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Deliciously Simple Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce
I will be the first to admit that I love, love, love making condiments from scratch instead of buying a commercially made product in the grocery store. It is often so much easier than most people think, and can totally be customized to your own specific taste.
My husband, Nathan, and I were in the grocery store the other day and he noticed a display of rhubarb and wasn’t sure what it was. He asked me what the funky red celery was, and I had to explain it to him. Now he knew what rhubarb was, and that normally you put it with strawberries in a pie, but he had never seen it in a raw form before.
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This prompted me to think about the ways that I could use it, and not just the standard stereotypical strawberry rhubarb pie. I wanted something different, fun, and easy to make.
I had just finished making the most incredible blueberry barbecue sauce, and that is what inspired this Deliciously Simple Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce recipe.
Fun fact, rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but in 1947, gained legal status as a fruit because it is often used like a fruit in culinary applications. The leaves of the rhubarb plant are poisonous and not safe to consume, but the stalks are delicious and rich in vitamin K. Rhubarb starts out very sour, similar to a lemon, and becomes sweeter as it is cooked.
Have you tried making this Deliciously Simple Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce yourself yet? Come on in and let me tell you about it!
Deliciously Simple Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce Ingredients
Olive Oil, 1 tablespoon
Onion, 1 medium, finely chopped
Garlic, 2 cloves minced, or you can use paste
Rhubarb, 1 cup, chopped I used 4 stalks and it came out to roughly one cup
Water, ½ cup
Ketchup, ½ cup
Molasses, ¼ cup
Apple Cider Vinegar, 2 tablespoons
Dijon Mustard, 1 tablespoon
Salt, ¼ teaspoon
Black Pepper, ¼ teaspoon
Hot Sauce, 1 teaspoon
Allspice, ground, ¼ teaspoon
Ancho Chili Powder, ground, 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon
Deliciously Simple Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce Directions
Start with finely dicing the onion, mincing the garlic, and chopping the rhubarb. I like to use a mandolin for the rhubarb, as it just speeds up the process for me, but you can certainly chop it using a knife as well. Just make sure that your pieces are as uniform in size as possible, that way they cook evenly.
Then heat the oil in a pan on medium to medium-high heat. Saute the onions in a pan until they are tender, this takes just a few minutes. Usually about 4-5 minutes. Then add in the garlic. You can use cloves and finely chop or mince them, or use a garlic paste, it is totally up to you. Saute for another minute.
Next, add in all of the remaining ingredients. Stir until they are well-combined. Once the sauce starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently for 20-25 minutes. It is important to stir frequently, and the rhubarb becomes tender.
You’ll see the sauce start to thicken up as time goes on. If it is still thin at the end of the 20-25 minutes, let it go a bit longer until it is as thick as you want it to be. 25 minutes was perfect for me, but you can certainly go longer if desired.
Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool down a bit.
Once the sauce has cooled down, pull out a mixing bowl, strainer, and spatula. Hold the strainer over the mixing bowl and pour the sauce into it. Using the spatula, start mashing the rhubarb mixture through the strainer. This will then drain through the strainer into the mixing bowl, leaving just the solids in the strainer and the sauce in the mixing bowl.
Be patient with this part, as it can take a few minutes to get it all out. Mine usually takes me about ten minutes when I do it. Making sauce is always an exercise in patience, but this is what will create the perfect texture and consistency.
Because rhubarb is so fibrous, like celery, once you have strained it all out and discarded the solids, I would put it through the strainer one more time, just to make sure it is the perfect texture and consistency. Nobody wants a lumpy sauce!
Once you are done, transfer the sauce into an airtight sealed container. These are my favorite.
Refrigerate any leftover sauce for up to one month. Although I’ll be surprised if it lasts that long. It certainly wasn’t in my house.
One of the best things about this Deliciously Simple Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce recipe is that you can customize it to fit your taste preferences. If you want it hotter, you can add in more ancho chili powder, or a can of chipotle in adobo would be excellent.
If you want it milder, leave out the hot sauce. I enjoyed the little kick this gave to the sauce, but it certainly wasn’t overpowering. It was more for flavor and not heat.
If it isn’t rhubarb season, you may be able to find some in the frozen section of your local grocery store. Rhubarb freezes really well too, so you can freeze your own during the season and have it available all year long. If you’re going to buy it fresh and then freeze it, I recommend chopping it up in pieces first. That way you don’t have to wait for it to thaw to throw into the sauce.
Why I Love This Recipe
This is such a simple recipe to make. I know it looks a bit daunting from the ingredient list and the steps necessary, but it really is simple. It just takes a little bit of patience to create something amazing. Start out organized, with everything measured out, chopped, minced, and you’ll do just fine.
Given that this is a homemade recipe, I know exactly what is going into it. This makes both the prepper and the homemaker in me very happy. I much prefer being able to make things myself from scratch instead of buying a commercially made product from the grocery store.
Make it vegan!
If you are wanting to make this amazing Deliciously Simple Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce completely vegan, the only substitution you need to make is the Worcestershire sauce for a vegan one. That’s it!
One of our best friends is vegan, and so this is something I’m always looking for. This would be what I recommend.
Deliciously Simple Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce Discussion
Have you tried making this Deliciously Simple Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce yourself yet? Are you a fan? Did you make any changes or substitutions? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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