Chocolate…Chili…Barbecue Sauce!

August 27, 2012

I love me some barbeque sauce.  White sauce, vinegar sauce, sweet sauce, spicy sauce.  It doesn’t matter just pass the bottle.  So when Meathead of came up with a recipe for (gasp) chocolate chili barbecue sauce, I was all over it.  And you will be too!  Here’s the scoop on its origins plus the recipe.

chocolate BBQ sauce ribs

This sauce has the classic taste profile of all the most popular barbecue sauces, sweet, tart, and slightly spicy, but with a wonderful twist: The seductive taste of chocolate. If it sounds weird, well, it is a bit weird, but I’m here to tell you it works. And don’t worry, it is not too hot. Of course you can make it hotter if you want…

The idea came from, of all places, Charleston, SC. Charleston is emerging as one of the hottest restaurant cities in the nation with creative chefs, many with classic roots, putting modern spins on traditional Southern Cuisine. Chef Ciaran Duffy worked there for many years at Tristan where he developed a Chocolate Chile Barbecue Sauce. I ordered a bottle and loved it, but alas, when Duffy moved west to become the executive chef at the Marriott Del Mar near San Diego, Tristan stopped bottling it. So I created my own recipe.

This concoction clearly has nothing whatsoever to do with Southern barbecue sauce traditionswhich tend to be vinegary, or Charleston which is in the mustard based barbecue sauce belt. Its components are really Caribbean, where the word barbecue originated, Mexican, where chocolateand vanilla come from, Floridian and Brazilian, which produce more oranges than anybody, South American, where tomatoes originated, and Central America, where chile peppers were first discovered. So what could be more far Southernthan a blend of them? It is a bit of a novelty, but a darn good one.

How to use it? I love it on pork ribs and even meatloaf, not so much on other beef products. So I need you to make a batch, try it, and let me know on which foods you like it.

Makes. A bit more than 2 cups of sauce

Preparation time. 45 minutes

 3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon chipotle chile powder

About the cocoa. I use Hershey’s Natural Unsweetened. Click here to learn more about chocolate and the different types in my article on the Zen of Chocolate.

Do this

1) Mix the sugar and water in a pan and simmer until the sugar dissolves. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

2) Paint it on your ribs. One layer is all that is needed. If you wish, put the sauced ribs over high heat to caramelize the sugars a bit, but watch it carefully so it doesn’t burn. Then, for a festive touch, grate some orange zest on top.

Serve it with a big red wine.

Related Topics: | Barbecue Sauce Recipe | Barbeque Sauce Recipe | Bbq Sauce | Bbq Sauce Recipe | Charleston | Chocolate | Chocolate Chili Barbecue Sauce | Craig Goldwyn Aka Meathead | Editor's Picks | South Carolina

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