BBV’s Brilliant BBQ sauce

Here is a place i find myself a lot. I am invited to BBQ after BBQ and am asked to bring some food and something to drink…the panic sets in. I check the bank balance, not much there, check the fridge, freezer, store cupboard and desperately rack my brains for something i can take that looks and tastes good, but equally costs a few pence to make.

Enter BBQ sauce. It’s a James Martin recipe i have tweaked a little depending on what it’s purpose is, the base sauce is very easy and incredibly cheap to make, most of the stuff will be in your cupboard, the only thing i went out to buy was ketchup and that was the 18p 550ml bottle from Asda. Don’t buy nice ketchup, it won’t make a blind bit of difference.


  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • olive oil
  • 1 red chilli finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fennel crushed
  • 55g/2oz dark brown sugar
  • 50ml dark soy sauce
  • 300ml tomato ketchup


Fry off your onion and garlic till soft, add chilli, fennel and sugar and cook down. Add soy sauce and ketchup and simmer till thick and shiny.

So that is your base. To this you can add anything to really compliment the meat your are marinating or leave it pan as a dipping sauce. Pork belly strips are super cheap right now, for pork i add fresh thyme and ginger to the mix. For chicken try adding some grated lemon or rosemary. You could add bourbon to the mix for a more authentic “American” flavour or experiment with smoked ingredients. You can also chuck it on sausages, pork chops, steaks, use as a spreading sauce for burger, marinate ribs in it…the possibilities are endless!Image

Personally i make up 3 times as much and keep the extra in a jar so i am never short of sauce.

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