I’m kind of getting on a little apple kick here in late May. It’s because I posted the recipe out for my Cider Glazed Ribs so I just had to put out the recipe for this Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce. And to tell the truth, I have a slaw coming up with apples in it, too.
Maybe I should have saved the posts for fall, but I just think all would be fantastic for Memorial Day Weekend. Or anytime this summer. And I am sooo ready for summer – how bout you?
About Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce:
This is an interesting sauce. Most of the ingredients are the usual suspects you’d expect in a barbecue sauce. What sets it apart is the deep, richness of the apple butter and the wee touch of hooch. There’s a little bourbon, if you likey likey or not if you don’t for a backnote that offsets the sweet. And of course, a little liquid smoke to lend that smoky taste. If you haven’t used liquid smoke, it’s really not scary…I have it on my Top Secret Super Stealth Arsenal of Ingredients.
This barbecue sauce would be fantastic on almost anything. Pork Butt, Ribs, a Burger, maybe topped with onion rings. It reminds me a bit of a kicked up and just a little more robust Sweet Baby Ray’s. I did notice that it didn’t keep as long as some barbecue sauces, but it was fine for a couple, three weeks in the fridge.
Making Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce:
After you saute your onions in the butter, there’s really nothing to dumping in the rest of the ingredients and letting the sauce simmer stirring now and then. Just us a larger pan because as this thickens, it’s going to spurt and sputter. Reduce as much as you’d like, but remember, the sauce will be a bit thicker once it cools.
It’s up to you if you want to serve this sauce as is or blend and strain or just strain. I like it just fine chunky but not everyone “gets” that.
Saving Money on Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce:
For me, making this barbecue sauce was actually a bit of a money saving proposition. See, I had a jar that was opened and might have just languished in the fridge. I guess I just lost my taste for it….and this is a great recipe to make if someone gives you apple butter or even if you can your own. It’s perfect anytime you might have an abundance of it. If you run out and buy the apple butter, well that does up the price and it’s not as cheap as some sauces – but it’s well worth the extra expense, though, imho.
Since barbecue sauce is so often a condiment made from other condiments, you’ll use a few in most. I do like to watch the summer sales, especially around the summer holidays and stock up for the year. There are sporadic sales on condiments right before the Superbowl, and this year, I noticed around March Madness, but they don’t beat out the summer prices.
Apple Butter Barbecue Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, smashed & minced
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablelspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 jar, 8 to 10 ounces (measurement does not need to be exact) apple butter
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons brandy (or bourbon) (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
In a large, heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, add onion and saute, stirring now and then until transclucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add in garlic and stir for a moment longer until fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, stirring now and then, until reduced to desired consistency.