Homemade Orange-Bourbon-Molasses BBQ Sauce

Absolutely fantastic barbeque sauce, fragrant with orange, bourbon and the smoky sweetness of molasses. With just a hint of heat and a nice vinegary tingle, this sauce pairs especially nicely with pork or chicken. We love it with slow cooked pastured pork shoulder. Enjoy!

Homemade Orange-Bourbon-Molasses BBQ Sauce
by Amy Love, Real Food Whole Health

2 cups homemade or organic ketchup
¼ cup unsulphured molasses (more or less per taste)
½ cup white wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar would work as well)
Juice of one organic orange, about ½ cup
Zest of one organic orange, optional (if you want more orange flavor)
½ cup plus 1 TBL bourbon whiskey, divided (I use Maker’s Mark)
1 clove garlic, grated finely
2 TBL naturally fermented tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
Unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium size saucepan, over medium heat, combine all ingredients, save for 1 TBL bourbon and optional orange zest. Whisk and allow to reduce by about half. Taste and adjust spices to your liking. If you would like more orange flavor, stir in optional orange zest. Stir in remaining 1 TBL bourbon. (This step can be skipped if you are serving littles, or would like the finished sauce without alcohol- most of the alcohol cooked out of the bourbon added at the beginning, but won’t completely cook out of bourbon added at the end)

Allow to sit at least 15-20 minutes (or refrigerate overnight) for flavors to marry. Serve or pour into a glass jar for storage in the fridge.  Makes about 2 cups finished sauce.

  • Happy Holiday to you,

    This recipe sounds delicious! I am inquiring into substitutions.

    What would you recommend as a substitute for ketchup (which is banned from our home)? I can envision reducing tomato sauce/ puree/ whole peeled toms with added spices.

    With fermented tamari being soy based, I am sensitive to soy.

    Merry Cookin/
    VeraMae

    • Hi VeraMae. Thanks for your comment. I would use mostly tomato paste and a tomato sauce- (packaged in glass jars not cans) or make your own ketchup if commercial organic (meaning no HFCS) ketchup is a no-go. There is a great recipe in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon for homemade ketchup. You can skip the whey and lacto-fermenting part since this will be heated. Then, I would use fish sauce for the soy sauce, (does not taste fishy) or omit it altogether, using additional unrefined sea salt if desired. I would not recommend a Worchestshire sauce as they contain processed ingredients. This is off the top of my head- it hasn’t been tested- but I don’t see why those subs wouldn’t work just fine. Enjoy!

  • Happy Holiday to you,

    This recipe sounds delicious! I am inquiring into substitutions.

    What would you recommend as a substitute for ketchup (which is banned from our home)? I can envision reducing tomato sauce/ puree/ whole peeled toms with added spices.

    With fermented tamari being soy based, I am sensitive to soy.

    Merry Cookin/
    VeraMae

    • Hi VeraMae. Thanks for your comment. I would use mostly tomato paste and a tomato sauce- (packaged in glass jars not cans) or make your own ketchup if commercial organic (meaning no HFCS) ketchup is a no-go. There is a great recipe in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon for homemade ketchup. You can skip the whey and lacto-fermenting part since this will be heated. Then, I would use fish sauce for the soy sauce, (does not taste fishy) or omit it altogether, using additional unrefined sea salt if desired. I would not recommend a Worchestshire sauce as they contain processed ingredients. This is off the top of my head- it hasn’t been tested- but I don’t see why those subs wouldn’t work just fine. Enjoy!

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