Friday, January 24, 2014

A cherry zinfandel barbecue

Just in time for your Fourth of July barbecues, here is a sauce recipe, from, that includes two all-American things: cherries and zinfandel wine (the full red version, not the "white").

The ingredients list is mesmerizingly long but intriguing nonetheless, and once you saute a bit of onion and garlic until they soften, everything else just gets thrown right in. Thusly:

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a saucepan. Add and saute 1 medium onion, chopped, and 2 Tbsp. diced garlic. When the vegetables are soft -- remember not to burn the garlic, which is always a bad thing -- knock yourself out adding:

1 and 1/2 cups dry red zinfandel, 1 cup ketchup, 2/3 cup dried tart cherries, 3 Tbsp. cider vinegar, 3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce, 3 Tbsp. lightly packed light brown sugar, 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger, 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, 1 tsp. anise seeds, 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Bring the sauce to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer until it thickens slightly, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool slightly before pouring it into a blender. Add 2 Tbsp. lemon juice, and whirl in the blender until everything is smooth. Taste and add up to 1 more Tbsp. lemon juice if needed. Use warm or at room temperature for grilling pork ribs, or perhaps dark meat chicken or even venison?

The ketchup and light brown sugar will make this sauce quite sweet, so don't forget the lemon juice at the end. Its use here exemplifies Mrs. Humphrey's advice that lemon is one of the two or three great and underappreciated kitchen necessities, along with other things we don't often think about, like vanilla and ginger -- which is also here in this sauce.

And I do believe, if I were adventurous, I might try substituting fresh cherries for the dried tart ones. Maybe then I could experiment with adding two of the cherry's good friends, nutmeg and allspice, to the sauce, and then wouldn't it be delectable on grilled duck? It's all in the spirit of independence.


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