Del’s BBQ Sauce (& Kebabs)

It’s summer, and that means lots of grilling at my house. Mostly corn. Obscene amounts of corn. It’s like Erik’s in a one-man contest to see how much of a field of corn he can grill in one summer.

So, I’ve had the opportunity to try different sauces and kebab combinations. I’ve been enjoying Chef Del Sroufe’s bbq sauce recipe on the Forks Over Knives website. It’s a bit on the sweet side and the tomato sauce stands out. If you want to give it a smokier flavor, try adding a teaspoon or two of liquid smoke, and a solid pinch or two of paprika. 

Ingredients for bbq sauce

Servings: about 2½ cups of bbq sauce, depending on how long you let it simmer down and thicken up

  • 1 medium onion, minced – or sub a tbs. or two of onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar, plus more as needed
  • 3 tbs. vegan Worcestershire sauce, or 2 tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbs. maple syrup
  • 2 tbs. unsulphured molasses, or use blackstrap molasses for a stronger molasses flavor
  • 3 tbs. yellow mustard
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup of water
  • (optional) added smokey flavor: 1-2 tsp. of liquid smoke and a big pinch of paprika

Directions for making the bbq sauce

1. Sauté the onions in a large pan over medium heat. Stir occasionally, for 7 to 8 minutes, until they start to turn brown and translucent. Add water as needed to keep the onions from sticking to the pan. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more.

2. Stir in the tomato sauce, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, molasses, mustard, pepper (to taste), and 1 cup of water, and bring to a boil over high heat.

3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring often to prevent scorching until thickened. (The original recipe says this takes about 45 minutes, but I’ve never gone that long. I let it go for maybe 15-ish minutes? It thickens up enough to make me happy. Just let it go until it’s as thick as you want it to be.) Taste and adjust the seasoning however you like, then you’re done.

If you want the sauce totally blended with no chunks from the onion, put it in a blender and blend until smooth.

According to the original recipe, you can store the bbq sauce in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, but I’ve had it in there for longer (2 weeks) and it seems fine to me…I’m not dead yet from bbq-sauce food poisoning.

Directions for making kebabs

If you’re making kebabs you can use any kind of vegetable or fruit combination you’d like. This bbq sauce has a slightly sweet flavor and goes well on anything. Slather it all over the kebabs before grilling, then add some more bbq sauce while the kebabs are on the grill. For some kebab ideas try combining any of these:

  • Gold potatoes (or any potato, but I like gold the most) – I recommend baking these in the oven at 400°F for 20-25 minutes before putting them on the kebab
  • Tofu chunks, extra firm – I also recommend baking these at 400°F for 20-25 minutes
  • Bell pepper, any color
  • Red onion (or any type of onion you like)
  • Pineapple (or whatever other fruits you think might work on a kebab)
  • Portobello or button mushrooms
  • Zucchini
  • Carrot slices or chunks – I recommend microwaving these for a few minutes before putting them on the kebab


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