Apricot-Ancho Barbecue Sauce

Apricot-Ancho Barbecue Sauce

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  • 10 cups chopped, cored and peeled tomatoes (10 to 15 fresh tomatoes or 4 [14-ounce] cans)
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ounces dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1 dried ancho chile, diced (remove seeds for a less spicy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 3 tablespoons orange or lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine tomatoes, onions, garlic, apricots, chile and celery seeds. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently until vegetables soften, about 30 minutes.

Working in small batches, transfer mixture to a sieve, food processor, or food mill and blend, disposing the solids if using a sieve or food mill.

Return pulp to a saucepan. Add brown sugar, vinegar, molasses, juice, mustard and spices. Return to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring frequently, until mixture is thickened to the consistency of a thin commercial barbecue sauce, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.