North Carolina-style BBQ Sauce

North Carolina-style BBQ Sauce

In the American South, barbecue sauce is as controversial a subject as the barbecue itself, perhaps even more so with regional variations being fiercely defended as the best, the original and the only sauce worth having. My North Carolina-style BBQ sauce is inspired by the mustard-based sauces of North Carolina. This is very much a ‘season to taste’ sauce, it’s quite sharp and a little spicy, feel free to add more heat if you like, more sugar or tomato paste to sweeten it up a touch, or more mustard if that’s your preference. I like to use wholegrain mustard, but Dijon or American mustard work just as well. I blitz the sauce with a stick blender to thicken it up a little as I find it glazes the meat or seafood better that way, this isn’t traditional, so leave it loose and chunky if you prefer.

Makes about ¾ cup

Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small brown onion, very finely chopped
  • Salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon crushed chilli flakes
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Pinch ground cayenne powder
Method
  1. Mix mustard powder with a tablespoon of cold water to form a paste and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan, add onion and a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes, until it starts to colour.
  3. Stir in garlic and cook for a further 30 seconds or so, until you can smell it.
  4. Add remaining ingredients except for the mustard and bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir a little of the sauce into the mustard, then stir the mustard into the sauce.
  7. Remove from heat and blitz with a stick blender.
  8. Set aside to cool.

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North Carolina-Style BBQ Sauce

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