Summer’s here, and Canada Day and Independence Day are right around the corner! And you know what that means. It’s time to fire up the barbecue! The only problem? Commercial barbecue sauces have a LOT of sugar and/or high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and may also contain gluten. So I decided to try my hand at making some homemade sauce again. I tried making a paleo-friendly BBQ sauce last summer but never really got something I thought was good enough to share. And then I found my secret ingredient: apple! Pureed apple adds the needed sweetness and body to the sauce.
Heat some coconut oil in a small pot over medium heat and throw in the onions and garlic. When the onions are soft and translucent, turn the heat down to medium low and add the tomato paste, tomato sauce, apple cider vinegar, apple slices, water, and honey. You can add more or less honey to suit your taste. Stir in the spices and leave it all to simmer for 30 minutes or more. You want the the flavours to deepen and the apple slices to be nice and soft.
Pour the mixture into your blender and puree everything until smooth. You can either use the sauce as is or, if you like it thicker, throw it back in the pot and let it simmer for a little while longer to reduce.
Fair warning, my sauce is not going to have that dark red colour you may be used to in commercial barbecue sauces. The pureed apples and lack of colourants make this kind of a brick orangey-red colour. Don’t worry, it still tastes great!
We’ve used this slathered on barbecued chicken thighs and ribs, or as a dipping sauce for chicken nuggets. Hubs barbecued some steaks and short ribs with this batch. Dee-licious!
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can tomato paste (5.5 oz.)
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 small apple, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons raw honey
- 2 teaspoons brown mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- pinch of ground clove
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of anise
- pinch of salt
- Heat coconut oil over medium heat. Once shimmering, add onions and garlic and saute until onions turn translucent.
- Turn heat down to medium low and add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Pour mixture into blender and puree until smooth.