Does barbecue sauce really need ketchup or tomatoes to be called a barbecue sauce? If so, then I’m breaking the rules with this Smoky Apricot Barbecue Sauce. This sauce has most everything that one would find in a BBQ sauce, except for a tomato or tomato based product. The tomato is replaced with apricot, but other common BBQ ingredients – vinegar, mustard and a bunch of chile powders – remain, turning sweet apricots into a smoky and spicy sauce for topping BBQ sandwiches and basting for a variety of meats and possibly vegetables.
Using a few of pieces of meats we had leftover from this and that, Bobby and I did some taste testing to find the best and better matches for this apricot barbecue sauce. For each test we made a BBQ sandwich with a simple slaw, dill pickles, a toasted bun, shredded meat and BBQ sauce. We tested smoked pulled pork, smoked chicken, grilled flank steak and smoked ham. Our favorite was the smoked chicken. Apricot barbecue sauce was a nice complement for a BBQ smoked chicken sandwich. The smoked ham was also a winner. However, we both thought the smoked pulled pork and grilled flank were better with a traditional BBQ sauce. They were good, but the meat overpowered the apricot flavor in the sauce.
In the next couple of weeks I plan to replace the tomato red chile jam with apricot barbecue sauce for the marinade on these pork kabobs. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Smoky Apricot Barbecue Sauce Recipe
Recipe Author: MJ of MJ’s Kitchen
Yields about 2 ½ cups sauce
- 1 Tbsp. light olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1 large garlic clove minced
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup ginger ale
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp New Mexico red chile powder
- 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
- 1/4 tsp smoked Serrano powder
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/8 tsp. salt