I came across this gem of a recipe on Tastespotting. I tried to ignore it for some reason – I don’t keep peaches regularly, and I don’t really do barbeque that often. I tried to convince myself that I didn’t need to make this sauce. But it nagged at me and finally I caved. I bought peaches specifically for this sauce. The in-laws came in and I didn’t have time to make it, so the peaches sat in the fridge for almost a week. I got them out last night and resolved to make the sauce before the peaches ruined. I still muddled around all day and didn’t start on this until around 1700 hours.
Shame on me.
This sauce smells excellent when cooking. It would probably make a wonderful surprise as a sweet-savory tart filling of some type, if you or your guests are into that kind of thing. But I’ll take it without complaint as this velvety sauce – on grilled chicken, roasted pork loin or beef roast. Just as a sop sauce, not a barbeque sauce. I don’t know if it was the cultivar or flesh consistency or water content of my peaches, or the fact that I combined the vinegar and bourbon before adding it to the onions and peaches – whatever it was, the sauce did not function as I would have liked as a marinade on chicken breasts, leaving a burned crust on the grill rather than holding to the chicken. (Could have something to do with my grill, too. That aside, sop sauce, thanks.) I doubt it was the absence of the dry mustard, which you’ll notice isn’t in my adaptation. I don’t keep it around, so I didn’t use it. If I’m mistaken and dry mustard has thickening properties I was previously unaware of, please tell me and I will go buy some dry mustard. It would be worth it, since I aim on making this sauce again as soon as I can get more peaches off the tree in the yard. These peaches were store-bought, please don’t stone me (ha ha – terrible pun).
Peach Bourbon Sop Sauce
adapted from Gastronome Tart
yields ~2.5 cups
1 lb fresh peaches
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup bourbon of choice (I used Woodford Reserve)
2 1/2 tablespoons honey (no sourwood)
2 tablespoons Dijon or stone-ground mustard
1/2 + 1/4 teaspoon light brown sugar
kosher salt and chili powder to taste
Peel peaches by cutting an ‘x’ in the seat, blanching in boiling water for 10-12 seconds and cooling in an ice bath, then slipping the skins off by hand or with a knife. Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and salt and sauté, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 7-8 minutes. While onions are cooking, remove pits from peaches and chop roughly. Note: skinned, blanched peaches are extremely slippery, and therefore, kinda tricky to handle. Please be sure your knife is sharp or you run the risk of slipping the blade off your peaches and into your hand. Not pleasant.
When onions are softened, add the peaches and let them caramelize lightly for 2-3 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients and stirring to coat. Bring to a gentle simmer and let everything cook down, uncovered, until peaches are soft, about 30 minutes. Puree to your desired consistency.
If you want to can this and put it away for the colder, less cheery months, one batch will make roughly one and a half pints, or three jelly jars. Can using the water bath method for 10-15 minutes.
I recommend serving this over meat (sopped post-cooking, of course) and with Caramelized Red Wine Brussel Sprouts (post forthcoming). You’ll love me later.