Next on the list is sauce 6: landarcs!
#6 landarcs Sauce
A Base Recipe:
4 cups vinegar, I use cider or rice vinegar
1/2 piece of nutmeg coarsely crushed
8 to 10 peppercorns, lightly cracked
5 whole cloves, lightly cracked
2 bay leaves cracked in quarters
1/8 stick cinnamon
Slowly simmer vinegar until reduced to +/- 3 cups, add aromatics and reduce to +/- 2 cups. This should appear a little syrupy. Filter and cool. Filtering must be done hot, do not inhale.
2 cups red wine, I prefer Merlot for this. Any red wine that is not really tannic would work, whatever wine you choose, the flavor will be enhanced. An Aussie GSM would be great.
Reduce by slowly simmering to 1/2 cup, should be syrupy.
Combine the vinegar reduction with the wine reduction. You should have 2-1/2 cups more or less. Add:
1/4 cup Worcestershire or fish sauce
1/2 cup liquid sweetener (honey, malt syrup, agave syrup, medium syrup, corn syrup)
1 tablespoon dry mustard
Adjust sweetness for taste. I prefer a lighter sweetness and will often go with light honey. Heat the vinegar, wine and sweeteners to combine and reduce. You should end up with 3 cups of sauce. This is my base that I add other flavorings to.
Things I add...ketchup, molasses, prepared mustard, bourbon
I would add honey, or if it is easier, golden syrup. Both work. I use honey.
As for flavorings, I would add some ketchup and molasses to make the comparison work. 1/8 cup of each. Or, just use 1/4 cup ketchup as that will give you a nice red sauce. I would add, this is more of a mother sauce, which I often just add stuff to make it work for how I am feeling. It is a sweet and sour base from which I can work. I would say that with the ketchup and/or molasses, it will work best with pork and with beef.
: Quite an interesting list of ingredients with a very specific method involved. The addition of red wine and whole spices is quite unique and intriguing. However, ketchup does tend to have similar spices, so it should not be _that_ different adding them this way. Using a decent bottle of red does raise the cost of making the sauce, as does a plentiful amount of vinegar. The reliance on a reduction of wine and vinegar to provide most of the sweetness is an interesting deviation from most sauces and the honey another unique combination.
Ease of preparation
: Rather lengthy and hands on, requiring a bit more attention than most set-and-forget sauces. However, these stages can be broken up if you don't have the time or patience to do it all in one go. The reduction and filtering takes some time, but once that is done, it is very straight forward.
Modifications and variations tested
: The sauce was tested on grilled beef, pulled pork, smoked chicken, ribs and beef brisket.
Without garlic, onion or chilli, one might assume this sauce would be lacking in flavour or those basic background notes often encountered in barbecue sauces. I must say however, that chilli would not really suit this sauce too well, and that the onion and garlic is not needed.
I was worried at the beginning that the red wine would completely dominate, and that it would taste like a red wine sauce, not a barbecue sauce. I am very pleased to say however, that by reducing the sauce, you are not left with a harsh red wine flavour, and as it is not reduced to a complete glaze, you are not confronted with a bitter result.
The vinegar reduction provides sweetness and a very nice sourness, perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the red wine and honey. Mentioning the honey, one would assume that it may provide an overly floral or dominant flavour, but it does not, and in fact, works perfectly with the other ingredients.
The texture is completely smooth, with the consistency quite thin, between a vinegar based sauce and corn syrup.
: Due to the complexity of this sauce, it would be rather sensitive to certain changes, so I would leave it as is, only perhaps adding a touch more ketchup if you would prefer it thicker.
It is purple ;) will stain everything in sight, whether that be meat or your white t-shirt.
An interesting consistency - very fluid when warm, a bit thicker when cool (though I would never use this if it wasn't warm/hot), more conducive for mixing with pulled meats or basting/brushing. Dipping is a possibility as the sauce is very potent, but it does not cling overly well.
VERY complex. More tangy than sweet, perfect amount of salt and a very intriguing background note from the wine + vinegar reduction. No heat as such, but you do not notice this due to the spices and other additions (pungency of vinegar and wooster sauce).
This is a tough one, I found it was magnificent with beef (red wine + beef = marriage made in heaven), but not so good with chicken. Also, the spice rub used on the meat is a major issue. Due to the red wine, some ingredients in the spice rubs used on the meat may clash. I did not have the time to try numerous ingredients to pinpoint this so can only provide a few I feel may clash. Cumin and overly floral chillies would be my best guess.
When used on a "suitable" barbecued piece of meat, with an agreeable rub, this sauce is OUTSTANDING
. The dilemma is getting that combination spot on. I would highly recommend this sauce to others, especially those who never stray from their usual ketchup + brown sugar + molasses based sauces. It is a very unique, interesting, fully flavoured sauce that works brilliantly with brisket. Just please don't be tempted to spice it up with chilli or hot sauce.
Photos of sauce construction:
Red Wine Reducing
Apple Cider Vinegar Reducing
Red Wine Reduced
Apple Cider Vinegar with Aromatics Added
Filtered Red Wine + Apple Cider Vinegar + Aromatics Mixture
Additions (Wooster Sauce, Honey, Dried Mustard)
Final Flavouring Additions (Ketchup + Molasses)
Finished Sauce after sitting in the fridge for 2 days)
Next up, big brother smokes sauce!