Tea-Smoked Barbecue Sauce

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This is an ideal barbecue sauce for our Marinated Tea-Smoked Tempeh Slabs, but you can use it for any dish where you want a sophisticated, ‘grown-up’ flavor – not too sweet, subtly spicy.

Barbecue Sauce

1 large onion
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 cup Red Wine
1 cup Strong Smoked Russian Caravan Black Tea (it has a smokey flavor, a combination of Chinese Keemun and Lapsang Souchong teas) or 1 Cup Black Tea with 1 Tablespoon Liquid Smoke
3 cloves Garlic (minced)
1 Tablespoon chopped Parsley or 1 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (or less if you like it mild)
1/2 cup Maple Syrup (more if you like it sweet; less if you like it tart)
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 cup Black Strap Molasses
1 chunk of fresh ginger (about 1 to 1 1/2 inches)
1 small can tomato paste (7 oz)
1 large can of organic diced tomatoes (28 oz)

1. Slice the onions in thin crescents and set aside.
2. Heat a large heavy sauté pan over medium heat.
3. Add the olive oil and heat it until it starts to thin out but not smoke.
4. Add the onions.
5. Raise the heat to medium high and saute for 7 to 10 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent and are just starting to caramelize and turn brown. They should be sticking to the pan a little.
6. Deglaze the pan by pouring the vinegar over the onions.
7. Add the peeled ginger.
8. Continue sautéing until the liquid is reduced to about half. Turn off the heat and set aside.
9. In a large sauce pot, add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
10. Add the onions.
11. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour covered.

Sauce can be used right away or put in a jar and refrigerated.

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