Making your own barbecue sauce couldn’t be easier! Red Currant BBQ Sauce is a great example – all ingredients in the pan at once and simmer until it’s all cooked down and thickened.
Many years ago, I was at a friends house for a barbecue. When the main was served, the hostess pointed out that there were a few sauces to choose from. One of those sauces was a homemade barbecue sauce made with blueberries. I had to try it! It was delicious!
Even though it made a good impression, I had forgotten all about it until just recently. I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw that someone had made barbecue sauce with blueberries. And, I thought – hey; I can do that with red currants too! So, I did, and I couldn’t be happier. The sauce was delicious. Let me tell you about it!
WHAT DO CURRANTS ADD TO A BBQ SAUCE?
Currants have an earthy, sweet taste that is often used in jellies and jams. Sometimes they are used alone or other times, in conjunction with another fruit or berry. I find currants to be a little tart in their raw state, which makes them a perfect ingredient in a smoky, sweet sauce.
Most berries have a natural occurring pectin. Pectin is a natural and commercially produced essential ingredient in preserves, like jellies and jams. Without pectin, jellies and jams won’t become thick. Some berries have more then others.
The currants will balance the acidity levels and the sweet levels in the sauce. Not only will it help to balance and thicken, but it adds a note of fruitiness to the sauce as well. It’s not over powering, but quite subtle. You’ll know it’s there, because you made it, but your guests might be left guessing.
ONE PAN, ONE TECHNIQUE
Making barbecue sauce at home couldn’t be easier. When I say all you have to do is dump everything in a sauce pan and let it simmer away, I’m not kidding. Once all of the ingredients are stirred together, let it come to a boil. Once boiling, stir very well and reduce the heat to simmer.
Depending on how thick you like your sauce to be, how long you let the sauce simmer will be up to you. For me, once the sauce was boiling, I turned down the heat and let it simmer for about 45 minutes.
The longer you let the sauce simmer, the more the currants breaks down. And, obviously, the sauce becomes thicker too with the help of the naturally occurring pectin, and the reduction of the moisture in the berries.
I should mention that I have a barbecue sauce that has no sugar added too. Click here to see my Sugar Free Hot and Smoky Barbeque Sauce.
Currants have seeds. They’re not hard seeds. Not the type that will hurt your teeth if you bite directly into one. But, rather like strawberry seeds. They’re there and they can be annoying, but they don’t bother me at all.
Once your sauce has simmered to the thickness you like, you can carefully transfer it to a clean mason jar and store it in your fridge. If you opt for this, keep in mind that the sauce will be a little chunky.
Alternatively, you can transfer all of the sauce to a food processor and pulse it until smooth. This is what I did with the sauce you see in the photographs. It’s a smooth sauce, but unless you use a very powerful, high-end food processor, you won’t eliminate the seeds.
If you want a super smooth sauce with no seeds at all, you can have just that. Press the sauce through a very fine mesh sieve and with a bowl underneath. You’ll catch all of that smooth sauce – free of any seeds!
No matter which method you choose, the sauce is super delicious. And, it will keep safely in your fridge for at least a month. But, once you get a taste for it, you’ll use it up long before it has a change to expire!
Red Currant BBQ Sauce
- 2 cups red currants
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 can diced green chilies, optional (127 mL)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3-4 dashes liquid smoke, optional
- Add all ingredients to a sauce pan. Stir to combine.
- Over high heat, bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Remember to stir often.
- Once done, remove from heat and transfer to a clean, food-safe container and refrigerate.
- If you prefer a smoother sauce, puree before refrigerating. To remove seeds, push pureed sauce through a fine mesh sieve.