, glass, enamel lined, and non-stick. A reactive pan is one that contains metals that might interact with certain acid foods like tomatoes. The pan can release atoms of the metals and change the taste and color of the sauce. Aluminum, cast iron, and unlined copper are all examples of reactive metals.
Combine in a non-reactive saucepan with a glass lid : 2 cups Heinz or Hunts Ketchup, 1/4-1/2 cup yellow mustard, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoon celery salt, 2 teaspoons liquid smoke, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
Place over medium-high heat, stirring aggressively until starting to boil being careful to avoid splatter. This stuff is thick and will burn you. Reduce heat to low and cover with a glass lid so you can see the action.
Occasionally remove from heat and stir well. Please be sure to remove from heat before stirring to prevent splattering and burns.
Notes: Spoon some into small freezer bags, and it should be good for at least several months frozen.
May 7, 2017