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I'm from Kansas City; ergo, I am a barbeque (or BBQ, or barbecue, or wh'deveryouwannacallit) snob.
And guess what? I'm not even the regular-type Kansas City BBQ snob. Sure, I love Oklahoma Joe's. But I'll tell ya that Gate's isn't what it used to be and that some REALLY good BBQ lives at a little joint in Holden, Missouri called Galle's.
I say that just for street cred. So you know I'm serious.
What's required in Kansas City BBQ is a good, tangy, molasses-y sauce. This homemade BBQ sauce uses a secret ingredient – and none of the junk.
I've been trying to create a decent homemade KCBBQ sauce forEVER. Everything you can buy – and, for that matter, everything on order in the KCBBQ joints – is chock-full of gunk like HFCS and soybean oil and other industrial garbage. (I'm lookin' at you, Cowtown.)
It was only when my homemade Worcestershire sauce experiments failed miserably that I stumbled upon something pretty darn decent. This is tangy to the max, with a kick at the end; it's not your standard BBQ sauce – but it's my style.
Seriously. This is SO tangy. And it's tangy thanks to the “secret ingredient” that you also find in Worcestershire: tamarind (sometimes spelled “tamrind”).
Tamarind concentrate isn't easy to find (it's mostly found in ethnic markets), but it IS online. I use this brand, from Amazon. It's one of the most interesting, fun things in my kitchen.
I don't use it much, but that's OK, because it lasts forever. I LOVE opening the fridge and just looking at it. Having it around makes me feel special and unique and like I know a special secret. Which is also how I feel whenever I buy something from SkyMall.
Tamrind is an important part of this recipe, as is the blackstrap molasses. There are also a bunch of other ingredients in here. That's because I'm good at adding, but not subtracting or editing. It's my biggest flaw, besides the fact that I'm too nice, too organized, and I spend way too much time volunteering.
Note: I use organic white vinegar in this recipe. I tried ACV, but it's just too ACV-y. Which is a thing.
- Put the dates in a cup with the ¾ cup water; microwave for 30 seconds. (Alternatively, you can heat the water in a saucepan, add dates once water is boiling, turn heat off, and wait for 3 minutes.) Be sure to allow date mixture a few minutes to cool either way.
- Once date mixture has cooled, combine all ingredients in a food processor (I use this one) or blender.
- Blend your little heart out.
- BBQ your little heart out.
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