Cookbook Profile

Ye Olde Family Barbecue Sauce

Makes 6 cups


A backyard barbecue scene: One part of the patio was turned into a stage for an impromptu performance by the young set while the other part was taken up for the barbecuing of chicken on the grill, not to touch because the chef, my uncle Harmon Black, had his own special timing for turning out the pieces perfectly amber, a little bit crispy on the outside, done but still moist all the way through. Besides the feeling of solidity that comes from the extended family being together, the pleasure for me was the perfect barbecued chicken. It became part of sunny summer Sundays in our house, thanks to my father, who was also a barbecuer par excellence. The story has an interesting twist because the recipe that came to seem homegrown was originally a collaboration between Wesson oil and Heinz ketchup; isn't that an early edition of combining brands to double market value? I boldly offer the recipe as I remember it, bottled sauces and all, adapted for the pressure cooker. The chili powder is my addition.

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium-size yellow or white onions, finely chopped
4 cups ketchup
3 cups water
3 tablespoons prepared mustard, preferably Dijon
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons chili powder
Pinch of cayenne

1. Heat the oil in the pressure cooker over medium-high heat until beginning to smoke. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Lock on the lid and bring to pressure over high heat, about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes to finish cooking.

2. With the steam vent pointed away from your face, gently release any remaining pressure. Remove the lid and let sit another 15 minutes. Use right away or cool and store in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.


Buy the Book!


The Pressure Cooker Gourmet
225 Recipes for Great-Tasting, Long-Simmered Flavors in Just Minutes
by Victoria Wise
The Harvard Common Press
368 pages
Price: $24.95 cloth
ISBN: 1-55832-200-0
Recipe reprinted by permission.


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This page created June 2003