The food here in Chile is so abundant. Just here locally we can buy almost any fruit or vegetable there is depending on season. The meat here is grass fed, the eggs are cage free from free range chickens, and the dairy is from happy healthy animals. Almost any basic ingredients can be found here. The people here eat very simple and fresh based on seasonal foods which I think is very healthy. Though, I do think that they are missing some of the very diverse flavors that we take for granted in the U.S. For example, they do not have maple syrup, pecans, or pumpkins. cheddar cheese is only available at a large grocery store that is about an hour and a half drive from us and it is imported from Wisconsin so it is very expensive. My family really misses cheddar. Something else that they don’t have here is BBQ sauce. We have only found it at a store called Lider ,which is owned by Walmart (The plague of the world), so it was Great Value brand and can’t really be considered BBQ sauce. Therefore, I have been making homemade here and have finally come up with a recipe that we like.
The first step is chopping the onions and garlic then browning them in a skillet with butter over medium heat.
Something that I failed to mention earlier is that they do not have brown sugar or molasses here. Of course, those are key ingredients to a good BBQ sauce so I have had to find alternatives. The closest thing we have found to brown sugar is called Chancaca. It is a very hard block of sugar combined with molasses and is very tricky to work with. I have used it in many different ways with varying results.
We have also found it in liquid form that is somewhere between molasses and dark corn syrup. So far, the best and easiest use I have found for the Chancaca is BBQ sauce.
If you are lucky enough to have regular brown sugar available then this step is unnecessary, but if you do not then add the large ,heavy, potentially dangerous, brick and attempt to start melting it. After a minute or two add the water to keep it from burning.
Now add all other ingredients (including brown sugar if you are using it) and stir until everything is melted. Because the spices are different in Chile than what I am used to, I usually add them last and spice to my families heat preference.
Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick.
- 1/2 large onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 Tbs. butter or oil
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar or 1 brick Chancaca
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 1/4 cup molasses, honey, or liquid Chancaca
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 cups tomato sauce (salsa de tomate) or to small cans of tomato paste and an additional cup of water
- 1 Tbs. liquid smoke
- 2 Tbs. brown mustard
- 2 Tbs. Worcestershire (Salsa Inglesa)
- 11/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder (or merkin) spice to taste (optional)
- Chop the onions and garlic then browning them in a skillet with butter over medium heat.
- If you are using regular brown sugar then this step is unnecessary. If using Chancaca, add to pan and start melting. After a minute or two add the water to keep it from burning.
- Now add all other ingredients (including brown sugar if you are using it) and stir until everything is melted.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick.
Brown sugar and molasses are not availible where I live so I use a product called Chancaca for this recipe but brown sugar and molasses work well.