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Muskoka flank steak with Waverman home barbecue sauce (Tim Fraser for The Globe and Mail)
Muskoka flank steak with Waverman home barbecue sauce (Tim Fraser for The Globe and Mail)

The Waverman home barbecue sauce Add to ...

Some like it hot, some sweet, some vinegary. The southern United States uses a vinegar-based sauce, Kansas City the more traditional red sauce. In general, a lighter one is best for chicken and a heavier sauce compliments the meaty flavour of ribs.

After much experimentation, I've come up with one that gives you the best of both worlds: It has lots of flavour but isn't overly sweet. If you can find a chili powder called Mexican, use it - it's a little bit spicier than the usual. Brush on 10 minutes before you're finished the end of cooking, as the sugar will cause it to burn. Keeps refrigerated for one month.

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  • Preparation time: 10
  • Cooking time: 25
  • Ready time: 35
  • Servings: Makes about 2 cups


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

2 tablespoons chili powder

2 cups fresh or canned tomatoes, puréed

1/4 cup rice vinegar

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/4 cup apple juice

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons molasses

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

1 to 2 teaspoons sambal oelek or to taste

Salt to taste


Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 3 minutes or until softened. Add garlic and chili powder and sauté for 1 minute longer. Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened. Season with salt to taste. Use an immersion blender or food processor to process until sauce is smooth. Makes about 2 cups.

Suggested Wine Pairings

Common wisdom holds that spicy food pairs well with light-tasting, crisp beers. Toss that myth on a pile of blazing coals, where it belongs. Watery suds fan the flame; sweetness douses it. Don't be afraid of rich or fruity brews, such as pale ale, heavily hopped lagers or citrus-flavoured wheat beers. The same mostly holds true for wine. Zinfandel, the jammy red (as opposed to pink-coloured "white zinfandel"), would work nicely with the flank steak and especially well with any meat featuring Lucy's sweet-tangy barbecue sauce. -Beppi Crosariol

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