Chef's Recipes

Texas-style barbecue sauce

Curtis Stone recipe for Texas-style barbecue sauce.

By Curtis Stone
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 15 mins cooking
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Texas-style barbecue sauce
"True-blue central Texan pitmasters are so passionate about their 'cue, they'll often forgo serving their meat with any sauce at all," says Stone. "Meat smoking is such an art form for them that they'd rather not let anything distract from the complex flavours of a low and slow cook. That said, this tomato-based barbie sauce with perfectly balanced sweetness, heat and acidity is hard to pass up. Serve it on the side." Makes about 1 litre.


  • 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • 250 ml (1 cup) apple cider vinegar
  • 125 ml Bourbon whiskey
  • 375 ml (1½ cups) chicken stock
  • 500 ml (2 cups) tomato sauce
  • 185 gm (¾ cup) light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce


  • 1
    Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onion and stir until tender (4-5 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant (2-3 minutes), then stir in paprika and mustard. Add vinegar and Bourbon, bring just to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients, add 1½ tsp sea salt flakes and ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, increase heat to high and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring often to prevent scorching, until sauce reduces and thickens slightly (40-45 minutes). Remove from heat, cool briefly, then transfer to a blender and blend on low speed just until smooth (at this stage sauce can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks; reheat and then smoke before using).
  • 2
    To serve, return sauce to a saucepan, and place in the barbecue with beef brisket, stirring occasionally, until it takes on a smoky flavour (about 20 minutes).