With meteorological summer upon us–if I may speak meteorologically with you, my amici–it’s the purr-fect time to cook up some bourbon barbecue sauce. When we make pulled pork, you’ll thank me for suggesting you have your own delicious sauce on hand.


1/2 cup bourbon
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 small sweet onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (1/2 a teaspoon if you prefer less heat)
½ teaspoon ground chipotle
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup hot water + 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
½ cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon coarse ground mustard

Chop the onion.

In a saucepan over medium heat, add oil; sauté garlic, onion, cumin, red pepper, chipotle and salt. Reduce heat as you go, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes till onions are soft. As always, don’t brown the garlic.

Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Let cool a bit, then blend carefully with a stick blender. Refrigerate and enjoy throughout the grilling season. Don’t have a grill? Me, either, but that’s OK, because I have a crock pot–so tomorrow, we will make pulled pork!

Note Mister SuperKewl in the photo above, by the way. He arrived last week, quite magically and by surprise. I spied him on my counter, in all his colorful glory, among my other cool collectibles. After a bit more thought, I decided he needed a real name. So meet Antonio–named after Poppy’s father.

And here’s the real Antonio, my great-grandfather, who immigrated from Italy and planted our family roots here–both figuratively and literally, as he was a farmer. He would likely wonder why I don’t have an Italian name, either (like my mom, Jane, who he called Giadi) and would call me Speranza. CENT’ANN’!

Now that we’ve made introductions, I’m off to pick up 2 pounds of Boston butt to put this sauce to good use tomorrow. If you’d like to crock along, you’ll want to grab your butt (!) along with a beer, a sweet onion and a shallot! See you soon!