A sublime fusion of sweet, smoky, spicy, tart and umami flavors come together in this lip-smacking, finger-licking good barbecue sauce made with Southern peaches, Kentucky Four Roses bourbon and bourbon barrel aged seasonings.
Barbecue (BBQ, barbeque) is uniquely American and is both a cooking method and an apparatus. The generally accepted differences between barbecuing and grilling are cooking durations and the types of heat used. Grilling is generally done quickly over moderate-to-high direct heat that produces little smoke, while barbecuing is done slowly over low, indirect heat and the food is flavored by the smoking process.
There are many tomes to barbecue and grilling and, of course, cooking shows and videos to enlighten you on methods and regional differences, including PBS’s Barbecue America where host Rick Browne travels America’s highways, back roads and bayous, exploring the country’s unique contribution to the culinary landscape.
The keys to this sublime sauce: aged Kentucky Four Roses bourbon, unique American-made sorghum, soy sauce, and Togarashi spice – aged in bourbon barrels from Bourbon Barrel Foods in Louisville, Kentucky, and Aleppo pepper in lieu of ancho, chipotle or other more commonly used dried chile peppers. Aleppo is a Turkish crushed chile from southern Turkey, near the Syrian town of Aleppo. It has an ancho-like flavor with a little more heat and tartness and, given the unrest in that area of the world, has been more difficult for spice shops to source, so I bought some while I could.
Of course, you must have sweet and juicy Southern peaches. I swear that peaches grown in the South are the best! Last year, every peach I bit into, even those from my CSA and local farmers market was mealy. Homemade barbecue sauce is a perfect vehicle for bruised, not-so-pretty peaches, but mealy peaches will not do!
Then, the trio of Bourbon Barrel Foods artisan seasonings lends the subtle smokiness and depth of flavor to this liquid amber deliciousness. BBF Bluegrass Soy Sauce and Kentucky Sorghum are aged in bourbon barrels which can, by law, only be used once in bourbon production, and their unique Togarashi Spice blend spends time in a custom smoker fueled by aged bourbon barrel staves.
Finally, Four Roses Bourbon Yellow (80 proof): Created through the mingling of all 10 recipes, this Bourbon is a worldwide favorite, particularly when creating sophisticated, contemporary cocktails. Hints of pear and apple complement floral aromas and mix with a taste of honey and spice. It’s taste is smooth and mellow with a unique, long and soft finish.
Let’s get to the recipe already!
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ teaspoon aleppo pepper*
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup diced, peeled fresh peaches
- 1 cup No Salt-Added tomato sauce
- ¼ cup Four Roses Yellow Label bourbon
- ¼ cup Bragg's Organic Apple Cider vinegar
- ¼ cup Bourbon Barrel Foods Kentucky Sorghum
- 3 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 teaspoons Bourbon Barrel Foods Bluegrass Soy Sauce
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons Bourbon Barrel Foods Bourbon Smoked Togarashi Spice
- Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onions and aleppo pepper to the pan, sauté for about 5 minutes until onions are soft. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes more, until garlic is fragrant.
- Transfer onion mixture to a blender. Add peaches, bourbon, apple cider vinegar, sorghum, lime juice, Bluegrass soy sauce, tomato paste, honey, and Smoked Togarashi spice. Process until smooth.
- Pour the sauce back into the saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until thickened.
This post was sponsored by Four Roses, the recipe is my own. Four Roses is the only Bourbon Distillery that combines 5 proprietary yeast strains with two separate mashbills to produce 10 distinct Bourbon Recipes, each with their own unique character, spiciness, and rich fruity flavors. All 10 of these recipes are gently aged undisturbed in new white oak barrels in our one-of-a-kind single story rack warehouses. The Four Roses Bourbon Yellow Label used in the Smoky Peach Bourbon Barbecue Sauce (750 ml) retails for $17.99-$19.99.
Opening photo courtesy of Harrison Sutcliffe Photography.