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Basic Barbecue Sauce

Basting sauces are used to retain moisture and add flavour. However, to prevent scorching, tomato-based or sauces containing sugar should be used only during the last 10 to 15 minutes of cooking. Make up a batch to have on hand for weekend barbecues.

Serves: Makes 3-1/4 cups (800 mL)


1 can 28 oz/798mL tomatoes packed in juice
1-1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp dry hot mustard
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/4 tsp each, ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves
1/3 cup vegetable oil


In Dutch oven or large shallow saucepan, crush tomatoes with potato masher. Stir in onion, pepper, garlic, vinegar, sugar, chili powder, mustard, Tabasco sauce, ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium-high and simmer briskly for 30 to 35 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently right to bottom of pan to prevent sticking or scorching. Transfer to food processor or blender and process until smooth. Return to pan; stir in oil and heat to boiling point.

Use immediately or for longer storage, transfer to large sterilized jar with tight-fitting lid. Sauce will keep several weeks in refrigerator.