Being from Memphis, I’ve been a bit nervous about crafting a recipe for barbecue sauce. People take barbecue seriously in my hometown, and from all available evidence, Memphis-style barbecue sauce is better than any other. In the past, I’ve created a barbecue-inspired marinade in which to bake tofu or tempeh, but this is my first attempt at making a proper sauce.
Although this version is a bit thicker than a typical Memphis barbecue sauce, the important characteristics are all there: tomato-based, tangy, and sweet from rich pomegranate molasses and fresh peaches.
Pomegranate-Peach Barbecue Sauce
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 cup diced peeled peaches (from 1 to 2 peaches)
1 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 large chipotle chile in adobo sauce
2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
Warm the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, salt, and cayenne, and sauté until the onion is soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.
Transfer to a blender. Add the peaches, tomato sauce, water, vinegar, pomegranate molasses, lime juice, tamari, tomato paste, and chipotle chile and process until smooth.
Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thick, about 20 minutes. Stir in the sage and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Taste and season with more salt if desired. Use immediately or store in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- If preparing this sauce for Summer Vegetable and Tofu Kebabs, double this recipe.
Reprinted with permission from Afro-Vegan by Bryant Terry, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Penguin Random House, Inc. Photography (c) 2014 by Paige Green