In Berkeley, California, there is a barbecue place called Everett and Jones’ Barbecue, which makes a mouth-watering barbecue sauce. When I was chef at Ventana in Big Sur, I had to produce a barbecue, but was four hours from the nearest good sauce. It was winter, so I had a lot of time to think about how that secret sauce was made. Apple butter came to mind as a possible ingredient, mainly because of the similarity of color and texture. In Ventana’s kitchen storeroom were shelves and shelves of cheap canned fruits I had inherited. So one day I started, with
Years later at the Santa Fe Bar & Grill, Steven Vranian rose to the challenge and worked on the recipe again. Here it is. If you like it hot, use smoked chipotle chilies—they are wondrous.
Heat oven to 350°F.
Put all the ingredients in a thick-bottomed pot and cover. Bake 2½ hours, stirring frequently to avoid burning. Puree in a food processor and then pass through a sieve.
© 1986 Jeremiah Tower. All rights reserved.