Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce

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Rhubarb on it’s own is very tart and quite stringy, which is why it’s mostly found cooked or baked. When the stalks break down, they leave a wonderful sweet-meets-tart flavor. I’ve used it in muffins, in no-bake cheesecake, even cooked down to a sauce (like applesauce) and served by the bowlful. This time I wanted something to accompany all the meats we’ve been grilling this summer. This rhubarb barbecue sauce is a nice change of pace from a traditional smokey sauce. The rhubarb provides thickness and a fruity flavor. It starts with classic BBQ sauce ingredients like tomato sauce, brown sugar and vinegar. Then it transforms into a zesty zingy sauce with the addition of rhubarb, onions and garlic, cinnamon and Dijon. Use it to dress up your next burger, or baked onto chicken or pork. 

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Look for rhubarb stalks that are firm and blemish-free. If the leaves are attached, they should look fresh and not wilted.

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Combine the chopped rhubarb, onion, garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, cinnamon, sherry, vinegar, mustard, sugar, honey, and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat until all the ingredients have broken down, about 30 minutes.

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Let cool slightly and then puree until smooth in a blender or food processor.

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I am mesmerized by the ping pong of sweet, tart, and tangy flavors.

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Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce
This rhubarb barbecue sauce is a nice change from a traditional smoky sauce. The addition of rhubarb provides a thickness and fruity flavor, mixed with zest from the tomato sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar.
Servings
5 cups
Servings
5 cups
Rhubarb Barbecue Sauce
This rhubarb barbecue sauce is a nice change from a traditional smoky sauce. The addition of rhubarb provides a thickness and fruity flavor, mixed with zest from the tomato sauce, brown sugar, and vinegar.
Servings
5 cups
Servings
5 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds rhubarb chopped
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 28 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sherry or port wine
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp salt
Instructions
  1. Combine the rhubarb, onion, garlic, olive oil, tomato sauce, cinnamon, sherry, vinegar, mustard, sugar, honey, and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  2. Cover and simmer over low heat until all the ingredients have broken down, about 30 minutes.
  3. Let cool slightly and then puree in a blender or food processor.
Recipe Notes

This recipe can easily be halved if less is needed.

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