Cool Water Ranch Barbecue Sauce

I started making my own barbecue sauce when I volunteered to run a barbecue both at the festivals at my children’s schools. I used two bits of knowledge gleaned from my barbecue-eating activities. The first came from Harold Veasey, the founder of the now-extinct Harold’s Texas Barbecue in Metairie. He told me that the secret to his sauce is that he “kills it”–cooks the tomatoes so long that they take on an entirely different, sweet flavor. The second datum was my noticing the taste of cinnamon in the barbecue sauce at Corky’s, the best bottled sauce I’ve found. Neither source would give me a recipe, so I went my own way. This takes a long time, but it’s worth it if you make a great deal of it.

It may seem like cheating to add bottled barbecue sauce to the mix. What I’m after there is the stuff in commercial barbecue sauce that keeps it from separating.

This makes a lot of sauce, because I don’t like having to make it often. Put it up in canning jars and give it to friends.

Col Water Ranch Barbecue Sauce.

  • 2 liters Dr Pepper
  • 2 medium onions, pureed
  • 1 medium head garlic, pureed
  • 2 Tbs. grated ginger root
  • 2 gallons tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/2 bottle Tabasco Caribbean style steak sauce
  • 2 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 Tbs. dried basil
  • 2 Tbs. marjoram
  • 1 Tbs. rubbed sage
  • 1 Tbs. allspice
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 6 12-oz. jars molasses
  • 1 quart commercial barbecue sauce (I use Hunt’s)

1. Pour the Dr Pepper into a large saucepan and reduce it very slowly to about one cup of liquid. Or, if you can get Dr Pepper syrup, get a cup of it.

2. While that’s going on, use the biggest stockpot you have to sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger over medium heat for about fifteen minutes, and stirring every minute or two. (The ginger may turn the mixture green. Ignore this.)

3. Add the other ingredients except the vinegar, molasses, and prepared barbecue sauce. Bring to a light simmer, then lower the heat as low as it will go. Simmer, covered, for about eight hours, stirring thoroughly all the way down to the bottom every ten minutes or so to make sure it doesn’t burn down there.

4. Add the molasses, vinegar, and prepared sauce and cook another hour or two. Taste the sauce and add more molasses or vinegar to balance it. Add salt and hot sauce to taste.

Pack what you will not use right away into sterilized canning jars, while the sauce is still hot.

Makes three gallons of sauce.