My mom makes really good bbq sauce. My Sweet Whiskey BBQ Sauce is the third sauce recipe I’ve published, and all of them are based on her recipe (vegan bbq sauce, and roasted onion bbq sauce). As with the others, this recipe starts with caramelized onions, because most good things start with caramelized onions. Then ketchup, brown sugar, whiskey, vinegar, mustard, and garlic get added to the mix. When it’s simmered, it thickens into a sauce so good you’ll be tempted to eat it by the spoonful.
I created this sauce specifically for the Whiskey Marinated Grilled Tofu I posted yesterday. The tofu is perfectly savory, to contrast the sweetness of the sauce. Pressing and grilling the tofu gives it a chewy texture that stands up nicely to the sticky sauce. The one problem? There is never enough. The first time I made it, I used two 12-ounce blocks of tofu. I think Clarissa and Veronica could have polished that off by themselves, even though I also served potato salad and roasted broccoli with it. The second time, I used two 16-ounce blocks of tofu. There were no leftovers, and again, I think Clarissa and Veronica were displeased that I had to cut them off after they chowed down on an entire block, between the two of them.
As you’ll see, the recipe makes quite a bit of sauce. Store the leftovers in a tightly covered jar, in the fridge, and it will keep for a couple weeks. Trust me, when I tell you that you’ll want to spread it on everything you eat, until it’s gone. Don’t worry about having too much.
Now get some onions cooking, fire up the grill, and make some incredible bbq tofu for your mom this weekend.
- 4 medium, yellow onions
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 2 1/2 cups ketchup*
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup whiskey
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp yellow mustard
- 1 tsp grated garlic**
- 1. Peel the onions, cut them in half, and slice them very thinly.
- 2. In a 2-quart saucepan placed over low heat, melt the butter.
- 3. Add the onions and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Saute until golden brown and caramelized. Resist the urge to increase the heat and speed up this process. For ultra sweet, almost candied onions, you want to take it slow. This step will take anywhere from 45-90 minutes, depending on the amount of sugar naturally in the onions.
- 4. When the onions are caramelized, stir in the remaining ingredients.
- 5. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring often. The sauce is ready when it is thickened (think the texture of the ketchup, before you added the whiskey to the mix).
- *I use Heinz ketchup for this recipe. If you use another brand, you may find you need to adjust the amount of salt, sugar, and/or vinegar in the recipe, to your taste.
- **I grate garlic using a microplane. It results in a garlic paste that dissolves into the sauce, so you don't end up with any sharpness in the final product.
- 1 batch of Whiskey Marinated Grilled Tofu (http://www.veganmotherhubbard.net/2015/05/whiskey-marinated-grilled-tofu.html)
- 1 batch of Sweet Whiskey BBQ Sauce (recipe above)
- 1. Prepare the tofu as specified in the recipe.
- 2. Spread both sides of each piece of tofu with a generous amount of tofu--about 1/2 cup sauce per pound of tofu.
- 3. Return the tofu to a hot grill, but over indirect heat. Grill 2-3 minutes per side, allowing the sauce to caramelize and get sticky on the tofu.
- 4. Serve as tofu steaks, or on a crusty roll with pickles and slaw for a delicious sandwich.