I am trying desperately hard not to become a food fanatic as I continue to diet but some processed foods that we take for granted really approach the foolish to eat. I mean how bad can you expect Barbecue Sauce to be and my answer is read the label. I happen to have a unfinished bottle of Cattleman Classic in my refrigerator and take note that it has corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, molasses and sugar. When combined there is more sugar in the product then there is tomato paste. And if that doesn’t stress you out, one serving of the sauce provides about 17% of your daily salt requirement even if there was no salt used to prepare the meat.
After reading the label, I threw the bottle out and decided to make my own. A good place to start is the Classic BBQ Sauce recipe from About.com
Of course I am a make-do type of cook, so when I don’t have an ingredient I substitute the nearest equivalent and “make do” with what I have on hand instead of making a special trip to the grocery store.
Classic BBQ Sauce recipe from About.com
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 3 cloves garlic crushed
* 1/4 cup minced onion (I used the whole medium onion)
* 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
* 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
* 2 tablespoons brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons vinegar
* 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 teaspoon dry mustard (I used a Tablespoon of Golden spicy mustard)
* 1 teaspoon cayenne (I used a splash or two of American Style Hot Sauce)
* fresh ground pepper to taste (I skipped the black pepper)
The olive oil, garlic and onion were placed in a coffeepot and heated until the onions were opaque. The rest of the ingredients were added and the pot brought up to temperature (about 2 more hours) I ended up with about 2 cups of delicious sauce with minimal sugar and no added salt. I stored it in a plastic container in the refrigerator and its available when I need it.
Now the meat for the Sloppy Joe was really make-do. I had a left over uncooked piece of that really tough eye of the round steak that failed to tenderize in a preliminary sous-vide experiment. Now I knew from my pirate stew recipe that Cruzan Rum would tenderize stew beef so I decided to give it a try.
I put one tablespoon olive oil and ½ rough cut onion in the coffee pot and cooked it until the onions were opaque. I then added the steak and two ounces of rum and left it in the coffeepot for five hours. I took out the meat and separated it with a fork like pulled pork or pulled chicken. At this point I would not claim that the meat was perfectly tender but it separated rather well.
After draining the olive oil from the pot, I then added sufficient barbecue sauce to the meat and onions to give it the proper consistency and let the coffee pot come to full heat (about 2 hours).
It was delicious and perfectly tender. I served it on a whole wheat roll – not for health purposes but because I like the taste.