Homemade BBQ Sauce with bacon and bourbon is a cinch to make! If you prefer your sauce on the milder/sweeter side, omit the chili powder, or use only 1/2 teaspoon. For a sauce with a kick, add additional chili powder to taste.Makes 2 cups sauce.
4ouncesApplewood Smoked bacon, cut into a small dice
1/2medium yellow onion(about 1 cup), chopped
1garlic clove, minced
3tablespoonsapple cider vinegar
1/2cupfirmly-packed dark brown sugar
1/2 to 2teaspoonschili powder(optional), to taste
1/2teaspoonfreshly-ground black pepper
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving bacon fat in pan. Add chopped onions to bacon fat, reduce heat to medium, and cook until onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Scrape up bacon drippings from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon as onions release their moisture. Add minced garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in remaining ingredients until combined, add reserved bacon, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. (Stir more frequently toward the end as the sauce thickens to prevent scorching.) Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.*
Store, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or the freezer for up to 1 month.
*We love tasting the tiny bits of bacon in our barbecue sauce, but if you prefer a smooth texture, strain the sauce through a mesh sieve before serving, discarding the solids. You can puree the sauce/bacon after cooking, but it will result in a thicker texture, which, depending on use, might need to be loosened with a bit of water.