Peaches are all around us these days in the great state of Georgia. They are sweet, juicy, and taste like summer time. Aside from enjoying them on their own, I have plans for incorporating these little treasures into salsas, salads, and sauces. What better a pairing for the Georgia peach than in a good old fashioned barbecue sauce? None, I say.
My barbecue sauce is inspired by my Aunt Fran’s. I remember my mom’s recipe card, splattered with droplets of the makings of many, many batches of that sweet, tangy sauce. Baby back ribs didn’t stand a chance in our house, cooked in and covered with that sauce. Over the years, Adam and I have added a few of our own touches, and we’ve found that the recipe adapts easily to different flavor profiles.
Start with 1/4 Cup of canola oil, and bring it to medium heat. Add one diced onion, generally- I prefer a sweet one- but purple works well if that’s what you’ve got on hand. After the onion has softened, add a couple of cloves of minced garlic, and stir for about a minute. Add 3 peaches, peeled and chunked, along with 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder or other smoked pepper- ancho or smoky paprika will work. (I’ve even reconstituted dried peppers and added them to the sauce.) Season with salt and pepper and let the peaches break down for a few minutes.
1 Cup ketchup
3 T dijon mustard, I prefer grainy
3 T worcestershire
1/2 Cup water
2 T apple cider vinegar
2 rounded tablespoons brown sugar
juice of half a lemon
Let the pot simmer for 20 – 30 minutes over medium low heat. Then, taste it and adjust the seasoning to your liking. At this point, you can add more lemon juice, a touch more sugar, or more heat to create the perfect, balanced bite for your palate.
Then, let it go for another 10 – 15 minutes or so. Next, puree your sauce in a blender or food processor, or using a stick blender to achieve a smooth consistency.
Taste it again to make sure that you’ve got it just right.
Then, feel free to slather that goodness all over anything you like- a smoked pork butt, brisket, grilled shrimp, baked tofu…
Fruit isn’t just for breakfast and juicing, my friends. Play with your peaches- or just enjoy biting in and letting the juice run down your face and hands.
Most importantly, embrace the freshness and share it with those you love.
Happy cooking and eating,