Margarita's International Recipes


Barbecue Sauce

I was surprise to find very few barbecue recipes in the African-American cookbooks I checked out from the library. One of them actually said that barbecue is such a vast and important topic within African American cuisine that it deserves a book of its own (alas, I could find no such book at the library). Most of the recipes I found, furthermore, were based on bottled sauces (either other bbq sauces or ketchup), and I wanted to make it from scratch.

This recipe came from the cookbook from a Soul restaurant in New York. It did not work well for me. The sauce just wasn't very good, it tasted too much like the tomato puree that is it's principal ingredient. It was also very hot (I like my sauces mild), so if you make it, bear that in mind. One problem I found is that the recipe calls for Red Devil Hot Sauce. I couldn't find anything of the sort at my local supermarket, so I used another hot sauce that was on sale that week. It might be that the hot sauce is what really makes the difference. The recipe below makes 5 cups of bbq sauce.

Barbecue Sauce


  • 3 cups tomato puree
  • 16 oz Red Devil Hot Sauce
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 small stalk celery, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

    Combine all ingredients in a heavy pot. Heat until hot. Don't bring to a boil. Cool to room temperature, strain and serve.

    Adapted from Sylvia's Soul Food

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