Ever been to Franklin Barbecue? Neither have I! To be honest, it’s on my radar every time I go to Austin, but I don’t seriously entertain the idea of waiting on it’s legendary mile-long lines, even though I know the place is Mecca for Barbecue enthusiasts. I guess, file this one under “I’m too old.”
I’m comforted by the idea that until I make it there, I at least have this: Aaron Franklin’s signature barbecue sauce. It’s from Franklin’s new book/manifesto, which I included in a New York Times cookbook round-up last weekend. As I wrote in the review, his book is as much a manual for entrepreneurs as it is a complete education on every possible facet of barbecue. I find the word “passion” is ridiculously overused, but in this case there’s just no avoiding it — Franklin built his empire on passion, hosting huge cookouts for his friends when he could afford it, scouring the free section of Craig’s List for all the necessary gear, once high-tailing it through Austin at 2:00 in the morning to pick up a smoker that he saw had been discarded curbside. It was one of those stories that made me say to myself “Why don’t I take more risks?” and then say out loud to whoever is listening, “People are amazing.”
Anyway, until I risk everything to start my own business, I have Franklin’s sauce. It takes five minutes to make and, when poured into a Mason Jar and tied with some twine, I’m guessing would make a lovely Father’s Day gift. That’s my kind of DIY project.
Franklin’s Barbecue Sauce
Franklin is famously exacting, as you can see from the measurements below. So far, we’ve used this on ribs, basic weeknight baked chicken legs (page 72, Dinner: The Playbook), and mixed into turkey burgers. It will not let you down.
1 3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/4 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a sauce pan and warm gently over medium heat, stirring occasionally. There is no need to bring the mixture to a boil, as the idea is just to warm it enough to melt and integrate the ingredients. Once you have done that, remove from the heat and let cool. Transfer to a jar, bottle, squeeze bottle, or however you want to store it. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Ribs. Wow, I love summer.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Penguin Random House.