Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Okeechobee, Fla
Two Zinfandel Sauce & a Glaze
A KC-style Zinfandel Q sauce
1 med onion, diced
2 T evoo
1 T unsalted butter
3 med cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 can diced tomatoes in juice, drained, reserve juice
1 c Zinfandel
1/2 c ketchup
1 T dark brown sugar
2 T Dijon
2T balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 t Worcestershire sauce
2 t ground chili--Ancho, New Mex, Guajillo, a blend, a commercial prep--your choice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 t marjoram
1/2 t oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper
A piece of smoked meat of the meat you want to use the sauce for, including a bone or two if possible, optional. Trimmings that you rub and smoke at the same time and pull when done are good for this, or juices from your rested meat, optional
In a medium saucepan heat the evoo over medium heat and add the butter; when the foam subsides add the onion and cook till soft, about 5-7 min, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook just till fragrant, stirring, about 60 secs. Add the diced tomatoes,, wine, ketchup, sugar, honey, Dijon, Worcestershire, ground chili, cumin, and marjoram. Mix well and bring to a boil. Lower to the heat and allow the sauce to simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a little pepper. Puree the sauce in a blender and return to the pot. Add the smoked meat trimmings including bone, if available, or the rested meat juices; bring to simmer and cook, covered, 30 if using a bone, 5 min is using the juices, 10 if using trimming without the bone. Remove the cover, add oregano and simmer till reduced to desired consistency. Remove the meat trimmings and/or bone. Adjust salt and pepper. Adjust consistency by reducing further, or by adding reserved tomato juice or water if it's gotten too thick.
A Zin-Cherry Sauce for Ribs
This type of sauce is called a gastrique which are similar to thin glazes and are sweet. Gastriques are essentially vinegar or infused vinegar and sugar combinations. Wine can take the place of some of the vinegar, as shown here. They are easy to make. Sometimes, for savory foods like meats, gastriques are finished with butter or demi-glace. Here, I'm choosing to use the juices from the foiling phase of the rib cook (for the smoke and spice flavors they offer) plus a little butter. Gastriques are often made for desserts as well.
This sauce would work with a bold or bold and spicy rub.
1/2 c dried sour cherries
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1/2 c sugar
1 bottle Zinfandel
2 T Dijon
Juices from the foiling phase, reserved (I'd use 1/8-1/4 c apple juice or pineapple juice per slab in the foil
3 T unsalted butter
Put the vinegar in a pot with the cherries and bring just to a simmer over med heat. Remove from the heat and reserve till the cherries have rehydrated.
Drain the cherries, reserving the vinegar, and chop the cherries a bit. Put the sugar in a dry skillet over medium heat and stir constantly till the sugar melts and turns a light caramel color, 10-15 min. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the vinegar (watch for spattering), stirring. Return the pan to the heat, stir till the caramel melts, then add the wine. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to med-low, cook till the sauce is reduced by 2/3 and is the consistency of a thin syrup. Remove about 1/2 c of the sauce to a bowl. Whisk the mustard into this sauce with a fork till very smooth, then whisk the mustard/sauce combo back into the sauce. (The sauce can sit at his point, off heat covered.)
Return the sauce to a simmer, add about 1/2 c reserved foiling juices, stir, return to a simmer, add the reserved cherries, and reduce to desired consistency. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve warm.
A Zinfandel-Cranberry Finish Glaze for Ribs
1 c Zinfandel
1 c frozen cranberry concentrate
1/2 c dried cranberries
1 t chili powder (a pure powder like New Mexico, or a blend of Ancho with a pinch of cayenne would be good)
1 tsp. cocoa
pinch dried thyme
very small pinch marjoram (optional)
one or more turns of your peppermill
Combine all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to med-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 7 min. Puree the sauce with a blender, then force it through a sieve back into the pot. Return to a simmer and reduce, stirring occasionally, till very thick. Paint on your ribs as a finishing glaze whenever you normally would, or a few minutes before removing from the cooker.