It’s not often I pull out a cookbook and follow a recipe step by step. Usually faced with an ingredient or inspiration, I pull book after book off the shelf combing them to profile flavors and techniques before hitting the kitchen to experiment. But recently I was bored.
Armed with thick-cut, bone-in pork chops, the season’s first fresh peaches and young zucchini, I wanted to do more than salt, pepper, olive oil and fresh herbs. I went to my go-to, Chris Schlesinger, the chef of Cambridge, MA East Coast Grill, and he didn’t disappoint. I made his barbecue sauce and marinated, grilled zucchini as written. It was delicious!
No longer bored, I was inspired. The grilled peaches were delicious, but I wanted that peach flavor right on the grilled pork. I started by cooking down fresh peaches into a thick pulp, then deglazed the pan with peach infused vinegar. Cumin, cardamom and dry mustard gave depth, chili powder and fresh ginger heat, and a chili oil delivered smokiness. Glazed grilled pork chops were delicious. as were the Asian Barbecue sausages from Eastern Market’s Canales Meats.
Peach Barbecue Sauce
Rule #1 of barbecue sauce: use it toward the end of your cooking and place your sauced ingredients just to the side, not directly over, the hot coals, so it glazes. Otherwise the sugars will burn. About 2 minutes per side, right at the end.
- 2 tbs butter
- 1/2 Candy Sweet red onion, diced, about 1 cup
- 2 peaches, diced.
- 1 tbs minced ginger
- 1 cup molasses
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 /2 cup Peach Vinegar*
- 1 /2 tsp cardamom
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp dried mustard
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 cup Red Chili Chilean Oil*
*Order these online from DC’s Sapore Oil and Vinegar or substitute with white vinegar and a chopped chipotle chili.
- In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté onion in butter until softened.
- Add peaches and ginger. Cook until they are soft and mash with a fork. If your pan gets dry add a little water or peach juice to keep peaches from burning.
- Add all remaining ingredients except Chili oil and simmer for 20 minutes until thickened.
- Add chili oil and simmer for 2 additional minutes to bring together.
- Season to taste with additional oil, vinegar or molasses, salt and pepper. You are looking for a nice balance of acidity, sweetness and fruit.
- Use immediately or store in the fridge. I don’t know how long it will hold. We keep eating all of ours.