I kid you not, I have been working on perfecting a good clean BBQ sauce for months… maybe even years now. Turns out it’s really hard to get it tastin’ right, without any junk. Most are filled with sugar and other crazy unpronounceable things. I’ve tried SO many times to make a real food version. I’ve gotten it 90% there, but never exactly quite right.
When Whole Foods contacted me to do another partnership with them this summer- this round focusing on grilling- I couldn’t resist. I love grillin’. First priority on the list- to finally nail a BBQ sauce. So I came up with a couple of ideas, ultimately settling on a grilled blueberry BBQ sauce, and started craftin’ once again.
I excitedly grilled my berries and gave it a go. I first tried a grilled blueberry and jalapeno blend. Sweet and spicy, good no? But sadly, my new sauce was too bitter for my liking. Too much tomato, too much molasses. Not good enough for my food perfectionist self. So yet again, I’d made a 90% good sauce. :/
I contemplated my mistakes and tried once again, this time simplifying everything- less tomato, less molasses, less garlic- I wanted those beautiful blueberries to shine. And boom, holy crap did they ever. Spot on, exactly what I wanted. The flavor, the color- it was my best BBQ sauce to date! Of all. Ever. And best of all, it was the simplest too. Oh, and the whole thing takes less than 30 minutes to make. Who says tasty has to be complicated? 😉
Wanna hear something else lovely? Whole Foods came up with a great idea to make this a fun game too! If anyone in the Santa Cruz-Capitola-Monterey region makes this recipe and tags it as #HGMgrillsWF on Insta or FB, they’ll get a $25 gift card to Whole Foods! Just tag Whole Foods Santa Cruz (@wfmsantacruz) and me (@honeygheeme), use that hashtag, and boom- gift certificate yours. Fun fun. 🙂
This lovely little sauce can be jarred up and used for many-o-meals. I’ve made chicken drumsticks, baby back ribs, and potato wedges all smothered in this goodness. The world is your oyster. Your beautiful blueberry oyster. ?
makes approx 3 cups sauce
for the grill…
2 pints fresh blueberries
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
for the sauce…
1 cup diced yellow onion
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp honey (I use raw)
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chili powder
*Note: quality of seasonings really does make a difference in flavor… I recently bought three different smoked paprikas just to test out- two were very bland in comparison to the third- I loved the one from The Culinary Collection (not an affiliate, but wanted to note quality makes a diff!)
**Optional: If you like a bit of kick in your BBQ sauce, try adding a pinch of chipotle chile pepper to the mix!
Preheat grill to a medium-high heat
In a large piece of foil (or on a grill pan), add blueberries, olive oil, and salt
Toss, then fold foil sides to trap the berries
Use another piece of foil to create a solid pocket, trapping those buddies in there…
no escape artists allowed
Place foil pocket on grill for approx ten minutes, flipping half way through
Meanwhile, begin the sauce…
Add chopped onion, olive oil, and salt to a pot over medium heat
Saute for approx 10 minutes, stirring every so often
By now, your berries should be good to go…
Careful opening that bad boy up- hot!
(Obvious but important note: make sure to have to pull the right piece of foil… don’t want those dumping all over the place!)
Add the berries AND all juices to the pot with onion
Most BBQ recipes call for ketchup, sugar, and water…
but with all this lovely blueberry juice, you don’t need that stuff
Add all remaining ingredients
Stir well, then cook approx 10 minutes more, still over medium..
The longer you let it cook, the thicker it’ll be- I find 10-ish great 🙂
The sauce will cook down and turn into a beautiful deep reddish-purple sauce
Taste and adjust as wanted- I personally love letting the blueberries shine, but if you’d like it sweet or smokier, add more honey, smoked paprika, or whatever you feel you make it best for you!
Let cool, then jar it up, use it up, and devour it up as you wish!
A couple of ideas…
Cook up some drumsticks, slather ’em up with sauce, top with green onions, and gobble
Orrrrrrr, smother some ribs with it and get messy!