1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 medium red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 (8-ounce) can tomato puree or sauce (no spices)
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon molasses
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon or brown mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
A few dashes hot sauce (optional)
Freshly ground pepper
Heat a splash of olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
Reduce the heat to low and mix in the tomato paste and cumin. Add the tomato puree and all remaining ingredients. Stir until combined and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until thickened to your liking. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, or other seasonings as you see fit.
Transfer the sauce to a blender or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Add more water, a tablespoon or two at a time, if you prefer a thinner sauce.
This sauce will keep refrigerated for about 2 weeks or can be frozen for up to 3 months.
This recipe has been updated. First published May 2009.