No barbeque is complete without my mother’s legendary smokey barbeque sauce. It’s straightforward to make and always guaranteed to please. There are certain things that you eat as a child that remain in your memory forever and this sauce is definitely one of those happy memory tastes. We were blessed with stunning weather this past weekend – for the Wimbledon finals – so having a barbeque was definitely in order. A glass of Pimms, that ubiquitous English summer tipple, a game of croquet (which is seriously addictive) all in all made for a perfect summer’s day.
Smokey Barbecue Sauce
Makes approximately 1/2 pint/300ml
25g /1oz butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped (although my mother uses leeks as my father has an onion intolerance, which works equally well)
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
150ml/1/4 pint of water or vegetable stock
1 tbsp English mustard
2 tbsp demerara sugar
1 slice of lemon
1 bay leaf
Pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
5 tbsp of tomato ketchup
3 tbsp tomato puree
fresh ground pepper
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the onion (or leek for those with an onion intollerance) and garlic until soft and translucent.
2. Now add the vinegar, water or stock, mustard, sugar, lemon slice, bay leaf and cayenne. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in the remaining ingredients with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a futher 10 minutes. I tend to leave the bay leaf in when I serve the sauce as I like the rustic, homemade quality to it.
As an alternative to simply just barbequing chicken, which is delicious in its own right, my mother’s ‘Tarragon and Lemon Chicken’ is a good alternative. It’s best to marinade the chicken for as long as possible, ideally overnight and to pierce the skin of the chicken so that the flavours can really be absorbed by the chicken. Serve with a crisp green salad and piping hot new potatoes with a dollop of butter and some chopped up fresh parsley and my mother’s legendary smokey barbeque sauce.
Tarragon and Lemon Chicken serves 4
3.5lb whole chicken cut into pieces
5 fl oz olive oil
6 tbsp lemon juice
1 onion (or leek), finely chopped
1 large handful of fresh tarragon
1 large handful of fresh parsley (flat leaf or curly), finely chopped
few drops of tabasco
salt and pepper
lemon wedges and fresh tarragon sprigs to garnish