Monday, September 17, 2012

Look Ma, No Added Sugar: Mild Chile-Lime BBQ Sauce

This Chile-Lime BBQ Sauce is good on anything. Really.
Until recently, the house pulled pork wasn’t traditional BBQ. It was really a delicious pork shoulder, braised in BBQ sauce until it fell apart. Good, but in my book, not the real thing. I had made quite a few in my BBQ pit prior to marrying Chuck. But a smoky shoulder, unadorned, wasn't his favorite.  So I just stuck to my briskets, turkey breasts, bacon, ribs and chickens and left the pork shoulder with Chuck, in the house, in the oven, simmering away under a blanket of BBQ sauce. I prefer the long-smoked kind because it features the smoked pork as the main flavor, with the BBQ sauce as a condiment. With the braised kind, it depends totally on how good the sauce is; the pork itself is only secondary.

So, imagine my surprise, when he says he wants to make a pork shoulder in the Big Green Egg. I was so happy I’d have run to the store, barefoot, to buy one. It’s been cooking all day, at a nice solid 250ºF. Not one refill of charcoal needed, in the Egg, either. Totally amazing. I’d have been practically chained to the old pit for a long cook like this to keep it steadily fueled. 

Today I ran  errands, did some pickling, and even made a really good, naturally sugar-free BBQ sauce to have with our real pulled pork sandwiches tonight. 
BBQ sauce is a condiment;  but when you use a lot of it, it becomes for some people, a food group, like vegetables. That’s all well and good, if, like ketchup, it wasn’t full of sugar, or worse, high fructose corn syrup. Plus, they are usually so darn syrupy sweet. I've fixed all that in this recipe though. While I made this intending it to be used on a BBQ'd pulled pork sandwich, its perfect as the braising sauce for pork, too. 

Mild Chile-Lime is a spunky sauce. Not so much heat, though as spunk; kids like it too. There is enough here to braise a pork shoulder (or chops, chicken, etc.)This one isn’t loaded with chiles, but it has a little spice, and a decent punch of lime. It also has natural erythritol and stevia as the sweetener, and a single tablespoon of blackstrap molasses in it for the deep, rich, brown sugar flavor. It’s lower in carbs, diabetic friendly, as a condiment and if you use an anchovy-free Worcestershire sauce, it’ll be vegetarian, too. This recipe makes a lot, about 3-1/2 cups, enough to serve with a whole pulled BBQ pork shoulder. I can, and have eaten this Mild Chile-Lime BBQ sauce with a spoon. It’s that good.

Note: You can substitute 1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons of Spoonable Truvia or Z-Sweet for the erythritol and stevia. Add the optional jalapeño, if you like a serious tingle in you BBQ sauce.

Mild Chile-Lime BBQ Sauce (No Added Sugar)


1 29 oz. can tomato puree
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1T blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup granular erythritol
1/8 tsp. powdered stevia extract
1 tsp. garlic powder
3T minced dried onions
2 T prepared yellow mustard
1T Worcestershire sauce
2T mild chili powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves
2 tsp. Cholula chile sauce
1 tsp. ancho chile powder
1 lime, halved
Optional: 1 small red jalapeño, left whole


In a large saucepan, whisk everything through the ancho chile powder together until well blended.  Squeeze in the lime juice, and drop in the two halves. Add the jalapeño, if using. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then lower to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, about  20 minutes. Cover and turn the heat to the lowest possible temperature and let set on the heat for another 15 minutes. remove and discard the lime halves and jalapeño before serving. Makes a scant quart.

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