When I started thinking about my July recipe, a homemade BBQ sauce came to mind. At first I wrote it off as too simple and boring. It's always tempting to find some difficult and fancy dish for these posts but sometimes I need to step back and ask myself, what would I have fun making?
Too many times have I heard that you should never purchase a BBQ sauce because they are so easy to make. My problem with that sentiment is that there are so many good sauces to buy out there! One of our favorites comes from Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. It's readily available at almost every Wegmans and it's really good! Another sauce I've had that I loved came from Colorado brewery, Oskar Blues. Their Old Chub Hot Sauce was really good and is just such a great idea. We love Old Chub so it isn't a hard sell.
I used that inspiration to begin my web search for a recipe to run with. I found this. I've never heard of BBQPitBoys.com before but the recipe includes both jalapenos and beer so it caught my eye. I was somewhat hesitant because it uses so much ketchup. It gives the recipe a bit of a non-homemade feeling. I decided to go with it though and I wasn't disappointed.
The instructions in the recipe are far from elaborate, just put all the stuff together and let it simmer. After some deliberation with Heather about whether or not we should de-seed the jalapenos, we decided not to. I took advantage of our food processor and gave them a very rough chop before throwing them in (along with an onion that the recipe didn't call for). The processor did a great job giving it a relish-like consistency.
With that in the bottom of the sauce pot I just went to town adding everything else before turning the stove on. The recipe calls for one to two sticks of butter. Always health conscious, Heather told me one was good enough. As I was adding things she got a bit paranoid at the full tablespoon of cayenne pepper that went in. Adding that to three jalapenos seemed like a recipe for an atomic bomb but I opted to follow the recipe. It was entertaining to pour the beer in. The smells were amazing and just got better as it simmered.
I decided to make some grilled chicken wings as the avenue for eating the sauce. Heather has done wings on our grill multiple times and I love them. I thought it was time I learned how and the spiciness of the sauce seemed to make sense on wings. With Heather guiding me, I prepped the wings while the sauce was simmering, cutting off the tips and dividing the drumsticks. It was a bit of a challenge finding that spot that the knife could get between the bones, but I was able to make it work. After they were prepped, they went in a big ziplock bag with some of the sauce to marinate overnight.
The next day I went ahead and threw them on the grill. The sauce that they marinated in really helped get a nice char on the outside. While I was grilling them up, Heather threw some nice, local sweet corn in some boiling water which made a great accompaniment. I had a bit of a hard time deciding how long to leave them on the grill, but eventually I just took them off when they looked good.
I tossed them in more of the BBQ sauce and we sat down on the deck to enjoy. The sauce was pretty great. It did have significant heat, but not enough to make in inedible. I'm not sure I could really pick out the Old Chub flavor but I suspect the malty beer added to the sweetness. It would have been interesting to make a bit of it without the beer so we could compare. After eating, I had to lay down because I overdid it. I guess that's a good sign for how good they were! Best of all, we bottled up a bunch of the leftover sauce to use in something else!
You just read one of Upstate Crumbs' monthly New Recipe posts. Every month, Mike and Heather will each make a post about a new recipe. For Mike, it will usually be an adventure in trying to learn to cook. For Heather, she'll pick something that is outside of her comfort zone in some way.