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September 2013 - APL BBQ Sauce

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Serious Barbecue - Adam Perry Lang

APL Barbecue Sauce

Page 362-363


One of our September 2013 recipes will be the APL BBQ Sauce as described on pages 362-363 of the Serious Barbecue book.   This sauce is described as the 'perfect base' that can be tweaked with the addition of various other ingredients to go along with whatever is being cooked.  


This recipe is available on Adam Perry Lang's website HERE if you would like to have a look at it...


Please post your discussion and results along with photos if possible in this thread!

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I just made my 'grocery list' of items I need to make this sauce this weekend.  I was quite surprised to find that I only need 5 items from the ingredients list.  I guess my cabinet is fairly well stocked.  I only needed the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, granny smith apple, and brown sugar.  I would normally have the brown sugar on hand but I'm currently out of it.  So only the 'fresh' ingredients are missing.  I'm actually going to substitute the apricot preserves with some peach-mango preserves that I already have on hand...

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This recipe can be found on Adam Perry Lang's website... CLICK HERE to see the recipe!


This was a rather fun recipe to make!  I always start out on something like this by getting my ingredients prepared and measured...





Heated up the canola oil and cooked the onions, green peppers, garlic and salt...




Added the dry seasonings...




Added the rest of the ingredients minus the apple and jalapeno pepper...




Brought it to a boil...




Let it simmer for 45 minutes or so to thicken up nicely, added the apple and jalapeno, and then got the immersion blender out and gave it a nice smooth texture...




Put it in a couple canning jars...




This sauce has a fantastic flavor and aroma.  In the Serious Barbecue Book, Adam Perry Lang describes this sauce as his 'base' sauce from which he derives other sauce flavors by adding whatever he thinks needs to be added to go along with the main course.  This sauce DOES have a nice balance between 'tang' and 'sweetness' and it would be quite easy to push the sauce in either direction by tweaking the ingredient amounts.  You could also change the flavor profile on this sauce quite easily by using a different fruit preserve.  In this batch I used some Peach-Mango preserves that I had in my cabinet instead of buying a new jar of apricot preserves.  


I'm pretty happy with this sauce so I'm going to keep it as my go-to sauce for a while and each time I make it I will change it up to see what the results are like.  If I'm going to use it with pork I'll make it a little sweeter and use different fruit combinations.  If I'm going to use it with beef, I'll keep it on the tangy side by reducing the fruit/molasses/brown sugar a little and increasing the spicier ingredients like the jalapeno pepper and the hot sauce.  


I hope some of you give this a try!


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Additional note on this cook... After I put my sauce in the mason jars and let it cool completely, there was a bit of grease collected at the top.  This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of canola oil for cooking the veggies at the beginning.  It might be possible to get equal results with a little less oil.  1/4 to 1/3 cup might be enough to pull this off instead of the 1/2 cup in the recipe.  If you are going to use the sauce immediately, I wouldn't worry about changing anything at all...

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This sound like a great sauce. As a suggestion, before you use the sauce, slow heat the entire contents and continually stir. I think that would "remix" the ingredients. I would think the volume of canola oil would be critical to the sauces success. Just thinking out loud here. Thoughts?

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What is everyone using for the bourbon and hot sauce. I have plenty of bourbon to pick from, Bernheim, Big Bottom 111 proof, Temperance Trader chinato barrel aged, Black Maple Hill, BT single oak project, Weller 12/107 blend. I figure the bourbon is like cooking with wine, if I won't drink it I won't cook with it. I have a habanero sauce and another random jalapeño pepper sauce, any thoughts?

Going to make this today for the Sept APL tenderloin tomorrow.

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What is everyone using for the bourbon and hot sauce. I have plenty of bourbon to pick from, Bernheim, Big Bottom 111 proof, Temperance Trader chinato barrel aged, Black Maple Hill, BT single oak project, Weller 12/107 blend. I figure the bourbon is like cooking with wine, if I won't drink it I won't cook with it. I have a habanero sauce and another random jalapeño pepper sauce, any thoughts?

Going to make this today for the Sept APL tenderloin tomorrow.


I used Maker's Mark for the bourbon.  I keep that stuff on hand pretty much exclusively for cooking.  It's a 'good enough' whiskey for drinking and cooking without breaking the bank.  I used a little Frank's Red Hot for the hot sauce because I put that 5h1T on everything :)

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I made the APL BBQ sauce for my Kamado Kountry Style Pork Ribs and Pork Burnt Ends meal today.  I like this sauce a lot.  As indicated in the book,  it is a good sauce to take in other directions -  like adding honey and apple juice to some of it to make a basting sauce after I got my main glaze well established on the meat with the straight APL.


BTW, I used only 1/4 cup of oil - it was sufficient and did not have a granny smith apple handy so used the red apple I had and added a splash of squeezed lemon to contribute the tartness.   It tasted good using Buffalo Trace bourbon ..  and the side bourbon sip tasted pretty good too even at 8 am in the morning!  The final product came out to just over 6.5 cups of sauce.  I did not see any need to put it thru the blender. It is not a quick to make sauce but worth the effort. 


I recommend it.  This sauce will be made again in this cooking household.


PS:  The country ribs and the burnt ends were great - especially the burnt ends to which I added onion and green bell pepper in the pan.    Served with a Paula Deen red potato salad and from scratch pinto beans. 


A few photos to make you hungry and appreciate the sauce and glaze.....


The plate-out:




The burnt ends (cooked with onion and bell pepper):




The Kamado Kountry Style Ribs:



The whole works:


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I made this BBQ sauce tonight. I did a few substitutions as follows :

3 Tbsp ground ginger instead of chili powder

1/2 cup maple syrup instead of molasses

I also left out the ground cloves

This turned out to be a very tasty sauce. Mildly sweet with just a hint of heat. I cooked a small 1/2 rack of "Turbo" Baby back ribs using this as the final glaze. My "Turbo" ribs are getting better and this sauce was a perfect complement.

Not a really difficult sauce. It is done in 3 parts so have the ingredients for all 3 parts ready to go for an easier time bringing it together. Next time I will make a double batch and pressure can it so I can store on the shelf instead of in the fridge.

After using what I needed tonight here is what I had left.


Here are the ribs pulled after 30 mins of glazing.


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