Capitol Cider’s Chef de Cuisine Sara Harvey shares this fabulous cider BBQ sauce recipe that’s perfect for summertime!
“This is a cider-based BBQ sauce that I tweaked slightly for home methods and amounts, but is very similar to what we use annually at the Seattle Cider Summit for our West-Coast Famous BBQ Chicken Thighs and Baked Beans. It’s a sticky sweet sauce that also goes well with pork chops and apricots and so much more,” Harvey says. “The sauce makes a great weekend recipe that you can start at lunch and have ready for dinner, and the yield is enough for a big BBQ party or for dinner and a good jar in the fridge.
“I dip everything in this at home: salt and vinegar potato chips, blistered snap peas from the garden, or even pieces of grilled pineapple are wonderful with some fresh cilantro and a little bit of this stuff.”
Recipe courtesy of Sara Harvey, Chef de Cuisine, Capitol Cider in Seattle.
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil (Don’t waste your Extra Virgin stuff in a hot pan; use regular old olive oil. The smoke point is higher and the flavor is milder.)
- 1 medium-sized sweet onion, small dice
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups prepared ketchup (Hunts—regular AND organic—is HFCS free and my go-to at home)
- 2 cups hard apple cider (Strongbow or Blackthorne are both great English style ciders, but anything not too sweet [like Angry Orchard] or too dry [like a champagne style] will work well. If you have an open bottle in the fridge going stale, this is exactly what you have been waiting for!)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup molasses (Blackstrap is my preference; it is the third stage of boiling sugar to get molasses and has a rich strong flavor, as well as great health benefits, including significant amounts of B6, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, and potassium)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, raw and unfiltered if available
- 1 tablespoon dry mustard powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, plain or sweet is alright if that’s what you’ve got
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5ea dry Ancho, mullato, or other medium heat chilies
Sweat garlic & onions until soft in olive oil.
- Add hard cider, and reduce by ½.
- Add everything else and simmer over medium low heat for 1-2 hours.
- Blend, and then check for salt and acid. (I like stick blenders or Vita prep.)
- Re-season and cool down. Stores for a month or so in the fridge. Or freeze as a marinade; the texture will change slightly with freezing and thawing, but is fantastic on ribs or chicken thighs on the BBQ or in the broiler.
– Photos courtesy of Capitol Cider.