AIP nightshade and seed spice free Barbecue Sauce

There are several AIP BBQ sauces out there. I’ve tried a couple and none of them quite hit the spot for me. They were too fruity, not complex enough, the flavor wasn’t deep enough. Then one evening I decided to just start throwing things in a pot until I got something that tasted like barbecue sauce. I ended up with something that is surprisingly similar to traditional tomato-based sweet and tangy sauce (not spicy though, due to the absence of nightshades – no chiles). When tasted right out of the pot, the flavor is still missing something, but if you slather it onto meat and then put it on an outdoor grill to get some smoke flavor and caramelize the sugars in the sauce just a bit, it adds that missing piece and it turns into something magical.

  • 1/3 c. coconut aminos
  • 2 tbs. fish sauce or 1 tsp. smoked sea salt
  • ½ large or 1 small red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 ¼ c. tangerine juice
  • 2/3 c. pitted dark cherries (frozen is fine)
  • 5 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1/3 c. rice wine or white distilled vinegar
  • 1 whole peach, diced
  • 2 tbs. molasses
  • ¼ c. honey or maple syrup
  • 5 dried black mission figs
  • ¼ c. pineapple juice
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2-3 stalks lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces and bruised with back of knife

Combine everything except the lemongrass in a medium saucepan. Cook until onions, fruit, and garlic are softened, then puree in a blender or use a stick blender until smooth. Return to the saucepan and add the lemongrass, then simmer uncovered until the sauce is thick and dark. Strain out the lemongrass. For best flavor, apply to meat before grilling on an outdoor grill. I like to cook pork ribs in the crock pot all day, then slather them with sauce and finish them on the grill.

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