Saturday, March 8, 2008

RECIPE: Vinegar Examinations

Vinegar and BBQ Sauce pt. 1

In an effort to determine the impact of various vinegars on the same sauce I created a bold red sauce that was separated into four equal portions and had four different vinegars added. Within the next few weeks I will repeat the experiment with a vinegar sauce and then a mustard sauce.

The vinegars used were

1) a traditional, cheap cider vinegar. Found in a plastic bottle at any supermarket.
2) a white balsamic vinegar imported from Italy.
3) a California Grapefruit vinegar.
4) a muscat orange champagne vinegar.

The overall impression was that the sauce was too bold for the variations to have a significant impact. Although there were discernible differences, the impact on the taste was too small to be considered worth the effort.

The sauce was made using Woody's Cook-in sauce, my favorite tool for creating red sauces. The resulting product was a strong, bold sauce that should be used with beef or pork.

1.5 Cup Woody's Cook-in Sauce
3/4 Cup Orange Juice
3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried ancho
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
7 tablespoons syrup (I used a mixture of boysenberry and maple)

I let the sauce simmer for roughly 30 minutes and let it sit for another 15. I separated the sauce into four equal portions and added 1/3 cup of a different vinegar to each.

The most enjoyable was the sauce using the cider vinegar. The cheapest and most standard turned out to be the best. The flavors melded well and left little of the aftertaste the others left.

The orange muscat was the most enjoyable of the three more exotic vinegars. It added a nice sweetness and a strong balance to the boldness of the sauce.

Next in order of preference was the California grapefruit. Although enjoyable, it was a bit tart and lacking in the sweetness that helped to round the sauce.

The last was the white balsamic. There was a harsher taste to this than the others. It left a stringent aftertaste and is not recommended for this sauce.

Overall, the sauce was fun. Bold and strong, it needs to be paired with a meat that can stand up to it. The differences that were engendered by the vinegars were too small to matter much, but even if you are looking for a little variety, I would stay away from the balsamic.

I believe that the sauces that are more dependent on the vinegars will be more telling.

If you are interested in another look at BBQ and vinegar CLICK HERE to read a post on White Trash BBQ.


post signature