We had a bumper tomato crop this year. It’s not unusual for us to have quite a few tomatoes in the fall, but they are usually kind of bumpy and weird-looking, with some rot spots and others that never ripen. This year was different. They are firm, round, nicely shaped and perfect. The tomatoes I mean.
So this year, with such an abundance of tomatoes I decided to try something new.
Our family is a bunch of carnivores. In our freezer there is always beef, chicken, moose, pork, venison and anything else that we can raise or hunt or buy from other farmers in our area. As a result, we go thru a lot of BBQ sauce. Sometimes to enhance the wonderful flavor of the beef, and sometimes to disguise the gamey and dried out flavor of the venison. So, I decided to make BBQ sauce.
Here’s the recipe: (Credit goes to the Company’s Coming Preserves cookbook)
- Ripe tomatoes, stem ends removed 4 1/2 lbs
- Very finely chopped celery 2 cups
- Seeded and very finely chopped bell pepper 1 1/2 cups
- Medium onions, very finely chopped 3
- Garlic cloves, minced 2
- Brown sugar, packed 1 cup
- White vinegar 1 cup
- Worcestershire sauce 1 tbsp
- Paprika 2 tbsp
- Mustard Powder 1 tbsp
- Table Salt 2 tsp
- Cayenne Pepper 1/4 tsp
- Chili Powder 1/2 tsp
- Liquid Smoke 1/2 tsp
Cut the tomatoes into chunks and cook them until they are soft. Stir them often and don’t let them burn. Press through a food mill to remove seeds and skin. Return puree to the pot.
Add all the remaining ingredients and stir well. Bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring often.
Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until thickened. You don’t have to stir it the whole time – your arm will fall off. Just make sure it isn’t burning to the bottom of the pot. Let it cool for a while, go for a walk, read a book, watch half a movie, then come back and smooth the sauce in a blender. Don’t try to do this while it’s hot. It burns.
Taste it a little, and see if you want more cayenne pepper or smoke. Go ahead and add a bit more, but be careful not to add too much.
Pour into hot sterilized jars and screw metal bands on. Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes for added protection from spoilage.
And you’re done! Fresh, home made BBQ sauce for your next barbeque or pot roast.
“My favorite animal is steak” – Fran Lebowitz