Rhubarb BBQ Sauce Recipe

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Rhubarb gives this barbecue sauce a wonderful tangy flavor. Leda Meredith
  • 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 2 to 3 half pint jars
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Rhubarb is most often used in dessert recipes such as pie and compote, but its tart taste is just as excellent in savory recipes like this sweet-and-sour barbecue sauce.

Use rhubarb barbecue sauce to baste pork, poultry, beef, and tofu before or during cooking.

What You'll Need

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (from one small onion or half of a medium onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 pound rhubarb, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Salt to taste

How to Make It

  1. Place the extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to turn golden but are not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  3. Add the rhubarb, ketchup, water, molasses, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, and Tabasco sauce (if using) and ground black pepper. Raise the heat to high and bring the ingredients to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the rhubarb is completely tender and starts to fall apart (about 10 to 15 minutes).
  1. Transfer the food to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Add salt to taste (you may not need to add any because the Worcestershire sauce is a fairly salty ingredient).

Canning Instructions

  1. Rhubarb barbecue sauce will keep in the refrigerator for at least one week. For longer storage at room temperature, ladle the sauce while still hot into clean half or quarter pint canning jars (it is not necessary to sterilize the jars for this recipe.) Leave at least 1/2-inch of head space. 
  2. Press down on the sauce with the back of a spoon and run a table knife around the sides to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp paper or clean cloth towel (any specks of food there could prevent a seal.) Secure canning lids.
  3. Process the jars of rhubarb barbecue sauce in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes (adjust the canning time if you live at a high altitude). 

The sauce will keep in the sealed jars for at least one year. It will still be safe to eat after that, but its color and flavor quality will start to decline. Just as with store-bought preserves, once opened the jars need to be stored in the refrigerator.