When it comes to seasonal cooking, main courses and side dishes usually get all of the attention. For me, that's just not enough to quench my inquisitive thirst for incorporating vegetables that are in their peak state for such short periods of time into more aspects of my cooking. Vegetables can be transformed into marinades, sauces, vinaigrettes, pickles, glazes and even desserts.
For this recipe I chose the wildly versatile crispy and sweet carrot. Most hunters only munch on carrots in their soups and stews during the cooler months; so I decided to transform them into a sauce that's heavily used during the Spring and Summer months to entice a little change: barbecue sauce.
This sauce can be used to glaze smoked ribs, folded into shredded tender venison or to top off your burgers. With the carrots pretty much pairing with any meat you can throw at them, you’re not limited to wild game. This sauce will pair perfectly fine with domestic animals as well.
While this is a “recipe”, I generally like to use barbecue sauce recipes as a guide of sorts. Why's that you ask? Because some people love super sweet sauces, some vinegary and others like them a little in between. And with carrots being naturally sweet, you may want to use less sugar than what I have listed. So adjust the vinegar and sugar quantities as needed to suit your taste buds.
4 cups carrot juice (bottled is fine)
1 ½ cups coconut sugar
2 cups rice vinegar
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 cup thinly sliced carrots, peeled
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne chili powder
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon orange juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and pepper to taste
- Add all of the ingredients except the butter to a medium sized pot and bring to a simmer.
- Cook until the liquid has reduced to about half its volume.
- Let the mixture cool slightly until it's safe to place in a blender.
- Add the mixture, along with the butter to the blender and puree until very smooth. If the mixture is a little too thick, thin it out with water or a little carrot juice.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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