Some people pursue the perfect car, or the perfect mate, or the perfect job. For several years, I've been stupid enough to pursue the perfect homemade, fresh BBQ sauce. I've tried many, many recipes. At some point, I arrived at my base fresh BBQ sauce. Then I wasted a bunch more time tweaking that sauce in every direction I could imagine.
The first time I ever cooked fresh sauce, I kept going back to the fridge to taste it over and over. I loved it. That spell lasted for quite some time. Then I started noticing the things that bugged me about it. Pretty soon, that's all I could notice - the mistakes, the shortcomings.
Then one day one of my best buddies and one of my BBQ mentors called me when I was in the middle of making sauce. He asked me what I was doing and I told him. He said, "Cool. So you're making spaghetti sauce. How is it?" Light bulb moment. Fresh BBQ sauce IS spaghetti sauce minus the basil and oregano and kicked up with a bunch of vinegary and sweet stuff. It's become a running joke between us because he ran into the same problems I did and, unlike me, was smart enough to end the quest and go with what works (no, not Cattleman's).
So, I recently picked up Serious Barbecue by Adam Perry Lang. It's the BBQ cookbook I've been seeking for a long time. I'm not going to go into why right now, because that's going to be covered in an upcoming post. But Adam's fresh bbq sauce recipe was different enough from mine, plus he has major credibility as a chef and restauranteur in NYC. I decided to cook both my sauce and his sauce and see if he had solved the issues that had be torturing me for so long. Here is the rest of the article....