Spice it up with home­made condi­ments

Try these recipes to en­hance your sum­mer grilling reper­toire

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Home cooks are show­ing more ap­petite for skip­ping the condi­ment aisle at the gro­cery store in favour of mak­ing their own barbecue sauces and other top­pings from scratch.

They’re also cus­tomiz­ing these condi­ments, such as adding mush­rooms, man­goes or ba­nanas to ketchup and ap­ples or pep­per­corns to mus­tard.

Barbecue sauces can have dozens of vari­a­tions through the ad­di­tion of in­gre­di­ents such as fresh ginger, wasabi, miso, hoisin sauce, gar­lic, herbs, spices, cof­fee, wine and ba­con, but the one com­po­nent it must have is balance, says grilling ex­pert and au­thor Steven Raichlen.

“My bot­tom per­sonal line is there are no rules and you should feel free to mix and match with ev­ery­thing,” but the goal of any good sauce is to meld the con­trast­ing el­e­ments — sweet, sour, salty, aro­matic, hot — into a har­mo­nious whole, he ex­plains.

As Cana­di­ans head out in droves to en­joy their out­door kitchens, here is an as­sort­ment of recipes to try to en­hance grilled fare.

Sweet and Smoky Blue­berry Ale Barbecue Sauce

While re­search­ing their cook­book “Feast,” Lind­say An­der­son and Dana VanVeller spent an idyl­lic sum­mer day in Kenora, Ont., a small city on Lake of the Woods, round­ing it off with a few great ales on the sunny pa­tio of lo­cal craft brew pub Lake of the Woods Brew­ing Com­pany. This barbecue sauce is cour­tesy of the brew­ery.

They sug­gest it’s par­tic­u­larly good on ribs or grilled chicken.


¼ cup lightly packed brown su­gar ½ cup ap­ple cider vine­gar ¼ cup mo­lasses ¼ cup honey ½ cup Lake of the Woods’ For­got­ten Lake Blue­berry Ale or any other mild ale ¼ cup Worces­ter­shire sauce ¼ cup dark rum 2 ta­ble­spoons yel­low mus­tard 1 tbsp liq­uid smoke 1 tbsp chili pow­der 2 tea­spoon freshly ground black pep­per 2 tsp ground all­spice ¼ tsp ground cloves ¼ cup fresh or thawed frozen wild blue­ber­ries 3½ cups ketchup

In a medium pot, com­bine su­gar, vine­gar, mo­lasses, honey, beer, Worces­ter­shire, rum, mus­tard, liq­uid smoke, chili pow­der, pep­per, all­spice and cloves and bring to a boil. Once boil­ing, re­duce heat and sim­mer un­til mix­ture re­duces by about a third, 40 to 60 min­utes.

Add blue­ber­ries and ketchup and sim­mer for an­other 30 min­utes. Re­move from heat and let cool. In a blender or with an im­mer­sion blender, purée un­til smooth. Trans­fer to an air­tight con­tainer and re­frig­er­ate for up to one month or freeze for up to three months.

Made-from-scratch Ketchup

This cit­rusy ketchup blurs the bound­ary be­tween tra­di­tional ketchup and chutney and can be used pretty much as you would any com­mer­cial ketchup. Orange and lemon add an un­ex­pected trop­i­cal touch that’s re­in­forced by the ginger and all­spice, says Raichlen.


2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 cloves gar­lic, peeled and minced ½ cup red wine vine­gar ½ cup packed dark brown su­gar ½ cup honey ½ cup fresh orange juice 1 lemon, peeled (re­move zest and rind), seeded and diced 2 tea­spoons coarse salt (sea or kosher) 2 tsp ground all­spice 1 tsp ground ginger ½ tsp mus­tard pow­der ½ tsp freshly cracked black pep­per­corns ½ tsp ground cloves 1 can (28 ounce) whole plum toma­toes ( juices strained and re­served, toma­toes coarsely chopped by hand or in a food pro­ces­sor)

Heat olive oil in a medium non­re­ac­tive saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and gar­lic and cook un­til lightly browned, stir­ring with a wooden spoon, for four min­utes.

In­crease heat to high, stir in vine­gar and brown su­gar and boil un­til mix­ture is re­duced by half, three to five min­utes. Add honey, orange juice, lemon, salt, spices and re­served tomato juices. Re­duce heat to medium and gen­tly sim­mer, un­cov­ered, un­til syrupy, five min­utes.

Stir in chopped toma­toes and sim­mer ketchup, un­cov­ered, un­til thick and flavour­ful, 20 to 30 min­utes. The mix­ture should be con­cen­trated but not too thick. Add water as needed.

Trans­fer mix­ture to a food pro­ces­sor and process to a coarse purée. Taste and ad­just sea­son­ing, adding salt, vine­gar or any other in­gre­di­ent; the ketchup should be highly sea­soned. Trans­fer purée to jars, cover and let cool to room tem­per­a­ture. Re­frig­er­ate un­til serv­ing. The ketchup will keep for sev­eral weeks in the re­frig­er­a­tor.

Source: “Barbecue Sauces, Rubs and Mari­nades — Bastes, But­ters and Glazes, Too” by Steven Raichlen (Work­man Pub­lish­ing, 2017).

Cana­dian Mus­tard

This coun­try is one of the world’s ma­jor pro­duc­ers of mus­tard seeds. And we’ve been at it a while. Hamil­ton’s G.S. Dunn, a dry mus­tard miller, has been op­er­at­ing for 148 years.

Yel­low mus­tard seeds are only mildly spicy, so if you pre­fer real heat, use the much spicier brown seeds, sug­gests P.E.I. chef Michael Smith.


1 cup yel­low mus­tard seeds 1 cup sweet ap­ple cider 1 cup cider vine­gar 2 ap­ples, un­peeled, cored and chopped ¼ cup honey 2 tea­spoons salt

In a medium pot, stir to­gether mus­tard seeds, ap­ple cider and cider vine­gar. Cover tightly and rest at room tem­per­a­ture overnight. Add ap­ples, honey and salt. Bring to a sim­mer over medium heat and cook, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til ap­ple is very ten­der, 15 min­utes or so. Let cool for a few min­utes be­fore trans­fer­ring to a blender or food pro­ces­sor. If you pre­fer whole-grain style mus­tard, pulse for just a few mo­ments. For a smoother re­sult, carry on un­til com­pletely puréed. Trans­fer to a clean jar, seal tightly and re­frig­er­ate. The mus­tard keeps in­def­i­nitely.

Source: “Real Food, Real Good” by Michael Smith (Pen­guin Canada, 2016).

Mon­key Gland Sauce

This sweet-spicy blend of chutney, wine and hot sauce is pop­u­lar among South Africans at bar­be­cues, says Raichlen.

“It’s re­ally sweet with chutney and kind of tart with red wine. It’s two kinds of poles of South Africa’s ori­gins, the Bri­tish and the In­dian with the chutney and the red wine with the French,” he ex­plains.

This sauce is cus­tom­ar­ily served warm or at room tem­per­a­ture with grilled meats, such as steak and lamb chops. It can also be used for bast­ing.

This ver­sion comes from the Mount Nel­son Ho­tel in Cape Town.

For a vari­a­tion, re­place half the chutney with ketchup.


1 cup fruit chutney 3 ta­ble­spoons dry red wine 3 tbsp port wine 2 tbsp salted but­ter 1 tea­spoon piri piri sauce or your favourite hot sauce 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pep­per 1/2 tsp liq­uid smoke Coarse salt (sea or kosher)

In a heavy non­re­ac­tive saucepan over medium-high heat, com­bine all in­gre­di­ents and bring to a boil. Re­duce heat to medium and sim­mer sauce, un­cov­ered, stir­ring of­ten un­til chutney melts and sauce is richly flavoured, five to 10 min­utes. For a chunky sauce, serve as is. For a smooth sauce, purée in a food pro­ces­sor or blender.

Use im­me­di­ately or trans­fer to a jar, cover and re­frig­er­ate. The sauce will keep for sev­eral weeks; bring to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore serv­ing.

Source: “Barbecue Sauces, Rubs and Mari­nades — Bastes, But­ters and Glazes, Too by Steven Raichlen (Work­man Pub­lish­ing, 2017).

This Sweet and Smoky Blue­berry Ale Barbecue Sauce, cour­tesy of Lake of the Woods Brew­ing Com­pany in Kenora, Ont., is en­hanced with blue­berry ale and blue­ber­ries. It is de­li­cious on ribs or grilled chicken.

You can pay trib­ute to one of Canada’s home­grown crops by mak­ing your own pi­quant mus­tard.

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