Stout Barbecue Sauce Recipe

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Photographs: Joshua Bousel

Winter is a call for us to beef up the heartiness of just about everything. Though I'm not normally a huge fan of stout beers, when the frigid cold has set in, there's something appealing to drinking what feels like a meal in a bottle. I wanted to take that appropriate seasonal heaviness and apply it to a barbecue sauce. So I married the two to create a stout barbecue sauce.

Adding nearly a bottle of beer to an otherwise common mixture of barbecue sauce ingredients meant that I had to boil it down for well over a half-hour so it'd return to an acceptable medium-thin consistency. In doing so, the flavor profile of the beer undoubtedly changed, and while that chocolaty robustness of the Guinness remained, the bitterness really amped up. Straight off the spoon this wasn't my favorite sauce. I did, however, venture forth and baste it on some barbecued ribs—that's where it totally rocked.

This full-bodied sauce found a balance where the bitterness became an undertone and the heartiness complemented the smoked meat. With most of the bottle still left in the fridge, I'm pondering what else this could smother. Any suggestions?

Recipe Facts

Active: 30 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 8 servings
Makes: 2 cups

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced

  • One 15-ounce can tomato sauce

  • 8 ounces stout beer

  • 1/4 cup molasses

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned, about 7 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  2. Stir in the tomato sauce, beer, molasses, mustard, vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer and cook until sauce is reduced to a medium-thin thickness, about 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Transfer the sauce to a blender and puree until smooth. Allow the sauce to cool, then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
110 Calories
4g Fat
16g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 110
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 508mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 13g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 394mg 8%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)