My wife is taking a smallish jar of Rawhead's Famous Sweet n' Spicy Bourbon Bar B Q Sauce to share with one of her colleagues, after having smothered it over some meatballs she took in for special occasion last week. Guess her friend enjoyed it. I am flattered.
I try to whip up a jumbo batch of my self-professed, but undeniably delectable sauce a couple of times a year. Some is jarred and later amply applied to smoked or bbq'd ribs, chicken and other meats, while the rest is gladly shared with friends or family.
The process of constructing the sauce is a labour of love. Garlic and shallots are carefully chopped and lightly sauteed in rich olive oil in a large Dutch oven until soft, translucent and crazy aromatic. They are then soaked and simmered in a liberal amount of Tennessee whiskey; about a 1/2 bottle to start. The base of the sauce is a giant can of ketchup, which gets poured slowly into the waiting heated pot. From there the remaining ingredients vary from batch to batch, but generally include guesstimated amounts of brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, pink Himalayan salt, ground black pepper, liquid smoke and, of course, more Tennessee whiskey. This mouth-watering concoction is left on the stove to simmer and stirred often. The ever-increasing heat trapped inside the sauce forces random, explosive bursts of dark red joy, which make for an interesting clean up. After about an hour and at least a dozen precise taste tests, a can of tomato paste is added to thicken the sauce, typically followed by another healthy dash of Tennessee whiskey for luck, good fortune and in the name of someone loved or lost. Note: The final volume of whiskey incorporated into any given batch of sauce and the total cooking duration is directly related to the amount of whiskey consumed by yours truly. One more taste and the sauce is finished with a pinch of this or a dash of that at my culinary discretion.
It's been suggested by a few, I should consider the commercial production and sales of Rawhead's Famous Sweet n' Spicy Bourbon Bar B Q Sauce, but I'm not sure I can or should put a price on my ❤️.