My sauce is all about a balance of sweet and spicy, with a little bit of smoky. Cola-based barbecue sauces are a Southern tradition. My boys are big Barq's fans so that is our go-to. Sometimes I'll use Coke or Steen's Cane Syrup. B is very into Cherry Dr. Pepper these days so I suspect that will wind up in the pot sooner rather than later. The heat is from jalapeno and cayenne. I often add a few dashes of Cholula hot sauce as well. Add one jalapeno to the saute if you are afraid of too much heat. You can always add the other later. Beware that the full flavor of the jalapeno may not be evident until after you puree the sauce. It doesn't matter if it is not sauteed. This sauce has a little smoky flavor from the cumin. If you like more, try using smoked paprika in place of the regular kind. The coffee added at the end mellows the flavor of the ketchup and adds some depth to the sauce. Don't skip it!
Root Beer and Coffee Barbecue Sauce
- 2 tablespoons bacon fat or butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
- 1 can of Barq’s root beer
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 4 cups ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Worcester sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1-2 tablespoons brewed strong coffee
- Heat the butter or bacon fat in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno, sauteing until the onion is soft and beginning to brown.
- Add the Barq's and deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits.
- Add the next 10 ingredients (brown sugar through cayenne). Simmer for an hour or so.
- Turn off the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce.
- Add the coffee and simmer for about 5 minutes more.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 1/2 hours
DH basted chicken on the grill with the sauce, then we served it over smoked gouda cheese grits. Yum! May it be the first of many fabulous Sunday night barbecues on the deck!