And now, we move on to iteration three.
For this, I started with the idea of making a half-recipe, because I had half of a six-ounce can of tomato paste conveniently handy. To that, I added two cups of Dr. Pepper, in order to bring more of its flavor to the party. I also forgot it brings more sweetness, too.
I replaced the sugar, molasses, and corn syrup with 1/3 cup of brown sugar. This was too much, as I ended up with a very tasty but rather sweet sauce, as I forgot to account for the added sweetness of the extra DP. Nonetheless, this is far-and-away a singlularly excellent barbecue sauce.
Here is the recipe as it stands now, for about one cup of final sauce:
- 2 cups Dr. Pepper
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1/4 cup onions, finely diced
- The juice and zest of one lemon
- 3 ounces (1/2 of a small can) of tomato paste
- 1/3 cup brown sugar (I'd definitely cut this back for next time.)
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. fresh-ground pepper (I used white pepper)
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- 2 tsp. garlic powder (more or less to taste)
- 1 tsp. dried basil
First, saute the onions in a little of the oil in the pan you'll simmer the sauce in (no need to dirty extra pans). After they're browned a bit, turn the heat down, add the rest of the oil, then the Dr. Pepper. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Let it simmer until reduced to desired thickness (about one cup or so). Let it cool, then puree it nice and smooth with a stick blender or a stand blender. This will also emulsify the sauce so the oil stays integrated.
For next time, I'll stick with this recipe, minus a lot of that brown sugar, although some may like the extra sweetness this brings. I used light brown sugar, but I think maybe a tablespoon of dark brown sugar would bring the desired flavor without adding too much sweetness. This sauce has such a nice flavor to it that I think it will find lots of use in my kitchen from here on out. In other words, I really think iteration four will be The One.
There is, however, one other variation I'd like to try. Here in Michigan, there is a soda company called Fanta, that makes a flavor called Rock 'n' Rye. It's a cherry-like flavor with spicy notes like DP. I think it would make a great barbecue sauce. I'll let you know how it goes.