REAL MEN COOK XXVII: Sugar-Free BBQ Sauce
I've long thought that the Food Channel needs a cooking show that gives recipes and tips on how to cook meals for people with common dietary problems. For example, there are millions of diabetics in the world, and millions of lactose intolerant people. Trying to work out recipes that work well for these people and yet taste good is a challenge.
Barbecue is tough to give up when you can't have sugar, but its the sweet that gives the Q its glaze and much of the signature flavor. And when you have the kind of sugar problems I do, even sugar substitutes are no good. So you have to do without.
But I did find a way to make a barbecue sauce without the sweet, more of a savory sauce than a sweet one. It turned out pretty well; you don't get quite the same glaze, but you get the flavor and that's pretty important. These measurements are approximate, you'll have to taste it and adjust to your preferences.
Tomato Paste (1/2 6-ounce can)
Worcestershire Sauce (1 teaspoon)
Liquid smoke flavoring (half a cap)
Cider Vinegar (1-2 ounces)
Onion Powder (1-2 tablespoons)
Garlic Powder (1 tablespoon)
Cumin (2-3 tablespoons)
Red Pepper (1/2 teaspoon or more)
Now add water, a bit at a time, until you get the consistency you want. Tomato Paste is extremely concentrated and will be thicker than clay until you water it down some. What you want is thin enough to apply but not so thin it runs off. If you get it too thin, just add a spoonful of paste.
Incidentally, I don't buy red pepper, I buy red pepper flakes which is dirt cheap. Then you run it through a coffe grinder until its powder and voila. I figured out the grinder works great for chopping up herbs before I saw Alton Brown do it on Good Eats. I felt vindicated. The more red pepper you put in, the hotter it gets but be very careful. Its not very hot to taste, but when you apply heat, all those locked in oils come out to play and it spices up very, very quickly.
Smear on food like you would any other barbecue sauce. I don't honestly know how long it keeps in a sealed container because I used it up so fast. This recipe is enough for a meal or two, it really doesn't take that much sauce to cook meat.
*This is part of the Real Men Cook series.