Black BBQ Sauce Recipe | Barbecue Recipes | PBS Food

Perfect your barbecue with Ed Lee's signature sauce, a mouth-watering fusion of sweet, spicy and rich flavor!



  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound onions, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped (seeds and all)
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ½ cup dark coffee
  • ½ cup cola
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons black bean paste
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • juice of 1 lime
  • ¼ cup Asian sesame oil


  1. To make the BBQ sauce: In a Dutch oven, melt the butter with the olive oil over low heat. Add the onions, garlic, jalapeno peppers, and raisins. Cover the pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions start to brown and caramelize on the bottom of the pot, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan by adding the bourbon, coffee, and cola. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon and simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half.
  2. Add the ketchup, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, and black bean paste and simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add the mustard, allspice, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and smoked paprika and simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool for about 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer the sauce to a blender, add the lime juice and sesame oil, and puree on high until you achieve a smooth, thick sauce. Taste. Is it good? Adjust the seasonings to the way you like it. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate; bring to room temperature when ready to use. (The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.)
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