From-Scratch Sweet & Tangy Barbecue Sauce

By Donna Currie
The sauce takes quite a bit of time to cook and reduce, but this is something you want to do slowly. Don't rush it ... good things take time. The resulting sauce is rich, deep and luxurious, with sweet, tart, and savory all wrapped up into one bite.
  • Yield: 1 quart
  • Course: Condiment


  • apple cider vinegar
  • balsamic or sherry vinegar
  • bourbon or whisky
  • brown sugar
  • Carrot
  • Garlic Powder
  • green pepper
  • Ground Allspice
  • ground cloves
  • ground mustard
  • large red onion
  • prepared pork shoulder roast
  • Salt
  • sweet paprika
  • tomatoes


  1. The Juicer Method: The easiest way to deal with the fresh tomatoes is by using a juicer to extract the pulp and juice from the tomatoes, while leaving the seeds and skin behind. There's no need to peel or core them first
  2. If you don't have a juicer, you can blanch and peel the tomatoes, then cook them until soft and use a food mill puree them and remove the seeds. Or, pass them through a strainer after they’re cooked, if you don't have a food mill. The point is to end up with pure tomato pulp and juice, while leaving the skins and seeds behind.
  3. Put the tomato juice/pulp mixture into a large saucepan with the rest of the ingredients and cook on low until the mixture has reduced by about a third of its original volume and the vegetables are very soft – about 30 minutes. Use a stick blender to puree all the ingredients.
  4. Or, if you don't have a stick blender, transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender (puree in small batches in the blender to avoid having the blender lid blow off) and blend until smooth. Transfer back to the pot and continue cooking at a simmer until the mixture is very thick – like a typical barbecue sauce. How long this takes can vary depending on the amount of water in your tomatoes, the pan you're using, and how vigorously you're allowing it to simmer. Figure about an hour, and stir as needed to keep the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  5. When it's close to being done, taste and adjust seasonings and tartness. Add salt, if needed, or more vinegar or sugar if you prefer a more tart or more sweet sauce. You should end up with about a quart of sauce when you're done.
  6. Transfer to a storage container (a quart canning jar is good) and refrigerate until needed.
  7. Serve with Pork Shoulder Roast