Smoky Plum Barbecue Sauce

Cooking time
Serves6-8 people
Vegetarians Vegans Gluten-free diets
Smoky Plum Barbecue Sauce

Sauce up your barbecue with this fantastically fruity version of the classic American condiment. Delicious with sausages and burgers and really, really good with pulled pork.

1 rating
layout 1 comment


  • 3 shallots
  • 350g plums
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 chilli
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar

Prep: 10 mins | Cook: 30 mins

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1. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Warm a splash of oil in a small pan over a low heat. Add the shallots and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Fry for 10 mins till the shallots are soft and glossy but haven’t picked up any colour – stir often and reduce the heat if they start to brown.
2. While the shallots cook, stone and roughly chop the plums. Peel and crush the garlic. Deseed and finely chop the chilli (or leave the seeds and white pith in for a kick of heat).
3. Add the plums, garlic and chilli to the pan. Drop in the cinnamon stick and cloves and add the smoked paprika. Pour in 75ml water and add the ketchup, honey and vinegar. Give it a good stir. Cover and bring to the boil.
4. Turn the heat down, pop on a lid and simmer for 10-15 mins, stirring occasionally, till the plums have broken down to make a thick sauce. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
5. Lift out the cinnamon stick and cloves. Let the sauce cool for a few mins, then use a hand-held blender to blitz the cooled sauce in the pan or ladle it into a small processor to blitz (or leave it chunky). Taste and add more salt, pepper or honey, if you think it needs it. You can serve this sauce straight away, or let it cool completely, then transfer to a tub, seal and store in the fridge for 4-5 days.
6. This sauce is great for glazing burgers, sausages, chicken and chunks of tofu before roasting or grilling, or try it on the side of pulled pork, grilled fish or just for dunking your chips in.
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Great tasting sauce, would be 5* except had to guess quantity of water to add, as not on ingredients list, luckily experienced sauce/chutney maker could guess at quantity needed. Less experienced person would get half way through and may struggle