The Best Darn Mustard BBQ Sauce Ever

Mustard BBQ sauce is no longer just for South Carolina.

As a remnant of its German heritage, South Carolina is known for its BBQ sauces made with mustard (see South Carolina Yellow Mustard Sauce), especially in the belt between Columbia and Charleston. Most are simply yellow mustard, cider vinegar, hot peppers, and sugar. Others are variations on the honey-mustard theme. I love these classic South Carolina sauces, but I wanted something a bit more interesting and complex.

Savory herb flavors are great with pork, so I started with the classic SC barbecue mustard recipe and added layers of complexity by adding rosemary and other more subtle flavors. If the classic SC mustard sauces are trumpet solos, this is a full orchestra. There’s a lotta stuff in this recipe, but try not to leave anything out.

When I served it to Keith Miller, a good friend who has reviewed many of my recipes, he said “Wow, this is a mustard sauce for grownups!” And it had a name. Alas, it does not have the sheen of a typical tomato-based sauce, but it sure does taste good!

This sauce is fine for ribs but it is especially good on pulled pork, pork chops, and most anything porcine. I love it on baked potatoes, for dipping pretzels, on hot dogs and other sausages, or as a mustard substitute in most recipes. Make a batch and keep it on hand for whenever you need mustard.

If you use it on ribs, instead of using a typical rib rub like Meathead’s Memphis Dust, use my Simon & Garfunkel Rub.

Grownup Mustard Sauce Recipe


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4.34 from 80 votes
In South Carolina BBQ sauces feature mustard. Here's a recipe that amps up the flavor with herbs. This sauce is fine for ribs but it is especially good on pulled pork, pork chops, baked potatoes, pretzels, hot dogs, and so much more. Click here to calculate how much sauce you need and for tips on saucing strategies.

Course: Sauces and Condiments
Cuisine: American
Difficulty: Easy

Makes:

About 2 cups
Servings: 16 2-tablespoon servings

Takes:

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup onions finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons sweet red pepper finely minced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoons ground celery seed (not celery salt)
  • 1 teaspoons finely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoons hot pepper flakes or mild hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon whole dried rosemary leaves crushed in a mortar and pestle
  • 1 cup prepared Dijon-style mustard
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules or 1 cube dissolved in 1 ounce of water
About the hot pepper flakes. Double the amount for medium heat, and triple it for hot.
Optional. Garnish with minced fresh sweet red bell peppers or, if you like the heat, minced red jalapeño. In the picture above the ribs are also garnished with caramelized onions.

Method

  • Prep. Mince the onions and peppers, and crush the garlic.
  • Fire up. Put the oil into a quart sauce pan, and warm it on medium-low heat.
  • Cook. Add the onion and sweet red peppers and sweat them until the onions are limp, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook it for about a minute.
  • Add the dry ingredients except the brown sugar. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes in order to develop and extract their flavors.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Bring to a low boil for 3 minutes, stirring frequently to keep the sugar from burning or sticking to the bottom. Simmer on low for another 15 minutes.
  • Serve. Serve as you would any barbecue sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 86kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 226mg | Potassium: 80mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 118IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

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Published On: 2/25/2016 Last Modified: 7/20/2021

  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.


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