Shouldn’t apples be part of the main dish too, sometimes? It’s that time of year for apple crumbles and apple pies, apple muffins and apple cider. Any baked good that exists can and will be stuffed with apples. It’s glorious. But should we really have to wait until dessert to have our apples and eat them too?
Of course not! That’s why I created this smoky apple BBQ sauce. It is sweetened with apple butter and fresh chopped apple, seasoned with ground cinnamon, nutmeg and thyme, then finished off with liquid smoke and two types of vinegar. It is a delicious balance of sweet and savoury.
I like to bake it with vegetarian “chicken” breasts then serve it with rice and salad. It would also work well mixed and baked with a can of white beans, or used as a spread in wraps and sandwiches. And, though I never use the BBQ myself, it would be silly if nobody else ever used this sauce while grilling up some faux chicken wings or whatever else you like, so by all means go for it.
SMOKY APPLE BBQ SAUCE
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 16 oz (2 cups) canned crushed tomatoes
- 8 oz (1 cup) vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp apple butter
- 4 tbsp molasses
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp hot sauce
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 apple, chopped (about 1 cup)
Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan using low-medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and the vegetable broth. Cover and bring to a simmer.
Add all other ingredients except for the chopped apples. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.
Add the chopped apple and cook for another 5 minutes. The pieces should soften a bit while still holding their shape.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Use immediately, or store in the fridge until ready for use.