Blueberry BBQ Sauce
Blueberry BBQ Sauce
In this bottle you'll find my take on vinegar-rich Carolina style BBQ sauce. Tangy but balanced, the fruity depth of blueberries makes my sauce a crowd-pleasing way to finish everything from smoked chicken to cocktails. Sop it, brush it or pour it. Just try it.
Ingredients: pure cane sugar, apple cider vinegar, blueberry juice concentrate, water, rice starch, kosher salt, crushed red peppers and cinnamon
12 fl oz / 14 oz
This recipe explains how to prepare Blueberry BBQ chicken on a grill, but if it’s cold outside or grilling is not your thing, then please do it in your oven. What’s important is that you brush some sauce on near the end of cooking so it has the opportunity to caramelize a bit. Then once it comes out, make sure your bird gets a little SAUCE soak.
Depending on the time of year, I either serve this with barbeque sides like slaw and baked beans or stewed greens and roasted potatoes.
MAKES: 1 – 3 pound Chicken
- 1 – 3 pound chicken
- 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
- 3 teaspoons salt
- Blueberry Sauce
Cook the chicken: Light your grill and heat it to roughly 350. If using charcoal, throw some water-soaked cherry, pecan or apple wood chips in with the charcoal for the smoke effect.
Ask your butcher to butterfly or spatchcock your chicken by cutting the backbone and sternum out and flattening. 30 minutes before you plan to cook him, bring the chicken to room temperature and season it thoroughly with 3 teaspoons salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper.
Place the chicken, skin side up on the grill and close the lid. Cook covered for 20 minutes. Begin basting with the blueberry sauce every 5 minutes for an additional 20 minutes. Keep the grill lid closed between basting activity. After 40 mintues, turn the chicken over to caramelize the skin and baste the other side 10 more minutes. Using a thermometer, check the temperature of a meaty part of the leg. If it’s at 165, remove it from the grill. If not, cook until it reaches the proper temperature, skin side up.
Off the grill, douse the chicken in blueberry sauce and let it rest for 10 minutes. Once it’s well rested, cut the chicken into 6 or 8 pieces and toss once more in sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I like to serve these with a salsa that makes sense with the season. Sometimes it’s tomato salsa. In the spring it’s often asparagus or sugar snap peas. In the fall or winter, I call on diced roasted sweet potato. Use what you have and what looks tasty. Same goes for the slaw. This recipe is a stripped down version, but you could add other types of cabbage, radishes or summer squash. What’s important is that you have tender shredable pork, a creamy slaw and bright lime-driven salsa. Avocado dressed with lime and salt is a nice touch too.
SERVES: 6 with pork shoulder left over
- Blueberry SAUCED pork shoulder
- Creamy Slaw
- Sliced avocado dressed with lime and kosher salt
- 12-18 corn tortillas
FOR THE PORK
- 4-5 pounds bone in pork boston butt
or shoulder roast
- 3 tablespoons BIRDS & BEASTS rub
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- ½ cup Blueberry BBQ SAUCE
SIMPLE CREAMY SLAW
- 1 medium head Napa or Savoy Cabbage
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, divided
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or crème fraiche
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
EASY TO IMPROVISE SALSA
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 medium jalapeno, minced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, picked
- Zest of 1 lime
- 3 medium tomatoes, cut into a small dice
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Stems from 1 bunch cilantro, finely minced
Cook the pork: Preheat your oven to 300. Rub the pork with the salt and the BIRDS & BEASTS rub. Place the pork in a 6 quart Dutch oven, fat side up, and cover it with a heavy, tight-fitting lid. Slide it onto the middle rack of your oven and cook covered for 5 hours. Take the top off and raise the heat to 500 and roast an additional 30 minutes. The top of the roast should take on a nice brown color and should shred easily with a fork with it’s done.
Let the roast rest for 10-15 minutes after it comes out of the oven. Using two forks, tear the pork into pieces and dress it with the Blueberry SAUCE. Keep the pork warm till your ready to assemble the tacos.
Make the slaw: Quarter the cabbage and remove the cores. Cut the cabbage into thin strips and drop it into a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and 1 teaspoon of the sugar and toss. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, sour cream, vinegar and the remaining sugar. Pour that over the cabbage. Toss to incorporate and let that sit for at least 30 minutes before serving.
Make the salsa: In a medium bowl, combine the minced onion, lime zest and juice. Let that sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Add the tomatoes, jalapeno, salt, honey, cilantro stems and leaves. Stir to incorporate. Let the salsa hang out as a team for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving.
Assemble the tacos: Toast the tortillas either in the oven or on both sides over the open flame of your gas burner. I prefer the gas burner method 100 to 1 over every other method.
On the bottom of each tortilla, lay a little pork, followed by slaw, avocado and finally salsa. Eat immediately.