Tangy Freezer BBQ Sauce

>> Friday, August 30, 2013

I'm nearly ready to go on my big shopping date for the Vegetarian Freezer Meals I'm planning for the entire month of September. In my planning, I realized that barbeque sauce would suit a variety of the dishes I'm included in our plan well. It works as a topping for veggie burgers and even as a sweet sauce for pizza. Really. It's going to be fabulous.

And guess what! We already had several pounds of farm fresh tomatoes around. So, I did some prepping early and opted to freeze this bunch rather than can them.

Makes 4 to 5 pints of the stuff for slathering

What you'll need . . . 
  • 1 to 2 small chopped onion
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 10 to 12 cups chopped tomatoes (any size/variety)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup smoked paprika/chipotle seasoning
  • Red pepper flakes

Method . . .
  1. Chop all tomatoes and set aside. In a large stock pot over medium high heat, saute your onions/garlic until glassy. Then add the tomatoes and crank the heat a bit higher.
  2. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and spices. Bring to a boil and continually stir/mash until mixture thickens. About 20 minutes.
  3. Then lower the heat and let simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  4. And then blend in a food processor or blender. (We used our beloved Ninja Blender + I did this process in two batches.)
  5. Return mixture to pot and simmer over medium/low heat for another 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how you'd like the consistency. (The longer you cook, the thicker it gets.)
  6. Take stock of the flavor at this point and make any modifications accordingly. Add any sugar/spices/etc. at just 1 tablespoon at a time (or less, depending).
  7. Fill pint jars, leaving 3/4 inch of space for freezing. Bring jars down to room temperature and refrigerate overnight before placing in your freezer (covered well so no air can get in). Stays good for up to 1 year. (In the fridge, use in a week or so.)

So stay tuned for my menu guide for freezer month, along with recipes for this whole thing. Many of you said you've tried this method, but that a whole month is a bit intense (both on the cooking/cleaning end and because it means not much cooking for a long while). I'm already tending to agree -- and I haven't even started yet.

But, then again, maybe I'll fall in love with freezer meals. Time will tell!

Happy Friday!

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