Sunday, May 16, 2010

Garden Abundance-Rhubarb

With spring comes rhubarb. A plant that many find no use for. To me its a nice departure from the norm and its tangy flavor and crunch makes many different dishes that much better. When most people think of rhubarb, they think strawberry rhubarb pie. Its a good thought, and a good pie, but one can only make so many in a season and then you have to move on. Strawberry rhubarb jam is another favorite but I find that the strawberries run out far more quickly than the rhubarb and so I have an abundance. In the garden, abundance breeds innovation and so we have Rhubarbecue Sauce. That's right, barbecue sauce made from rhubarb, and its GOOD!

The recipe is not difficult. A little prep work and measuring upfront and you leave it to cook. In the end you have a sauce you can use immediately or you can can it. One recipe will produce 4 pints of a delicious, thick sweet and tangy sauce that is really good on grilled chicken, pork and even poured over a pot of mini sausages. Here's the recipe:
chopping all the veggies is the most
time consuming job of this recipe.

Rhubarbecue Sauce

8 cups of chopped rhubarb
3 1/2 cups light packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups chopped raisins
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp sea salt

Wash the rhubarb and chop off the ends. Cut into 1 inch pieces. Put the rhubarb, sugar, raisins, onion and vinegar in your crock pot. You do not need to add water as the rhubarb will start to let off water as it cooks. Cover tightly. Cook on high until everything is soft. Use an immersion blender to smooth out the sauce. Add your seasonings. As the sauce begins to thicken, turn to low. Stir often to prevent burning around the edges. Vent the lid to allow moisture to escape and speed up the thickening process. Depending on the water content of the rhubarb, the entire process can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day. The sauce will be thick when finished and a deep brownish red. The thicker the better, but it should be at least as thick as a store-bought sauce before you use it. You can process it if you wish or refrigerate for up to two weeks. To process, use a hot water bath for 20 minutes. 

The finished sauce is very thick and has a sweet/tangy flavor.

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