Apologies for the wait... work has been keeping me away from the forums and sauce testing, but hopefully I should have a bit of time to keep hammering through them now!
For those of you keeping track, we are up to sauce #13, with thanks going to fattymac for the submission.
#13 fattymacs Sauce
Here's one that I used to win a backyard comp last year:
1/2C Peach Preserves (These were homemade by MamaMac, but any with just peaches and sugar, no pectin should be good)
1/4C Gentleman Jack Whisky (Whiskey for you Yanks)
1/2C BBQ Sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's original, but any bottled KC Style sauce should work)
1 tsp. Pepper Sauce (I used Chipotle Tabasco)
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
I processed in a food processor until smooth, no cooking needed
: A short, simple list – indicating a sauce that relies heavily on the quality of ingredients used. Quite high in sweetness (the recipe includes preserves which are 65% sugar, honey @ 80% sugar, BBQ sauce @ ~40% sugar) with a boozy kick is what the recipe suggests. As the BBQ sauce constitutes approximately a third of the sauce, the choice of sauce would make a huge difference to the outcome and final taste and consistency of the sauce.
Ease of preparation
: Could it be simpler? Combine and blend! If however you are using it for dipping or another non-cooked purpose, there will be a very strong alcoholic quality to the sauce due to the whisky.
Modifications and variations tested
: I tried this sauce on sous-vide-then-grilled chicken thighs, pulled beef and pork ribs. I also tried it with Head Country as a less sweet alternative to the Sweet Baby Rays.
Taste: The sauce has a strong whisky flavour, and is very sweet with a slight kick. The peach preserves provide a fruity background flavour, but the BBQ sauce and whisky override it such that it is not overly assertive. The lemon juice provides only the slightest hint of acidity to balance the sweetness (not enough IMO – see later comments), and the pepper sauce comes through very lightly.
As a new feature of these reviews, I will record a video demonstrating the consistency of the sauce as prepared and possibly after cooking further to thicken as one may do for dipping or using as a finishing glaze.
Note the music used is just a random youtube tune to replace the deadly silence from the original videos.
YouTube - MVI_0212.MOV
After cooking (e.g. as if one were to cook down to a glaze)
YouTube - MVI_0215.MOV
: Depending on personal preference as well as the amount of spice/heat in the rub used on the meat, I would double the pepper sauce (chipotle if you like a smokey sauce). In addition, I would increase the lemon juice to 1TB and add some extra salt to provide a more even balance of flavours. If feeding to kids or individuals who do not like an alcoholic flavour, I would cook it to remove some of the strong alcoholic kick it has. Whilst this would diminish some of the whisky flavour, I believe it would be a good compromise.
Without cooking, it is an average looking sauce. The honey and peach preserves give it a bit of gloss, but other than that, nothing notable.
This is a hard one to judge. As is, the sauce is reasonably fluid but has the potential for easily being thickened due to the high sugar and pectin content. This means it is quite versatile and can quickly be cooked to a thick consistency if one feels so inclined.
Boozy and sweet. If that is your thing, then this sauce may be for you. I personally found it a little 2-dimensional (sweet/boozy… no noticeable salty/spicy/sour/umami notes). Whilst I wouldn’t go so far as to say it lacks flavour, I do think it falls short in terms of balance and complexity. Personally, I would like to see more salt and tang, and for those making this sauce, I would definitely recommend adding some vinegar or more lemon juice to thin if using on pulled pork and depending on how well seasoned the meat is, adding some saltiness via salt or Wooster sauce (which would provide tang, saltiness and umami notes)
Given the lack of complexity, this sauce can safely be used with a larger variety of underlying rubs, though meat selection and suitability is another issue. The fruit preserves do slightly limit the cuts suitable, the whisky does help a little where beef is concerned. Without the whisky, I would classify this as a game, poultry and pork sauce, but the boozy hit does lend itself to smokey pulled beef.
This is a real “everyone has different tastes” verdict. I can see lots of people liking it, but I personally found it lacking in areas and it just did not blow me away. With some tweaks and suitable rub and meat combinations, it could be a great sauce, but as is, it is not one of my favourites.
Photos of sauce construction:
Ingredients (clockwise) from top left: Peach Preserves, Honey, Whiskey, Lemon Juice, BBQ Sauce + Pepper Sauce
2.) Ingredients Blended (Sauce finished):
3.) After cooking/reducing to a glaze:
As always, thank you for the submission.
Next up, 1FUNVETs sauce!