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Homemade Barbecue Sauce

This recipe is courtesy of Food Network/Emeril Lagasse. I first made this sauce with Emeril's Pulled Pork recipe. The sauce has a blend of "tart", from the apple cider vinegar, a bit of "heat" from the cayenne and red pepper flakes and a nice balance of "sweet" from the brown sugar. I recommend that you measure all of the dry ingredients and adjust to your preferences. If you don't like too much vinegar (which goes well with pulled pork), cut back by half. Simply reduce the cayenne and red pepper flakes, if you don't like too much spice. I don't need to buy bottled sauce, because I do like this recipe a lot.

Ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
cups finely chopped onions
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
2 teaspoons dry mustard
teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper*
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
cups water
¾ cup cider vinegar*
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar***
I recommend adding half of the vinegar, tasting it and adding more if you prefer a more acidic taste.
reduce by half, if you don't like too much spice
reduce the brown sugar, if you like more acid and less sweet
Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
Yield: ⅔ cup

Directions

In a medium non-reactive saucepan set over medium-high heat, add the butter and, when melted, add the onions and cook until they are very soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, Essence, ground mustard, salt, crushed red pepper, black pepper, and cayenne pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes, or until the tomato paste begins to brown. Add the water, cider vinegar, and dark brown sugar, and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce has thickened and the flavors have come together, about 15 to 20 minutes. Set aside to cool before using. The sauce may be made up to 1 week in advance and refrigerated in an airtight, non-reactive container. Yield: about 3 cups sauce

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