Dr. Pepper BBQ Sauce
A BBQ sauce recipe needs an “X-Factor” of some sort to make it stand out. I’ve heard that coffee BBQ sauce is a big thing in Texas and have seen a couple recipes that included cola in its base. I’m sure I’m not the first person in BBQ history to try Dr. Pepper in a sauce, but I challenge you to find a tastier recipe than the one I’m posting (I’ll even challenge Bobby Flay to a Throwdown!). I’m not a huge fan of this funky soda as a beverage, but it adds sweetness and a unique fruitiness to this sauce. I’m sure I’ve tried more than a couple dozen sauces in search of that perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and spicy. This really is right up there with some of the best I’ve had.
2/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup Dr. Pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 TBS honey
2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
2 TBS rice vinegar
1 TBS bacon grease
1 TBS ground New Mexico red chile (NOT chili powder; I’m sure your favorite ground chile will work)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/8 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp red chile flakes (more or less to your desired heat level)
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Sweat the garlic in the bacon grease over low heat just until it is fragrant (shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds; be careful not to scorch). Raise heat to about medium low and stir in ground chile and cumin to allow flavors to bloom in the grease. After about 15-20 seconds, add the remaining ingredients and let simmer for about five minutes. As far as heat goes, I would say this sauce is medium. If you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen! Just kidding. Substitute the New Mexico chile for it’s milder cousin, California red chile and forget about the red chile flakes all together.
Low carbing is easy here! Just use reduced sugar ketchup, diet Dr. Pepper, and sugar free honey syrup (you can find that at grocers like Whole Foods and Wild Oats). If you don’t have the honey syrup, just use one packet of Splenda.
Bring it on, Bobby!