Thick and Rich Barbecue Sauce

Makes about 1 quart

This is a big, thick, red barbecue sauce made with fresh ingredients and a lot of love in your kitchen. Every barbecue cook I have ever known has a mother sauce they’ve been working on for years and this would be a great place to start on yours. You can skip the liquid smoke if you like, but I think it adds a nice layer.

1/4 cup butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (leave the seeds in if you like it hot)
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup yellow mustard
1/4 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeño and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add the celery seed and mix well. Cook for 1 minute. Add the ketchup, vinegar, honey, mustard, apple juice, soy sauce, Worcestershire, hot sauce, tomato paste, liquid smoke (if using), salt and pepper. Mix well and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, mixing often, until thickened. Remove from the heat and serve or cool and store the sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

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