The tradition of BBQ is long and much argued about, all I know is that I really miss(ed) it.
This is a take on a Kansas City sweet sauce, which most of the time, is filled with molasses, honey or corn syrup and served on beef ribs. This one starts with apples, apple juice, caramelized onions and pork. While it doesn’t have the sticky sweetness or depth that molasses gives to a sauce, it does have a lot of flavor and scratches the BBQ itch if you have one. If you can eat honey, it could use some honey. Also, I haven’t tried to braise the beef in a smoker, but it could also use some natural smoke. (I can’t abide by that liquid smoke stuff.)
This recipe will give you extra sauce beyond the pork which can easily be used for chicken or beef.
Whole30 BBQ Sauce (+ Pulled Pork)
2 – 3 lb pork shoulder
4 cloves garlic
2 1/2c apple juice
2 yellow onions
1 can tomato paste
1/3c coconut aminos
up to 1T good quality apple cider vinegar
1T bacon grease
1T cocoa powder
3t chili powder
2t onion powder
2t garlic powder
1t ground allspice
1t freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 275°f; Heat the oil in an oven proof pan with a lid over high heat. Brown pork on each side. Set pork aside, deglaze pan, add in apples and garlic and set pork on the apples. Cover and put into the oven. It will be about 3 hours until it’s done. The pork is done when you can pull away chunks easily with a fork.
While the pork is cooking, slice the onions and cook them over medium-high heat until the onions are translucent, then turn down to low and cook until the onions are deeply caramelized and brown.
When the pork is done, set it aside and cover. Transfer apples, juice, onions and the rest of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smoothish. Return to pan and let the mixture simmer for 20 mins to an hour until the sauce is rich and dark.
While the sauce is bubbling away, pull the pork apart with a fork. When the sauce is ready, spoon it over the pork and heat both for 5-10 minutes adding in more apple juice if the sauce seems too dry.
Serve over slaw, sweet potato hash/fries or gf bun.