Saturday, June 27, 2015

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce and Bonus Rhubarb Applesauce

Rhubarb BBQ sauce is a savory use for rhubarb this season.  Its tartness lends itself really well to grilled pork and chicken.  Use Rhubarb BBQ sauce on burgers as a thick ketchup too.  Just in time for the nation's birthday.

If rhubarb is already out of season in your area, you can use frozen rhubarb for this recipe. 

Rhubarb recipes often use a lot of sugar.  To cut the amount of sugar back, I first made a Rhubarb Applesauce using 4 cups of chopped rhubarb and 2 peeled and diced apples.  Most rhubarb sauces use 1 cup of sugar for 4 cups rhubarb.  With two apples, use only 1/2 cup sugar.

Place the three ingredients into a heavy bottomed pot in which the fruit will cook down over medium-low heat.  Add a splash of water (about an ounce) to get the mixture going without scorching the fruit.  Cover the pot, check it and stir occasionally.  The sauce should be broken down within 20 minutes.  Use a masher to break down the last chunks of apple.

Now you have about 2 cups of Rhubarb Applesauce, a tart and refreshing twist on applesauce.  Set aside half to enjoy as a snack.  Eat as is or enhance with a few drops of vanilla or almond extract and a shake of cinnamon.

Use the remaining cup to make Rhubarb BBQ sauce.

Rhubarb BBQ Sauce
Yields about 2 cups

1 cup Rhubarb Applesauce (see above)
1 14-ounce can low sodium tomatoes, un-drained
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons molasses
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon dill weed
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon celery seed
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  1. Combine Rhubarb Applesauce with tomatoes, vinegar and molasses in a heavy bottomed pot.  Cook on medium-low heat while you mix the spice blend.
  2. In  a small bowl, mix together the next ten ingredients, ground mustard through red pepper flakes.  
  3. Add spice-salt blend to rhubarb mixture.  Lower heat to simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. Use warm or cold.  Store in a covered cotnaciner it the refrigerator.  use within three days.
Another great use for Rhubarb BBQ Sauce is to make quick barbequed beans.  Stir some sauce into some canned (drained) white beans and cook to heat through.  Instant barbeques beans, vegetarian friendly.  You can also make these in a small quantity slow cooker-- on low for 2 hours- to really soak in the flavor.