Note Canned chipotle chillies in adobo and chipotle Tabasco are available from select grocers and delicatessens.
Oh the joys of January. After the frenzied festive season it's
time to draw breath, relax and enjoy all summer has to offer: balmy
days, evening swims and backyard barbecues.
And while the barbie is all about that perfect steak or snag, here at GT we're great believers in the power of the almighty condiment. Our desert-island condiment of choice is barbecue sauce - homemade, of course.
Both North and South Carolina in the USA stake claims to the sauce's origins, although there are four key schools - mustard, vinegar-and-pepper, light tomato, and heavy tomato - all with seemingly endless iterations. Although the vinegar-and-pepper type has the longest history, it's the heavy-tomato barbecue sauce we're most familiar with today.
Many companies claim to have produced the first commercial barbecue sauce, but one that could argue its case strongly - if it still existed - is Atlanta's Georgia Barbecue Sauce Company. An advertisement for its sauce was published in the Atlanta Constitution in 1909. Another contender is the Louis Maull Company, which began manufacturing it sauce in St Louis, Missouri, in 1926, and continues to produce it using the same recipe today.
While every region has its own version of the sauce, those from Kansas City and Memphis are the most notable. Kansas City's is red-brown, thick and quite sweet, most similar to commercially produced versions; the Memphis sauce has a vinegar kick and is sweetened with molasses rather than sugar.
We've channelled the Memphis style here because the extra vinegar cuts through the richness of the meat. We've also added, less classically, canned chipotle chillies in adobo for their deep, smoky flavour. A similar result can be achieved with smoked paprika added incrementally to taste.
Slather the sauce on barbecued meats or serve it on the perfect steak sandwich as we've done here. If only January could last forever.