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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Father's Day breakfast: BBQ sauce - another way to use leftover bacon and sausage fat

On Father's Day, you may be serving a big breakfast at your house.  If you are, there's a good chance you will be preparing sausage or bacon. What do you do with the leftover fat from cooking and draining the bacon or sausage?

This is what I do. I leave the fat in the pan while we eat. Then, while cleaning up the kitchen, I chop 2 or 3 onions and cook them in this fat. I freeze these cooked onions in yogurt containers (and mark the date on the lid with a Sharpie -- I don't like the taste of animal fat that's been in the freezer more than 5-6 months). When I make a pot roast, stew, soup, gravy, pan of cornbread, a dish of bread stuffing, or homemade barbeque sauce, I add a container of these cooked onions. They add flavor and convenience for me, as the cook.

Then, using the paper towel or brown paper bag piece that I drained the bacon or sausage on, I wipe out the rest of the fat in the pan, and toss the piece of paper in either the fireplace (if it's fall/winter) or in the charcoal grill (if it's spring/summer). (These fat-soaked paper pieces make terrific fire starters!)

And if you're still planning Father's Day dinner, what about barbequed chicken or ribs? Here's a basic tomato-onion barbeque sauce that will use one 6 oz. container of chopped onions that have been sauteed in bacon fat.

Basic Tomato-Onion BBQ Sauce (this makes about 3 pints, for under $1.50)

Into a large stainless steel saucepan, whisk to combine:

1  1/4 cups water
1  1/2 cups tomato paste
1  6-oz. container chopped sauteed onions
1  cup sugar
1  1/4 cups vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup molasses
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large pinch red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1  3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
if you want a smokey flavor, you can add about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke

If you prefer a less sweet BBQ sauce, add just 3/4 cup of sugar, taste and add more if desired.  We like it with 1 cup sugar. Add more chili powder, red pepper flakes and/or mustard powder, according to taste.

Simmer on the stove for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, to prevent scorching. Allow to cool.

Put through a food processor or blender for a smooth basting-type sauce. Because it has animal fat in it, either store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or put into containers for the freezer.  I freeze this sauce in 1 cup amounts.  I can pull out just what we want this way.

I spoon this over grilled chicken or ribs, in the last 10 minutes of cooking.  I add it to cooked pinto beans for quick and easy BBQ beans.  I add a couple of sliced hot dogs to the BBQ beans if we want it to be a main dish. What are your favorite ways to use barbeque sauce?

1 comment:

  1. quick note -- I used some of this bbq sauce to simmer shredded turkey in (from the whole turkey I roasted earlier in the week). We had pulled turkey sandwiches on the sourdough bread that I baked earlier this week. Everyone thought it was pulled pork!


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