Last week my tomato plants were drowning in tomatoes. Not that I'm complaining at all, they are gorgeous and delicious. However, we had a major heat wave last week. I mean, the hottest days in Vancouver history. IT WAS BRUTAL. So if you can imagine, I have 12 cherry tomato plants that all decided to ripen at the same time and each had about 30-40 ripe tomatoes. Well, considering I couldn't even move, there was no way I was going outside to pick about 400 tomatoes in 38 degree C heat. For all of my non Canadian peeps, that's 100 F, with 60% humidity. BRUTAL. As a result, I think some of those poor little tomatoes cooked on the vine because when I did manage to pick them, they were a little mushy. So I knew I wanted to cook with them and I've been meaning to try making my own BBQ sauce, done and done.
I started the sauce with the Homemade Ketchup recipe from White on Rice Couple. The ketchup is fantastic and It was a perfect base to begin with but you could certainly use regular ketchup. From there I just messed around and experimented adding different spices and flavors like anchovies. Yes anchovies! The sauce turned out great. Better than any bottled BBQ sauce we've had. Since it was my first attempt, I only made a small batch but next time I'll make a large batch and can it. Of course, I'll have to wait until this heat kindly takes a hike.
1 cup ketchup (see the notes below if you are using regular ketchup)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
*NOTE: If you are using regular ketchup add to the ingredients, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, pinch of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon onion powder and an extra teaspoon garlic powder.
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized saucepan. Bring the mixture to a high simmer. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the flavors have come together and to your desired consistency. If the sauce becomes too thick for you, just add some water. Check for seasonings to your personal taste adding more vinegar if you prefer more tang or more brown sugar for a sweeter sauce. You may also add more cayenne pepper if you prefer the sauce a little more spicy.