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Barbeque sauce is versatile, easy to tweak

  • COURTESY AMERICA’S TEST KITCHEN

    Classic barbecue sauce in Brookline, Mass., in May. This recipe appears in the cookbook “Just Add Sauce.”

Classic Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce is one of the most versatile sauces out there — it can be served as a dipping sauce or a topping, brushed onto protein and vegetables during cooking, or stirred into beans and shredded meat after cooking.

Further contributing to its versatility is the fact that there are so many styles found throughout the United States, from sweet and tomatoey to thin and vinegary, to thick and creamy.

While you can find plenty of bottled barbecue sauces, making your own is simple and provides a range of flavor and texture possibilities that taste worlds better than store-bought. Even with its basic ingredient list, this sauce will give any food a boost of bold, tangy flavor.

CLASSIC BARBECUE SAUCE

By America’s Test Kitchen

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • Pinch salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1-1/4 cups ketchup
  • 6 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • Pepper, to taste

Heat oil in saucepan over medium until shimmering. Add onion and a pinch salt; cook until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and chili powder and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Whisk in ketchup, molasses, vinegar, Worcestershire and mustard. Bring to simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced to about 2 cups, about 25 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Makes 2 cups. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.)

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 154 calories, 2 g total fat, no saturated fat or cholesterol, 905 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 28 g sugar, 1 g protein.

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