Periodically, when I feel like the recipe ideas are starting to run dry or I need some inspiration, I like to sit down with a blank notebook, pencil in hand, and let my imagination do its thing. I write down anything that comes to mind. You never know what might eventually turn into a good idea.
I’ve discovered The Husband is a good resource to bounce ideas off of. He likes to eat, after all. One evening we sat across from each other, glass of wine in hand (the wine really helps with the creative process too!), and I read out my ideas. One of the notes I jotted down was “something with bourbon and peaches.” I had peach cobbler on the brain and was thinking of something sweet. The husband’s mind went in a completely different direction. Everybody does sweet. Why not something savory?
I think this bourbon peach BBQ sauce is a pretty good compromise. It’s sweet and it’s savory with a little bit of heat. I really wanted the sauce to have some smokiness without having to resort to liquid smoke. The day before I planned to make this sauce, I sliced my peaches and soaked them in a little bourbon for about eight hours. Later that evening, as The Husband was taking our dinner off the grill, I asked him to throw the bourbon-soaked peaches on for a few minutes in hopes that they would soak up some of that charcoal flavor. This is an extra step that lends an added layer of flavor, but you certainly can leave it out if you’re pushed for time.
The next morning I threw my grilled bourbon soaked peaches in the crockpot, added the rest of my ingredients, and cooked it on low for about six hours. I really wanted all the flavors to melt into each other, which is why I chose to cook everything low and slow. Right before serving, I pureed everything in a blender. The result was a luxuriously thick, rust colored sauce with a kick from the chipotles. I chose the chipotles for another element of smokiness, but watch out. They add some heat which isn’t apparent at first. After you’ve savored that first bite, it comes back to get you. If you like a little more heat, add more chipotles. For less heat, start with one.
So far, we’ve used this sauce on ribs, barbecue chicken, and as a topping for meatloaf. It has paired beautifully with each and I can’t wait to find more dishes that could use a good slathering of this stuff.
Bourbon Peach Barbecue Sauce
- 4 large ripe peaches quartered, skins removed, and pitted
- ½ cup bourbon
- ½ large onion sliced
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 2 chipotles in adobo
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and black pepper to taste
The day before, soak your sliced peaches in the bourbon for about eight hours. If you want to grill your peaches beforehand, grill them over medium heat for about five minutes per side, just until they start to soften.
About six hours before, place the peaches and the remaining ingredients into a slow cooker. Cook on low for about six hours until everything becomes soft. Puree everything in a blender, food processor, or with a immersion blender until the mixture is smooth.
Remaining sauce can be store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Makes about 1 ½ - 2 cups sauce