Recipes, Saucy, Spicy

Kansas City BBQ Rib Sauce

As part of my birthday celebrations this year I decided to throw a bit of a US-style meat feast featuring things like brisket, ribs, wings, and cornbread. I have been using the dependable and excellent Pitt Cue Co. recipe for BBQ sauce for a couple of years now but I decided that a change was in order and, having sampled various sauces and dips at Grillstock 2014, I set about hunting down a new one.

I’m slightly ashamed to say that I can’t remember which of the many BBQ sites that this recipe originally came from – if anyone finds it let me know and I’ll add a link. It is a really easy sauce to make and I’m definitely going to do a larger batch next time round as the richness and layers of heat and spice are rather addictive. I adjusted the amount of sugar to make a sweeter (and ultimately darker) sauce which set off the smoky, fatty ribs perfectly. And also went very well with the hot dogs we had for breakfast the next day….

NB – if you can’t get hold of liquid smoke don’t worry, the sauce is more than amazing without it.


  • 240 ml ketchup
  • 60 ml water
  • 60 ml cider vinegar
  • 130g brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  •  1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke


In a large saucepan gently heat the olive oil and add the garlic – keep it moving so it doesn’t burn and make everything taste of bitter nastiness.

When the garlic is soft and fragrant, add all the rest of the ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine.

Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes until it is thick and unctuous then decant into a sterilized jar or sauce bottle.

Smother over any BBQ meat of your choice and feel very smug.

Seriously saucy - Kansas City style sauce

Seriously saucy – Kansas City style sauce

Recipes, Saucy, Spicy

Rather Spicy Roast Chilli Sauce

This is an experimental sauce I made for a Moroccan-inspired dinner of falafel, tabouleh, and flat bread. I’d had a very spicy sauce on a delicious roast veg box from the fabulous Moroccan Box stall on Berwick St. Market and so decided to have a stab at it. The version I came up with is certainly firey – I drizzled it over the tabouleh with a minty yoghurt dressing and it worked brilliantly. The quantities can be adapted as needs be and if you are using bigger chillies you may want to peel the skins off after roasting. If you want a milder version then remove the chilli seeds before roasting. But where’s the fun in that…


3 or 4 large red chillies – stalks off and sliced in half

1 garlic clove – crushed

1 large tomato – quartered

1 small red onion – sliced

2 tbsp ketchup

1-2 tsp sugar

½-1 tsp ras el hanout

200ml water

Salt & Pepper

Olive oil




  • Preheat oven to Gas Mark 5.
  • Put the sliced chillies, tomato, and garlic in a roasting tray and add a good slug of olive oil on a baking tray and roast for about 20-30mins until they are soft – giving a shake half-way through. You don’t want too much char on the chillies as it can make the sauce quite bitter so if they are beginning to take on too much colour, reduce the oven temperature and cook for a bit longer
  • In a saucepan over a medium heat, add a splash more oil and begin to soften the onion then add the roasted chilli, garlic and tomato.
  • Once everything is sizzling, add the ketchup, sugar, ras el hanout, water and seasoning and bring to the boil.
  • Simmer for ten minutes or so then blitz with a stick-blender or food processor.
  • Pass the sauce through a sieve into another pan – you should have a rich puree – and return to the heat.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning. It should be tingling and spicy – if it is too firey add more water and reduce as required.
  • Use sparingly (or recklessly!)