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Sauced: Balsamic Barbecue Sauce

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[ Photographs: Joshua Bousel ]

A new barbecue season call for a new barbecue sauce. In thinking of what my first recipe of this spring/summer would be, I wanted to get away from the regional and fruity sauces I've focused on in the past and do something completely different. I got what I was looking for in this balsamic barbecue sauce.

When I pulled out the balsamic vinegar, I decided I really wanted to push its flavor to be dominant, so started by emptying nearly an entire bottle into a saucepan and reducing it until it was one-third of its original volume. From there I built up the standard barbecue flavors, but with close thought to what would best complement the balsamic—like shallots, Dijon, and honey.

The end result was a very thick sauce that I would describe more like a balsamic barbecue glaze. The strong tanginess and robustness of the vinegar found a balance with the sweeteners, while mustard and Worcestershire gave extra depth, and a bit of white pepper provided a touch of spice. It coats heavily, and a little goes a long way in adding a strong and unique flavor that will make your barbecue stand out from the crowd in this fresh grilling season.

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About the author: Joshua Bousel brings you new, tasty condiment each Wednesday and a recipe for weekend grilling every Friday. He also writes about grilling and barbecue on his blog The Meatwave whenever he can be pulled away from his grill.

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