I Don’t Have Meat Drippings Texas Barbecue Sauce

Texas Barbecue sauce

Okay – story time! I’ve mentioned that our main dish on Labor Day was a complete, bona fide Kitchen Disaster, right? Well, here’s why.

The simple plan was to make Texas Salt and Pepper Beef Ribs, with mac and cheese on the side, and I whipped up this barbecue sauce to slather on the ribs. No biggie. Or at least, it’s should’ve been. If only Whole Foods had actually had the beef ribs…

No Meat Drippings Texas BBQ Sauce

But, they didn’t. They were out of the beef back ribs that I needed. So I ventured next door, to a kosher butcher shop. The man working the store that day was very nice, but it was obvious English wasn’t his first language. We had a hard time understanding each other, but I *thought* I had gotten across what I wanted. He handed me what vaguely looked like a slab of back ribs and I walked out, slightly scratching my head at the $37 price tag. Beef ribs aren’t usually that expensive, are they? But of course I rationalized it away.

No meat drippings barbecue sauce

Upon unveiling the ribs and seasoning them, Matt said he thought they looked funny. Oh they’re fine, I replied. Just put them on the grill. Okayyyy, he replied skeptically.

And so we grilled them the appropriate amount of time for beef back ribs, only to cut into them and find them very, very pink, like medium-rare to medium pink. Hmm. Undaunted, I took a bite, only to find them extremely tough and chewy. At first I assumed we had made some unpardonable grilling mistake, but after thinking on it and discussing it, we realized what had gone so horribly wrong. The guy at the butcher shop had given me a slab of short ribs that weren’t yet butchered into individual short ribs! They weren’t back ribs at all! Arrrrgggghhhhh…… Seriously not my finest moment…

beef ribs fail

And perhaps the worst part about the whole thing was that this barbecue sauce is hands down the BEST barbecue sauce I’ve ever made! And it was wasted! Wasted, I tell you… well okay, not really. Fortunately I was able to find other uses for this amazing sauce. And so will you. Enjoy!

I Don't Have Meat Drippings Texas Barbecue Sauce

{One year ago: Tilapia with Chile Butter and Ricotta Grits Cakes}

Source: adapted from BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen

2 slices bacon, chopped into lardons
½ cup cider vinegar
1 cup beef stock
1 cup ketchup
1 tsp onion powder
1-2 tbs hot sauce (I used Texas Pete’s)
½ tsp liquid smoke
Kosher salt and black pepper

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat has rendered and it’s very crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon. Discard, or drain it on paper towels and treat yourself to a chef’s snack.
Stir in the vinegar and bring to a boil. Stir in the stock, ketchup, onion powder, hot sauce, and liquid smoke and let return to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the sauce simmer until the flavors marry together and it has slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent scorching on the bottom of the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate if not using immediately. Serve at room temperature.
Makes about 2 cups.

3 responses to “I Don’t Have Meat Drippings Texas Barbecue Sauce

  1. Crazy name, but wonderful looking recipe, Julie! I always have bacon grease in the fridge (ok, nearly always) but never enough bacon. I’ve been eating LTs on toasted sourdough for the past week, must remember to bake bacon tomorrow morning. I have to enjoy these tomatoes while I can!

    • Awesome. Yeah, Texas barbecue sauce is traditionally made with meat drippings. But what home cook has them on a regular basis? Oh, it’s so amazing at TX barbecue joints. So that’s behind the name.

  2. Here in Texas on my back porch the short rib is right up there with the grilled lamb chop, two most requested items. Smoke it about 3 hours then 3 more in the oven or rapped on the grill. The long cooking will make it fall off tender Sauce towards the end…

    I drive 90 miles to buy short ribs by the rack, min $100 each trip

    Scoot. 2000+ briskest and still cookin

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