Barbecue Sauce and Barbecue Pork Pizza
Well, it is now Tuesday, which means I am on my way back home from the beach. Depending on how the long weekend went, I will either be very sad to be returning to reality or I will be eagerly anticipating sleeping in my own bed. I’ll be sure to let you know which once I’m actually back to civilization and my computer. That’s right, my beach vacation does not include WiFi or internet access or laptops. Why is that, you may ask. Well, my accommodations will be a bit rustic. Tent, rustic. Yep, I’m going camping. On one of the country’s most beautiful beaches (so I’m told by some committee who votes on these things!), so it can’t be too bad, right? I may not be a true outdoorswoman, but I do enjoy the quiet and relaxation of camping once or twice a year. This will be my first time beach camping since middle school though, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that it goes better than that trip did :) I hope you will all be keeping me busy once I arrive home; I look forward to catching up on blog reading, from the comfort of my air conditioned apartment, no less.
Until then, let me share with you a way to turn that leftover yummy pork tenderloin into a delicious Barbecue Pork Pizza. Now, I know what some of you might be thinking. Barbecue pizza?!? I’m with you. Just like with beach camping, I had a bad experience with barbecue pizza once that left me scarred for nearly 20 years. Both incidents happened with my dad. Coincidence? Probably not.
The first time I tried barbecue pizza, I did not know I was trying barbecue pizza. My dad had taken my brother and me to one of those pizza buffet places, and I grabbed what I thought was pepperoni. Oh, no, it wasn’t. As soon as the overly sweet barbecue sauce hit my lips, I wanted to gag. I wasn’t expecting that at all! I didn’t even know barbecue pizza existed until that moment! Ew. And I happily went on believing that it was disgusting for the next 2/3 of my life. Then one day, my friends were really talking it up. I thought they must be crazy. Somehow I ended up trying it, and you know what? Not half bad. It’s still a little sweet for me in terms of my pizza expectations, but I don’t hate it. I have recreated it one other time at home and prefer my version much better because I don’t use sauce that is as sweet.
Well, today I decided to try making my own sauce. My own barbecue sauce, from scratch. Imagine that. I scoured the internet looking for a perfect recipe and finally settled on what I thought sounded the best. When I tasted this initial version, something was missing and it tasted too much like a tomato sauce. So I returned to the web for help and doctored up a sauce that is now uniquely my own. It may seem a little complicated because there is a lengthy list of ingredients, but it turned out really well and was easy to make. I think I might have liked a touch more sugar or something to tone down the tomatoes a touch more. I would definitely cut the cayenne down (probably add 1/2 then sprinkle more to desired intensity) even though the original recipe called for that amount and said it was “mild and kid-friendly” because the spice was overwhelming. I’m sure I would tweak this a bit each time I made it until I found the perfect combination, but I do think this is a great base if you don’t have a recipe you already use regularly. Don’t let the red color scare you off! You could easily add molasses in place of the honey for a different flavor and color :)
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup red onion, minced
½ tablespoon garlic, minced
8 ounces tomato sauce
6 ounces tomato paste
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
½ tablespoon whole grain dijon mustard
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, and swirl to coat pan. Cook minced onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add remaining ingredients, mix thoroughly and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. This will yield about 1 1/2 cups of barbecue sauce.
Once the sauce was made, I spread 1/2 cup over a whole wheat pre-made thin pizza crust. I then added about 4 ounces diced pork that I had frozen after making the Honey Ginger Pork Tenderloin. I topped that with 4 ounces of a cheese mix (mostly mozzarella with a little pepperjack and sharp cheddar) and a few very thinly sliced strips of onion. It baked for about 12 minutes at 450 degrees. It was perfect! The spice of the sauce was toned down by the cheese, and everything just blended together nicely. Even though I wasn’t 100% sold on this version of the sauce on its own, it was fantastic on the pizza because it still had a tomatoey taste to it that I expect on pizza.
The moral of today’s story is that even though you had a bad experience in the past (be it with beach camping or barbecue pizza), you should always be open to trying things again because you never know how much you’ve grown or changed since the last time. Give the barbecue pizza a try! And I’ll be back on Thursday to let you know if you should try beach camping :)