This is the perfect BBQ sauce for Pulled Pork Sliders. I am serious. Perfect! It’s not too sour, not too sweet, and it comes with a hint of smoky flavor. Since I’ve made a batch of this quick and not overly sweet BBQ sauce for my pulled pork sliders (recipe here), I am addicted to this sauce. It goes well with almost everything: It’s the perfect sauce for burgers, for French fries, for sandwiches, and for dipping anything, and I mean really anything – be it oven baked veggies or tater tots.
Compared to traditional recipes, I’ve reduced the amount of sugar and ingredients that contain sugar a lot. There is no ketchup in this BBQ sauce, neither will you find molasses or honey. Just a little bit of brown sugar. Another ingredient you won’t find is liquid smoke. Nope, no liquid smoke in this BBQ sauce. Why? Because I simply prefer smoked paprika, which I think is much more versatile in the kitchen.
I use smoked paprika a lot, eg. in chilis, sprinkled on top of an open-face grilled cheese sandwich or simply to spice up chickpeas and other legumes. For this recipe I use the spicy kind of smoked paprika, which is called “Pimentón picante ahumado” in Spanish. One of these is “Pimentón de la Vera”, a type of smoked paprika powder from the western part of Spain, which is widely available and comes as dulce (= sweet) and picante (= spicy-hot). But any brand or origin will do. If you don’t have the spicy one on hand, use smoked sweet paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat. You can also replace it with chipotle chili powder or even add a little smoked salt instead of regular salt. Almost anything with a smoky, earthy aroma works.
Step-by-step recipe for a quick Kansas City-style BBQ sauce (but low sugar)
This BBQ sauce is low in sugar and in effort.
Sautée the onions with 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium heat until soft and golden in color, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute (do not brown). Reduce the heat to low and mix in the smoked paprika, ground coriander, and tomato paste. Sautee for 1 minute.
Deglaze with vinegar and immediately add the tomato sauce, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, orange juice, and salt. Stir until combined and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, until thickened a little.
You can use this sauce as is with little onion pieces in it. For a smooth sauce (I prefer it that way), either strain the sauce through a sieve …
… or transfer the cooled sauce to a blender and blend until smooth. The sauce will thicken slightly if you blend it, so add 1 tablespoon of water if you prefer a thinner sauce.
Do you still need an idea where you can use this sauce? Make these pulled pork sliders. You won’t regret it!
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