Delectable, Spicy Honey Barbecue Sauce
Honey barbecue sauce is all well and good, but come over to the wild side and try it spicy!
Thursday, October 02, 2014
In my personal quest to find the ideal "Goldilocks" BBQ recipe, sweet honey barbecue sauce comes pretty close to perfection on the saucy side of the scale. However, being a fan of the sharper end of the spice rack, I also like to "kick it up a notch," to steal celebrity chef Emeril's favorite catchphrase.
In other words, a little heat really adds to the experience. But to meld appropriately with the honey to produce a truly sublime flavor worthy of remembrance and repetition, it's got to be the right kind of heat.
If the term "horseradish" springs to mind when thinking of spicy honey barbecue sauce, bite your mental tongue. While horseradish does have its place in some barbecue sauces (as I will certainly share with you in the future), it just doesn't seem to mix well with honey.
What does is anything with "pepper" in the name, such as black or white pepper (which as you know is the fruit of certain tropical vines), or chili peppers of any type: jalapeno, cayenne, habanero, etc. Needless to say, the latter must be finely chopped or ground to really work well.
My Favorite Recipe
Are you ready to prepare spicy honey perfection? Of the many relevant recipes I've tried, this is the one I like the best -- and it's quite simple. Here's what you need to make a little more than a quart (or a liter, if you're into the metric system):
1½ cups of honey
1 cup of ketchup
½ cup of butter
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons of brown sugar
4 teaspoons of finely chopped onion
1 chopped garlic clove
Chili powder to taste
Melt the butter, and then mix it with all the other ingredients in a large saucepan. Stirring constantly, let the mix simmer for 6-8 minutes on medium heat, then taste. If it needs more chili powder to pep it up, don't hesitate to add some and let it simmer for a bit longer so all the flavors can thoroughly interact.
If you're feeling wimpy, you can leave the chili powder out, but that kind of defeats the purpose. That said, if you do leave it out, the resulting BBQ sauce will still taste mighty good.
Poultry in Motion
In my not-so-humble opinion, the best meats for this sauce are those that come with wings, especially chicken and duck. I've heard it makes a nice glaze for wild game like dove and quail, too. I also like it with pork, especially hams, as well as beef.
Really, you can't go wrong with your spicy honey barbecue sauce, so try it with anything!