Ethiopian Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

ethiopian-flagEthiopian BBQ sauce does not exist.  It is completely my creation.  My goal was to create a BBQ sauce based on a fusion of Ethiopian Spices and flavors and a traditional tomato sauce based bbq sauce to be used in all the yummy ways bbq sauce is used: pulled pork, pulled chicken, chicken bbq, meatloaf, meatballs, etc.

This can be made mild, medium or very spicy.  Ethiopian food IMG_4832tends to be spicy.  Most Americans I have met can not tolerate much heat and so I will show you how to make it in three levels of heat.  You should know that the spice mixture referred to a “Ethiopian Berbere” creates very delicate layers of flavor and heat.  The goal of this sauce is to share the really wonderful Ethiopian flavors.  Your first experience with the sauce should be sweet and tangy with a hint of smoke.  As these flavors develop and mature on your palette the heat will kick in- not all at once but a little over time. It will taste significantly hotter when you simply taste the sauce then when it is mixed with pulled pork and put on a bun.  Trust me… there is heat but it is a wonderfully flavor. The heat will not hurt you and many believe it is very good for your GI tract.  This is a bbq sauce of complex layers of heat and flavor and is both sweet and savory.

In a large pot add and cook over low heat until the onions are translucent:

  • 1T olive oil
  • 1T minced garlic
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1t Applewood Smoked Salt
  • 1t Sea Salt

(If you don’t have smoked salt you should get some and try it, but you can simply use 2t sea salt)

when the onions are just about translucent, add:

  • 1T granulated garlic (garlic powder is fine too but NOT garlic salt)
  • 1/2t hickory smoke
  • 1/4 cup berbere

mix this into something resembling a loose crumbly paste.  Stir this constantly for about a minute, then quickly add:

  • 3@ 28oz. Tomato Sauce (salt free – flavor free – just pureed tomato)

stir until the paste is well mixed in with the tomato sauce – at least a minute

then add:

  • 20 oz crushed pineapple with juice
  • 18 oz molasses
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 1/2 T liquid smoke
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1T lemon juice
  • 1/2t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1T mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup berbere (for medium heat – for mild omit this, for really hot add 1 cup it is so worth it)
  • 1t Cayenne (omit for mild – use 1T in very spicy version)
  • 1t Hot Hungarian Paprika
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 oz tomato paste

Bring all of this to a boil over medium heat stirring constantly.  Turn the heat down to simmer and continue to stir until it stops bubbling.

Use an immersion blender or immersion stick to puree everything into an even consistency and whip it up.  This step is very important.

Then use within a week or so or use medium Ball Jars and use a boil water canning method.

 

 

 

 

 

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