A BBQ Dinner Party

Heather's Coca Cola Sweet and Spicy BBQ Sauce

(makes 7 cups)

  • 1 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapenos, minced (seeds removed)
  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 12-ounce can (1 1/2 cups) Coke
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon

Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium high heat.  Add the onion and salt and cook until onion is softened, about 5-6 minutes.  Add the garlic and jalapenos and cook for two minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients.  

Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce until completely smooth (there should not be any chunks of onion, garlic or jalapeno).  Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a simmer.  

Simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 hours until sauce is rich and thick and the flavors have deepened.

Dry Rub

(makes 3/4 cup)

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Bacon Sage Butter and Grilled Corn

(makes 3/4 cup)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 8 slices apple wood smoked bacon
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 6 ears corn, in the husk

Cook the bacon in a skillet until browned and crispy and the fat is completely rendered.  Place on a paper towel to drain and cool completely.

Chop the bacon into small bits, then add the chopped bacon and the chopped sage to a bowl with the butter.  Using a hand mixer, whip the butter until well incorporated.

Grill the corn, in the husk (which keeps it from drying out) for 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally.  Spread the butter on the grilled corn.

Baby Back Ribs

  • 1 rack baby back ribs
  • 1/4 cup dry rub (recipe above)
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 4 cups apple cider (approximate)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce (recipe above)

Preheat the oven to 200 F.  Rub the rack of ribs on both sides with the garlic, then with the dry rub, and season well with salt and pepper.  In a baking pan, large enough to hold the rack of ribs, add the onion, garlic, apple cider and apple cider vinegar.  Place the ribs in the pan and cover with foil.  Cook for 5-6 hours, or until meat pulls away from the bone and is very tender.

To finish, heat the grill to medium high.  Brush the ribs generously with BBQ sauce, then grill for 5-10 minutes on each side for a nice char.

BBQ Pulled Pork

  • 5 pound pork butt/shoulder  (I bought an 8-pound pork butt which was actually too big for our crock pot, so I cut a portion off to freeze for another time)
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed with the side of a knife
  • 1/2 cup dry rub (recipe above)
  • 2 cups BBQ sauce (recipe above)

 Place the onion and garlic in the bottom of your crock pot.  Rub the pork butt on all sides with the dry rub.  Set on top of the onion and garlic in the crock pot.  Set the crock pot to low and cook, covered, for 8-10 hours until fat is rendered and pork is very tender.  (You don't need any liquid!  As the pork cooks, the fat will render, creating its own "broth" in the crock pot.  You may even need to remove some of the liquid fat as it cooks, if the crock pot gets too full of liquid.)

Just before serving, remove the pork from the crock pot.  Separate the meat from the fat.  Pull the meat with two forks, place meat in a large bowl and add the BBQ sauce.  Add as little or as much as you like!

Serve on buns with extra sauce on the side, pickles and slaw.

Cabbage Slaw with Lime

  • 1 head cabbage, very thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1/4 sweet yellow onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • zest and juice of 1 lime
  • splash of white distilled vinegar
  • pinch of celery salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Add all ingredients to a large bowl, then use your hands to combine.  Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. 

BBQ Beans

(adapted from Saveur)

  • 10 slices apple wood smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (recipe above)
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 cans white beans (I used 2 cans Great Northern, 1 can white kidney and 1 can pinto), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14 ounces) crushed tomatoes

In a dutch oven or stock pot placed over medium heat, cook the bacon about 10 minutes, until fat is rendered.  

Add the onion and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  

Add remaining ingredients.  Add remaining ingredients, stir, and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours, until thick and savory.

Original Blog Post:  A Summer BBQ Dinner Party