Smoky Blackberry Ancho BBQ Sauce  

Boxcar BBQ Batch #002

Memphis or Texas? KC or Carolina? I’m not sure what sauce category this falls under. But I do know that it’s soon to be award-winning BBQ. A BBQ sauce experience unlike any other.  

Jokes aside, a dream of mine is to start bottling and selling a variety of BBQ sauces. And this would be a flagship full. The Smoky Blackberry Ancho BBQ Sauce has such a harmonic symphony of flavor. Seriously, there’s so much delicious interplay.  

First up, you have a special mix of dried chili peppers. The chipotle brings the distinct smoky spice. The Ancho and Mulato peppers bring an incredible mix of earthy, stone fruit flavor, with strong notes of raisin and chocolate.  

That rich, chocolate raisin combo then pairs so well with the generous amounts of puréed blackberry. Throw in some savory spices, brown sugar, agave, molasses, and tomato paste to thicken things up, and you have a deliciously sweet BBQ sauce with a heat that really sneaks up on you.  

Time You Need 

  • Prep time: 30 minutes 
  • Cooking time: ~45 cooking  
  • Yields: ~3.5 cups   

What You Need  

  • 5 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded 
  • 3 dried mulato chiles, stemmed and seeded 
  • 5 dried chipotle chili, stemmed and seeded  
  • 3 cups of chili-soaked water 
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced 
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced 
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika  
  • 1 tsp chili powder  
  • ½ tsp cayenne (more or less)  
  • 6 ounces tomato paste 
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice 
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice 
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce  
  • ¼ tsp liquid smoke 
  • 1 tsp black pepper  
  • Salt, to taste 
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar  
  • 2 1/2 cups of frozen blackberries  
  • 2 tbsp molasses 
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup  
  • 1 tbsp olive oil   

What You Do  

  • Soak the dried peppers in 5 cups of boiling water. Let soak for 30 minutes.  
  • In the meantime, sauté onion and garlic in a sauce pot you’ll be using to make the sauce. Cook for about five minutes over medium heat along with a tablespoon of oil, until onions and garlic are fragrant and soft.  
  • Remove the chilies from the water, saving the water. Chop the chilies and toss them in the pot. Cook for 1-2 minutes with garlic and onion.  
  • Then add in the rest of your ingredients, along with three cups of the chili water and stir thoroughly.  
  • Let everything get well-acquainted, and cook together over low heat. Continue to stir to prevent boiling, keeping it a low simmer for 15 minutes.  
  • Once done, remove from heat. And use an immersion or hand blender to puree the sauce until smooth.  
  • Then return to heat, and continue to cook for another 30 minutes, occasionally stirring when it starts to bubble.  
  • Once done, remove from heat and pour through a strainer to remove any pepper bits or blackberry seeds.  
  • Serve with your favorite BBQ meats and enjoy!  
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