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Rub to Sauce

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    Rub to Sauce

    for my rub and sauce, it is more of a technique than a recipe. it varies from cook to cook but it always comes down to a basic method. I hope this is sufficient for you. Often I keep the spice blend in a jar so all I have to do is add salt and sugar to dress the meat. spicing amounts are pretty even, of course, adjusting for your own taste those that you like and those you don't.

    Start to finish, my BBQ is really one integrated cook & meal. By using the drippings from the cook, I usually have all the spice I need but I can add a little more of my spice mix if I feel I need more. the drippings carry over the smoke as well as the flavor of the meat, itself. what fancified folk call Umami and BBQ folks just call heavenly goodness.

    My rub recipe, like everyone's is one developed over time. I buy as many of my spices whole as I can, toast them just before use and grind them in a small coffee grinder (which, BTW, according to HeWhoMustObey is one of THE worst ways to grind coffee.) The rub is a mixture of Black & White Pepper, Garlic & Onion powders, Paprika & Mustard powders. once those are blended, I add an equal amount, by weight, of Chili powder. with these two main components, I add salt, generally one part, and then 6-8 parts sugar. of course, there are all different kinds of sugars for different cooks.

    Once the meat is rubbed and on the smoke, I have a largish pan of water under my meat for a drip pan.

    When the cook is done, I take the drip pan and put it over two eyes on the stove on low. While warming the pan, I deglaze it. usually with equal parts Apple Vinegar and some kind of juice. Pineapple is good and goes well with pork. just remember, you need heat and acid to deglaze the pan. scrape off AL:L that goody (fancified term is Fond) It may look burned to the unknowing eye but those who see know it is all the flavor you want and need. Scrape the drip pan to get as much as possible.

    there are any number of sweeteners you can use, various syrups and honey. a lot of that choice has to do with personal taste. I rarely use honey, myself. I find it to be a very delicate flavor in itself. the delicate freshness of honey, to me, anyway, doesn't hold up well under the heat. I imagine that has more to do with my beekeeping than what others will prefer. by all means, if you like it, use it.

    Put the deglazing liquid and all the scrapings in a pot. to the pot, add tomato paste, your sweetener of choice and more juice if needed. simmer over low heat until it all comes together in a thick, rich sauce. If there is any left, hang onto it. it is actually better the next day. the longer it spends together, all the ingredients getting to know one another, the better the sauce becomes. this goes together so well because the drippings aren't just oil but also the gelatin formed when the meat cooks. all of that brings the sauce together.

    I much prefer making my sauce from drippings because a) I don't like 'raw' spices in my sauce. and b) it really IS much easier to match your sauce to your meat when they are all in the same. using drippings to make the sauce just carries over the flavor of the meat. you don't have to worry about too much or too little of something in one or the other because they are all the same. We always have a few old squeeze bottles around to store the sauce once it is cooled.

    Of course, serve the sauce lightly on the meat at dinner. we also use the sauce in freezer bags. once we have filled our bellies for the moment, the left overs are mixed with a light dressing of sauce, then divided into meal sized portions . these go in vacuum bags with another spoonful or so of sauce to help insulate from freezer burn.

    it is more of a technique than a recipe.
    Ya got that righ!! Great write up Karon!!


      Hi Karon,

      Yes, great info! Thanks for taking the time to share your expertise here.

      The other day I made a red-wine sauce with slow-cooker braised beef short ribs. The 1st thing that went into the cooker were the bones after I microwaved them for about 10 minutes. Boy did that add some flavor!

      I believe there are several recipes here that recommend using bones to make gravies and sauces.



      • Karon Adams
        Karon Adams commented
        Editing a comment
        If you have never tried marrow you are missing a TREAT! there are many ways to make it but the simplest is to have the butcher cut across the marrow bones, roast them standing, then just dip into the bone and scoop out the lusciousness. spread on toast it is a joy to the tongue! of course, always a plus in a soup. but, honestly, Marrow, as a food unto itself, is food for the Gods!

      One thing I left out, mostly because I was still learning about it, it gelatin. This gives a LOT of body to your sauce. I would use a tablespoon of trotter jelly per pint of sauce, at least per quart. this is going to add a lot of body and marvelous mouth feel to your finished sauce.


        Wow!!! I have been gone for a while. This was a nice read to come back to. Nice.


          Ah Ha!! HWMO, finally got it!! Thought it had something with home brewing...lol

          Anyway great method/recipe. I am going to experiment based on many of your excellent points. I can see you clearly have been working at this sauce for some time. As a beekeeper, I use honey often Thank you for sharing your knowledge.




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