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Tangy BBQ Sauces from Chef Sarah

Gather your bruised and surplus stone fruit to make these delicious and healthy homemade BBQ sauces from Chef Sarah of The Food Commonweal.

Use up surplus stone fruit and tomatoes, including those that are still green and even bruised, and play with spiciness and variations of flavor, depending on what you have on hand.

At The Food Commonweal, Chef Sarah and her team make two variations of BBQ sauce each season. She says "fruits, roots, and random garden extras are the core ingredient in our BBQ Sauce!" 

Below are the suggested (though make adjustments as needed) ingredient lists, as well as 3 variations on how to cook the sauce.


Sweet & Tangy Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs of green peaches, tomatoes, and zucchini
  • 1 head of fennel, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 knob ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • Honey and liquid smoke (optional, to taste)

Smoky Tangy Hot Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds apricots and/or tomatoes (the mix is best)
  • 1 knob ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 head garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 3–5 jalapeños and/or serrano chiles (based on desired spiciness), seeds and stems removed
  • 1 bunch scallions (optional)
  • Edible flowers like lavender and marigold (optional)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Honey and liquid smoke (optional, to taste)

Instructions - Oven, InstantPot/Pressure Cooker, or Smoker:

Oven:

  • Wash all produce. Prepare as directed and add in the following layers to an oven-proof casserole.
  • Layer 1: ginger and celery
  • Layer 2: onion, garlic, chiles, scallions, and flowers (if using)
  • Layer 3: halved and pitted apricots and tomatoes, whole or chopped
  • Mix brown sugar and apple cider vinegar with salt, mustard, and optional additional flavorings.
  • Pour over everything in the casserole and roast in the oven, uncovered, at 200°F for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Purée and season to taste.
  • Store in glass jars in the refrigerator (tip: label with the date) for up to 12 months or 30 days once open.

InstantPot:

  • Wash all produce.
  • Prepare as directed and mix all ingredients together in the bowl of the pressure cooker.
  • Cook on pressure cooker setting for 2.5 hours.
  • Remove from machine or stove and let cool.
  • Purée and season to taste.
  • Store in glass jars in the refrigerator (tip: label with the date) for up to 12 months or 30 days once open.

Smoker:

  • Wash all produce and prepare as directed.
  • Place all the vegetables, chilies, and fruits on a smoker rack.
  • Smoke for 2 hours.
  • Put the smoked ingredients into a large pot and add brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and any seasonings including any optional items.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Remove from stove and let cool.
  • Purée and season to taste.
  • Store in glass jars in the refrigerator (tip: label with the date) for up to 12 months or 30 days once open.

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