Barbeque Sauce

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  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, such as canola or peanut
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, grated
  • 1 chopped chile pepper, such as a serrano
  • 1 cup bourbon or Tennessee whiskey
  • 1/2 cup ketchup or tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup dark molasses
  • 2-3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat the oil and butter in a sauce pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Grate the onion through the coarse grate of a box grater, or mince the onion fine if you don't have a grater.
  3. Add the grated onion and the chile to the butter/oil combination and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion turns translucent. You do not want it to color.
  4. Take the pot off the heat and add the bourbon. Return to the heat, turn up the heat to medium-high again and boil down the bourbon for 5 minutes.
  5. Add all the other liquids: ketchup, lemon juice, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, molasses – and the sugar. Mix well and bring back to a simmer.
  6. Cook this for a few minutes to combine the flavors and test it for your personal preference: Is it salty enough? (It should be from the Worcestershire sauce). If not, add salt. Is it hot enough? If not, add some cayenne powder. Is it sweet enough? If not, add molasses.
  7. Let the sauce cook down slowly until it thickens, about 20 minutes. Hold it over low heat while your ribs cook. Alternatively, you can make this sauce ahead of time and reheat it when you cook the meat. It will stay good in the fridge at least a week; I've held mine for two weeks with no problem.

Makes enough for 4-6 racks of ribs.