Blueberry Chipotle BBQ Sauce

This is the type of sauce that gives the barbecue purists fits, but it has humble origins, even if it ended up being kind of a big deal. Our original owner, Tom, once made this sauce for a dinner party at his own house, and everyone loved it, even though it’s about as far from authentic as you get. However, when 12 Bones first opened, the barbecue aficionados turned their collective noses up at this spicy-sweet concoction. Then, in 2007, this recipe won Good Morning America’s Best Bite Contest. That changed everything. “All of a sudden, it was accepted,” laughs Tom. “People who tried it loved it, but it was tough convincing people that they needed to give it a try in the first place.” This sauce starts out sweet, but the finish is all chipotle. And the rich, smoky flavor ripens the longer you leave the sauce in the bottle. If you don’t open it for at least a year, the smoke intensifies even further.


Yield: 5 cups

1 pound fresh or frozen blueberries
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
3/4 cup honey
3 cups 12 Bones Tomato “Q” Sauce (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon ground ginger

In a food processor or a blender, puree the berries and the chipotles. Then transfer the berry mixture to a saucepan, and add the remaining ingredients. Simmer this mixture over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the sauce from the heat and cool.

The finished and cooled sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Tomato “Q” Sauce
Yield: 4 cups
3 cups ketchup
2⁄3 cup cider vinegar
½ cup blackstrap molasses
6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon dry English mustard
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

This sauce will taste its best within a few weeks if refrigerated, or you can portion it out into smaller plastic containers and freeze it. Even better, if you know how to can, this stuff will keep practically forever. Let Tom Q, as we call it in the restaurant, be a workhorse for you too. Smear it on burgers, chicken—you name it. Do note that this is a very mild, somewhat sweet sauce. 

Combine all ingredients in a medium-size saucepan and simmer on low heat until all the dry ingredients have dissolved, stirring occasionally with a whisk. Note that mustard powder can be a bit hard to dissolve.

Excerpted from 12 Bones Smokehouse, Voyageur Press.


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