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Whiskey flavors this perfectly homemade barbecue sauce


June 29, 2005 - I don't drink much anymore, especially whiskey. But I still keep it around for medicinal purposes and to remind me that I was young once.

It's a good thing too because whenever I want to create a new sauce I always spend at least a few moments considering how the concoction would taste with the help of my old friend Jack Daniels.

This recipe pays double homage to my drinking days with a bottle of beer in the marinade and whiskey in the barbecue sauce. Just to make sure things turn out right I always try to drink a few bottles of the beer while I'm preparing the food.

Whiskey Steaks

Marinade

1½ cups water

A bottle of German or Canadian beer

¼ cup light molasses

5 thyme sprigs

1 tablespoon sugar

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

Your favorite meat for the grill

Sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 cup red wine vinegar

2 cups ketchup

½ cup light molasses

¼ cup water

½ cup whiskey

1½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

Leaves from five fresh thyme sprigs

Combine all the ingredients for the marinade (except the meat) in a heavy medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Place away from heat to cool completely. Put your meat in a resealable plastic bag, add the cooled marinade and turn several times to coat. Refrigerate overnight.

When it is time to prepare the meal, heat the olive oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until golden, about six minutes. Add vinegar and boil for five minutes, or until mixture is reduced to ¾ cup. Remove from heat.

Add ketchup, molasses, water and whiskey. Return saucepan to medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat again and stir in thyme leaves. This sauce can be held here for a day if you wish.

Once you have your grill ready cook the meat until it's nearly done, paint the top side of the cut with the sauce you've prepared and then expose painted side to heat. Repeat process every two to three minutes until both sides of your steak have two layers of sauce. Pass remaining sauce at the table.

This is a recipe that would work well with less tender cuts of meat, but I don't like grilling anything for hours. If a meat needs slow cooking, I use the stove. I won't eat less tender cuts of meat until it gets cold enough to cook in the kitchen again.

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