Cafe Society

Recipe Wednesday: Molasses barbecue sauce

Pete Marczyk and Barbara Macfarlane do not leave their work behind when they leave Marczyk Fine Foods and head for their great old Denver house with a spacious kitchen. They often bring some of their market's best ingredients home with them and cook up a feast, and when they're not cooking at home, they're working with the staff at Marczyk to create recipes for the rest of us to enjoy, usually turning to Whitney Ariss, a home cook and the market's marketing project manager and events coordinator, for inspiration.

"It may not be summer just yet, but here at Marczyk Fine Foods, we're full-swing into outdoor cooking season, and that means we're ready to start grilling, smoking and barbecue-saucing everything we can," says Ariss. Now, she adds, "is officially the time to cook and eat al fresco."

To that end, says Ariss, "we wanted to feature a simple, multi-purpose, homemade barbecue sauce, because, well, homemade sauce just can't be beat, plus it's easy to put together." The sugars and spices, she notes, are often higher quality when you purchase the ingredients separately, "and your family and friends will be super impressed, which is always a nice bonus," she adds. Her barbecue sauce, which she tweaked from a Food & Wine magazine recipe, "yields a spicy, sticky and sweet result that's pretty perfect as an all-purpose barbecue sauce but works particularly well with grilled or smoked chicken and ribs," she says.

"We love using Traina sundried tomato ketchup instead of the regular stuff to add an unexpected depth to the flavor of the sauce," notes Ariss, adding that "the beauty of barbecue is that you can make it your own, so douse it with way more hot sauce if you like it spicy, or add a few more cloves of garlic if stinky breath is your thing." Just make sure to make enough for everybody, because Ariss promises that people go grabby for the stuff.

See also: Recipe Wednesday: Ramp and morel omelet

Molasses Barbecue Sauce (adapted from: Makes about 1 1/2 cups


1/2 cup Traina sundried tomato ketchup (we also like Elevation ketchup) 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 1/4 cup molasses 1/4 cup apricot preserves 2 tablespoons mustard 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 garlic clove, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder 1/2 teaspoon freely ground black pepper 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce Pinch of ground cloves Pinch of ground allspice 1/2 cup water Salt to taste

Directions In a medium saucepan, combine all of the ingredients except the salt and bring to a boil. Stir well. Remove sauce from heat and allow to cool, then season, to taste, with salt and a little more hot sauce and/or pepper, if desired. Sauce can be made and kept refrigerated for up to one week.

For more from Pete, Barbara and Marczyk Fine Foods, visit the market website. And be sure to check out Pete's blog and Marczyk Fine Wines

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson

Latest Stories