I’ve been obsessed with the idea of making my own barbeque sauce since I read a blog on Local Milk by Beth Kirby that had a recipe for blackberry barbeque sauce. After successfully making her barbeque sauce recipe, I decided to make up a recipe of my own.
I had a fabulously extra large heirloom tomato just waiting to be consumed. Most recipes call for tomato paste, so I incorporated the tomato paste into my recipe, to help thicken the sauce alongside my tomato. I used apple cider vinegar, I had just a little bit of white wine leftover, so I threw that in there and I used some locally produced dark honey that my cousin’s stepfather harvested. It came out sweet and tangy with a slight kick!
A lot of recipes that I looked at used cayenne pepper to get that kick, but I used a teaspoon of ancho chile pepper powder for its mild heat, rich, fruity and intense flavor. I also added a few splashes of Tabasco sauce for a tangy enhancement to the flavors happening.
My recipe yields at least two 12 ounce mason jars, if not a little bit more. Having so much and no plans for dinner, I decided to make up a dish with my homemade bbq sauce! I had a lot of frozen chicken that I wanted to use and I was just gifted a slow cooker by my mother in law. She suggested I try it with my busy schedule and boy do I love it. I’ve enjoyed slow cooking in my Le Crueset pots and I still use them often, but today, I had a lot of things to do that required me to be out of the kitchen. I started browsing through slow cooker recipes, since I’m really not used to how to do it. I found one that sounded intriguing. It called for store bought barbeque sauce and store bought Italian dressing. I thought, well, since I’ve already made my own BBQ sauce, I may as well try making my own Italian dressing!
I have a fabulous herb garden, so I picked what looked best from the garden and chopped it up and mixed it with some herbs & spices from my cabinet. I used some purple basil, Mexican oregano, sweet basil and some fresh thyme. I really enjoyed making my own dressing and it’s so simple, fresh and easy.
The slow cooker recipe is ridiculously simple. Place frozen chicken into the crock pot, cover with 1/2 cup of Italian dressing, 12 ounces of barbeque sauce, two tablespoons of Worsteshire sauce. One that I found called for 1/4 cup of brown sugar, but I omitted it from mine because my heirloom tomato barbeque sauce is definitely on the sweeter side. I had a bag of white, red & blue fingerling potatoes and some corn, freshly picked from the farmer’s market that were just calling my name to be served with this chicken. Voila! Dinner is served and my whole family enjoyed it very much!
Here’s the recipe for my take on barbeque sauce.
Kate’s Heirloom Tomato Barbeque Sauce
1 extra large heirloom tomato
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 of a 6 oz. can of tomato paste
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
2 TBSP worsteshire sauce
2 TBSP dark honey
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ancho chile pepper powder
a splash of white wine
Optional: a few splashes of Tabasco sauce to taste
1. Sauté onions & garlic in olive oil in a medium saucepan until tender & opaque. Don’t burn.
2. Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worsteshire sauce, dark honey, ground dry mustard, salt, paprika and a healthy splash of a good white wine. If you like a little more kick to your barbeque, throw in a teaspoon of Ancho chile pepper and a few splashes of Tabasco sauce.
2. Let all the ingredients simmer for 10 minutes or so, continually stirring so as not to burn the sauce.
3. Take it of the heat for a few minutes and transfer to a blender for a few minutes.
4. Store your barbeque sauce in jam jars.
Homemade Italian Dressing
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp basil (I used purple & Italian), chopped
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme (remove leaves and discard stems)
6 leaves of Mexican oregano, chopped
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp dry mustard seed
1 tsp celery seed
1. I reuse my glass dressing bottles. Add oil, vinegar & water to the bottle. Next, add in all of your spices and chopped up herbs. Shake it all about!
Kate’s Heirloom BBQ Pulled Chicken
4 large frozen chicken breasts
10 ounces homemade Heirloom BBQ sauce
1/2 cup homemade Italian dressing
2 tbsp Worsteshire sauce
A few splashes of Liquid Smoke
1. Place chicken into a slow cooker. Pour barbeque sauce, Italian dressing and Worsteshire sauce on top of your chicken. Set the slow cooker to high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. When the chicken is cooked, open the slow cooker and use two forks to pull your chicken apart. Leave the slow cooker open while still cooking to allow the liquids to thicken and cool slightly.
2. Chop up some multi colored potatoes and one half of a red onion. Toss both in olive oil, kosher salt, freshly cracked pepper and some fresh thyme. Roast for 20-30 minutes at 400°F and serve.
3. Boil up a few multi colored, organic ears of corn and serve with a parmesan butter.