When I was home for spring break, I got a few free issues of Edible Los Angeles, a small magazine I believe in its second year. If you’re not in LA, there are several other Edible cities magazines worth checking out.
I found an amazing-sounding recipe for shrimp and bacon skewers with apricot-ancho barbecue sauce that, you can ask Michael or Kat, I mentioned roughly every time someone said bbq for the next four months.
Though I still haven’t made the skewers, I made a variation of the sauce to marinate and serve with a barbecued pork loin. The spicy apricot glaze was meant to match the flavors of the spice-rubbed spare ribs that were routinely doused in an apricot ale. (I had early trouble with the grill so they came out much too charred, at no fault of the recipe. We’ve had previous success with it, but cooking three big racks of ribs on one temperamental grill was just too much for me.)
The pork loin, though, was able to cook with indirect heat once the ribs were off, so it came out much more succulent. The barbecue sauce was a hit, but of course, there was bacon in it, and let’s be honest, pork on pork is a winning combination.
Although, I imagine it would also be magical on shrimp and chicken, too.
Chipotle Apricot Barbecue Sauce
Original recipe inspired by Apricot-Ancho Barbecue Sauce recipe from Edible LA
- 1/2 cup bacon, chopped
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped (I used apricot paste, which was already sweetened a little. I imagine apricot jam could work, though it might be a little sweeter. The original recipe called for 1/3 cup dried apricots and 3/4 cup brown sugar. That doesn’t seem right to me. I would use 1/2 cup chopped apricots and then add a little brown sugar at a time until it is properly sweet for you.)
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 4 chipotle peppers (I used dried ones and then rehydrated them. They are also sold in cans along with an amazing adobo sauce. This could work too.)
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- salt and pepper
Sauté bacon in a large pan over medium-high heat until almost crisp, about 4 minutes. Add onions and sauté until browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté about another minute.
Add all remaining ingredients. Simmer until the apricots are very soft, about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Transfer to a blender and purée until relatively smooth. The sauce may be used now or can be cooled and stored in a covered container in the fridge for up to one week.