One of my all-time favorite commercial barbecue sauces is the Blues Hog Sauce by Bill Arnold of Perry, MO. He makes several sauces, but the original is still my fave. And I am not alone. It is widely used on the competition circuit, and, more and more, it can be found in grocery stores. It's a sweet stickly shiny glaze with loads of flavor from at least a dozen ingredients.
So I set out to pay homage to it in my own way. Rather than try to reverse engineer it, I took inspiration from it and let it teach me. What I ended up with is most definately not Blues Hog, but it has a familiar flavor profile and it's pretty good. So I named it Jazzy Hog Competition Barbecue Glaze in honor of the original.
I call it a glaze because it is shinier than most sauces and it puts a lovely glow on ribs. That's because it contains corn syrup and brown sugar. For the wary, corn syrup in the kitchen is not the same as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) used by industry. Click here to read more about corn syrups as well as my take on the HFCS controversy before you decide to leave it out. If you are unconvinced by facts, feel free to substitute something else like maple syrup, cane syrup, sorghum, honey, or even light molasses, but that will create a different flavor profile. Heck, you might like it better!
Note: The original recipe had butter in it but I have decided it was not needed.
Yield. About 1 quart
Preparation time. 25 minutes
Keeps. Because it has a high acid and sugar content, it can keep for months in the refrigerator.
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup corn syrup
3/4 cups ketchup
3/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons American chili powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1 teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted)
1) Mix together all the ingredients except the butter in a saucepan with a whisk over a medium low heat. Don't let it come to a hard boil, just a few occasional light bubbles.
2) When the sugar is thoroughly dissolved turn the heat to low and stir in the butter. Because it has butter in it, you need to warm it and shake it well before you use it, and it will not keep as long in the refrigerator as sauces without butter.