In many of our previous entries, we have talked about how our ancient ancestors were already preserving and seasoning meat using herbal concoctions that were tantamount to what is today’s rub.
Yet, it is impossible to deny that tender and juicy meat goes extremely well with a sumptuous, deliciously sweet and tangy seasoning sauce as accompaniment. Just mopping a bit of sauce seals in the moisture of the meat, and provides a potentially crunchy, sticky glaze that is as fun to eat as it is delicious.
Even wonder what is the ultimate sauce from one of the pillars of American BBQ? You are in luck! Today we will take a look at the real deal: The Real Texas BBQ sauce.
You will learn all about its origins, application, ingredients, and how you, too, can be the next king of the grill with this recipe.
Texas BBQ Sauce
As colonial America received influx after influx of cultural groups coming to establish themselves in the New World, a huge variety of spices, recipes, and resources came along with them.
Texas BBQ sauce is one of the products that was created as a result of major historical events, namely, the establishment of mission towns, or “misiones,” the birth of the “cattle ranch” culture, and the fusion of indigenous, Native American, Latino, and other international spices and flavors. All of these variables transformed the Texas culinary circle and distinguished its BBQ sauce recipe from all other ones.
The most amazing fact about the best Texas BBQ sauce? The best sauces are homemade. That’s right! The Real Texas BBQ sauce recipe consists of traditional variations of the same basic recipe, mostly served at home, or at local, low-key restaurants, the same way they once were served to locals in ranches and saloons.
So, why settle for homemade? Because it totally completes your dining experience.
The Advantages of Homemade Sauce: How it completes the grilling/smoking experience and your dinner table.
Homemade BBQ sauce puts you in control of your eating experience. There is no mystery or surprise as to what goes in your recipe. You can customize it however you want and, most importantly, there won’t be any allergens, preservatives, or artificial seasonings, if you do not want them there.
There are several other ways that homemade sauce can complete your grilling and smoking experience.
You can go with your gut- If you and your family feel like giving your smoked meats a twist, all you need to do is swap a few ingredients in the original recipe, and adapt the proper seasonings to make your experience complete.
- For a sweet flavor, use more brown sugar.
- For a savory flavor, add ranch.
- For an umami flavor, swap the tomato base for teriyaki and soy sauce.
- For a smoky flavor, add ground coffee, cocoa, hickory, and paprika.
It is as simple as that.
The sky ‘s the limit- Get a BBQ mop. This is a brush with dangling threads that smears BBQ sauce evenly on the meat. It leaves your meat super wet and juicy, giving you a chance to further caramelize the sauce into a subtle glaze of crunch.
Use it however you want- A lot of homemade BBQ sauces, especially Texas BBQ, can be used interchangeably for dipping, as toppings for baked potatoes, or as side sauces for other foods such as white corn, nachos, and even taquitos.
One big batch of homemade Texas BBQ sauce can be used for up to 2 weeks in a wide variety of dishes, feeding an entire family. It is variable, economical, and convenient.
The step-by-step guide to making The Real Texas BBQ sauce
Here is the list of ingredients, tools and, possible substitutes, to make your own Texas BBQ Sauce.
Note: This is a simmering sauce, and not a marinade or finishing sauce. You can use it as such, but the idea is to consume it as a “soupy” sauce to accompany your food.
Tech needed: a saucepan, mixing utensils, and mixing bowls.
- 1 cup ketchup or pureed tomatoes. If using tomato paste, use ½ cup paste and ¼ cup water.
- 1 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup coffee grounds (I use Moca Java)
- 2 cups chopped (white) onions
- 6 cloves minced garlic
- ¼ cup red hot chili peppers, chopped
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 3 TBSP chili powder and 3 TBSP pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- First, mix the ground coffee, chili peppers, pepper flakes, salt, and sugar, and blend well.
- Separately, mix the tomato paste with the other wet ingredients which are vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and onions.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients in a sauce pan, and simmer for about 20 minutes on low heat.
- Puree all the ingredients together, and then go back and simmer the mix again.
- Allow for the sauce to thicken, or serve at room temperature.
Alternative Texas BBQ Sauce, version 2
This Texas BBQ sauce version is even closer to the original, since it requires that you render fat (or butter) to mix it with all ingredients in order to make the sauce’s texture super silky smooth.
The butter “cutting” method is quite traditional. In the absence of butter, you may use brisket fat, pork fat, or even fat rendered by ribs as they cook.
- 1 tablespoon of butter, or fat rendered from cooking BBQ meat (such as brisket)
- ½ can lager (beer)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or hard cider
- 2 cups stock (beef, lean, or chicken)
- ¼ cup ketchup, tomato sauce, or tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 tablespoon HP sauce or hickory BBQ sauce
- 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce (or your favorite hot sauce)
- 1 finely chopped medium white onion
- 1 chopped green pepper
- 4 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ cup brown sugar.
- Mix together all the powdery ingredients (ground peppercorn, paprika, chili powder, salt, sugar).
- In small saucepan, heat up butter or fat, melting in gently. Add onion to caramelize until translucent.
- Add all powders to the onion and mix together.
- Add the vegetables to the mix, stirring continuously
- Once all ingredients are integrated together, add the liquids, starting with the beer.
- As you continue to stir, add the rest of the liquids and bring to a boil.
- Reduce from heat, and add more butter or fat to thicken the sauce.
You will use part of this sauce to mop onto the meat. Use another part Another part of the sauce will be as an accompaniment for your meal. The rest will be to dip or wet the meat, as you go.
The takeaways about Real Texas BBQ sauce
- The recipe varies from household to household, as it is a homemade original that has changed through history.
- It represents the state and history of Texas, complete with its Latino, Native American and indigenous influences that stem from the cattle ranch culture.
- It is used as a sauce for seasoning meat as an accompaniment, more so than the traditional BBQ sauces that are thickly smeared onto ribs and other meats.
- Do not think of Texas BBQ sauce as a commercially-bottled popular concoction. It is more of a traditional take on BBQ sauce that is quite unique and easy to personalize depending on your taste.
- As with every other sauce, you are welcome to swap certain items to adapt to your taste buds.
Have you tried authentic Texas BBQ sauce already? Sound off in the comments section and lets us know all about it!