Barbecue Sauce

One of the great things about good ol' barbecue sauce is that it's so easily individualized. You can take any basic recipe and really turn it into something unique by adding or subtracting ingredients. Or, if you're like me, you can leave it all up to fate (or, in other words, whatever ingredients you may or may not have on hand). Here's the variation we prepared tonight to sauce up some ribz, which turned out well, though this recipe tends to rely a lot on the ketchup. I think next time I will try just tomatoes instead, adjusting the seasonings and sugar content accordingly.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 onions, chopped finely
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup malt vinegar
1 to 2 tablespoons soy sauce
freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

Place the oil in a large skillet or pot. Over medium-high heat, sautee the onions until slightly soft, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers and carrots and sautee for a few minutes more. Then add the garlic and chiles and continue to sautee for another minute or so. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes or until thickened. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes 3 to 4 cups.

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