Prep Time: 5 minutes.
Cooking Time: 5 to 7 minutes.
The first time my wife made her homemade BBQ sauce for me, it was an afterthought to our dinner. I was on the porch grilling ribs and told her they would be ready in ten minutes, and she casually asked if I wanted BBQ sauce. I assumed she meant generic store-bought sauce from the fridge. Instead, she made, from scratch, the best BBQ sauce I ever tasted.
She finished the sauce in less than ten minutes in a pan on the stove, and spooned it over the ribs. I couldn’t believe how good it was. It was tangy and spicy and sweet with layers of rich flavors and so incredibly delicious. At my request, she made the sauce for our friends, and everyone agreed it’s the best they ever tasted. They asked her to make jars of it for them to take home. My dad barters me power tools for it.
Why is this dish incredible? It takes about 5 minutes to prepare the ingredients, and another 5 minutes to sauté. Usually, if I see a new recipe with more than a few ingredients listed, I skip it. However, this sauce is truly fast and simple. I would never have believed homemade BBQ sauce was this easy, until I saw Kayla make it. And I still think it is magic every time she does.
Friends, if you want to turn a grilling event into a romantic dinner, try this BBQ sauce recipe! Tell your dinner date that you made this sweet and tangy sauce lovingly from scratch. You will be golden for the night–trust me on this.
Ingredients (Serves 4. A little goes a long way; don’t drown the dish in this rich sauce. We offer it to guests in little bowls next to the grilled meat and they can take more if they want. You may double the recipe, and save the left-overs in a jar in the fridge. )
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced (2 cloves for garlic lovers)
- ½ medium sweet onion, finely diced
- pinch of salt (to sweat the aromatics)
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tbs light brown sugar
- coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (more for spicier sauce)
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
To prepare: Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and sauté until translucent and they begin to caramelize. Stir in garlic and cook about 30 seconds, until the garlic just becomes fragrant. Reduce heat to low and stir in all the remaining ingredients. Simmer on low heat and continue to stir and let mixture bubble until it thickens to desired consistency.
More about this recipe: When I asked Kayla to write down this recipe, she had some difficulty. She learned to cook this dish from her grandmother, who learned it from her mom. Kayla had never measured the ingredients, or thought about heat or cooking time. She simply knew from experience how much of which ingredients to add as she went along. Kayla uses sight, sound, and smell, to know when things are ready, and continually tastes her creations and adjusts as she goes along. For someone like me, who relies heavily on recipes, using only my senses is unfamiliar territory.
She measured her ingredients over several occasions preparing this BBQ sauce, to get it just right. However, you should use your senses to adjust the sauce to your taste. If you like it hotter, add more pepper flakes; if you like it sweeter, add more brown sugar. Please feel confident to trust your senses and personalize this recipe to make it your best ever homemade BBQ sauce.