Among the most classic comfort food combos, beer and burgers get a lot of love. But as cider continues to earn its way into the pub grub realm, there is a lot to be said for substituting ale for apples. While a good glass of scrumpy holds its own by the pint between bites of BBQ, why not take it a step further by dressing up those buns and patties with cider-worthy condiments?
Many variations of cider BBQ sauces are out there, and what constitutes the most “authentic” potion of ingredients can be a hot-button issue that is nearly political in scale. Some incorporate molasses, honey, liquid smoke, freshly minced aromatics or a bevy of spices, and some are simple five-ingredient fixes. Here, we chose to adapt two opposing interpretations for their mixture of minimalism and inclusion of ingredients you may already have in your spice cabinet.
Alternatively, inspire your palate with homemade aioli, such as one food blogger’s recipe (see below) in which a touch of apple cider vinegar is intended to pair well as a dipping sauce or burger topping alongside your favorite cider. We recommend opting for a yeast-forward cider to cut the acidity of vinegar and lemon and compliment the savory garlic.
Ultimately, when it comes to impressing at your next grilled feast, the secret—or in this case, the cider—is in the sauce.
1 cup cider (we used the bottle we were drinking – Reverend Nat’s Revival)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and whisk well to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-20 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached. Adjust seasonings to taste, depending on preference of sweeter BBQ sauce (gradually increase brown sugar in small increments) or more savory sauce (gradually increase salt and spices in small increments). Allow mixture to cool and store in the refrigerator until serving.
Recipe from Catch My Party
3 medium garlic cloves
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 egg yolks
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of half a lemon
Mix garlic cloves, salt and 2 tablespoons of olive in in a food processor, pulse until the garlic is finely chopped, scrapping sides to mix in. Add egg yolks and pulse until fully integrated. Add remaining oil, one tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition to blend.
When the mixture is creamy, add a teaspoon apple cider vinegar and pulse to integrate. Repeat then add one teaspoon of lemon juice, blend and serve. Yields roughly 1 1/2 cups.