I lived in Memphis, TN for a substantial amount of my youth and grew to love what that community excelled at in the culinary arts, barbecue ribs, barbecue pork, barbecue bologna, barbecue chicken and all the fixing that compliment the lot. Memphis holds the Memphis in May World Champion Barbecue Cook-off and for good reason, they have some of the best barbecue chefs in the world just hanging out in random cafes, restaurants, clubs and dives all over the city.
At any rate, I cooked at a cafe and later co-managed in Memphis for a while. And un-like any other cafe around the United States, when you lived in Memphis, you could not just throw down any kind of Barb-Q on the menu. It had to be a solid contender or your cafe would have a very small life span.
Our little cafe had a team of old charming southern cooks and each one had a solid opinion on several recipes, barbecue sauce caused many a kitchen fits and boy was it fun to watch. I learned a lot about good food in that restaurant. I also learned that too many cooks in the kitchen could cause a very small war and a really big mess.
But oh, sweet, angels and saints, we had some really good ribs in that joint and our chicken had folks lined up around the parking lot on many Sunday after church lunches. (sadly, after I left to return full time to music and teaching that little Cafe closed and is now one of those Super-sized markets.)
Our most successful barbecue sauce ended up having a citrus flare for an unexpected twist to the traditional well-practiced Southern palate. But each person has their taste and each person was on opposite sides the fence about if you need to rub first or just let the sauce do the talking. But success starts in a base sauce and as long as you do not use that bottle filled with HFC you are going to have a wonderful sauce with enough attitude to keep folks guessing with good flavors as long as your practice and taste, practice and taste, and practice and taste.
Shucks, all these memories are making me hungry for some good old fashioned ribs and chicken, with cole slaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, barbecue beans and deviled eggs. If you will notice this traditional southern menu has many make-ahead cold menu items. This is because you can tend to the meat all day, much like a momma to a newborn.
Listed Below is and excellent base sauce. Now all you have to do is add your own personal magic. Citrus juices, fruit jams,beer, Hot Pepper Anything!
The sky is the limit… .as long as it is edible.
BBQ Sauce Basic Ingredients:
2 cups ketchup
1 cup water
1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons dark brown sugar
5 tablespoon organic white cane sugar
3/4 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce ( or soy sauce if you are feeling a little wild and crazy)
In a medium to large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 1 hour 15 minutes.
note: if adding fruit jams- remove the organic white sugar from the recipe or it will be way too sweet.
(this is a repost of a lost file, I thought it would perfect for the 4th of July weekend coming up soon, sure am glad I found it after the big move.)
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