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Coffee Rub and Sweet Corn Whiskey Barbecue Sauce

Coffee Rub and Sweet Corn Whiskey Barbecue Sauce - BRIENNE BOORTZ
  • Brienne Boortz
  • Coffee Rub and Sweet Corn Whiskey Barbecue Sauce


Coffee Rub:

c. ground coffee

1 tbsp. smoked paprika

1 tbsp. coarse ground black pepper

2 tbsp. chili powder

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tbsp. granulated garlic

1 tbsp. onion powder

1 tbsp. dried thyme

1 tbsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. cumin, toasted and ground

1 tbsp. ground coriander

3 tbsp. granulated sugar

3 tbsp. brown sugar

Kosher salt


Combine all ingredients and mix well, ensuring that there are no lumps of brown sugar left. Mix with kosher salt to taste (four parts spice to one part salt).

Use this spice rub on your favorite chunk o' beast (Boston butt or whole brisket) and smoke for about 45 minutes to one hour per pound. I suggest pecan or hickory wood chips for this rub/sauce dynamic duo.


Barbecue Sauce:

2 tbsp. canola oil

1½ c. white onion, medium dice

5 cloves garlic, minced

c. red bell pepper, medium dice

3½ c. sweet corn (divided)

3 bay leaves

1 tbsp. black pepper (divided)

tbsp. red pepper flakes (divided)

1 c. red wine vinegar

1 c. honey mustard (homemade, if possible)

3 tbsp. ketchup

1 tbsp. molasses

3 tbsp. brown sugar

2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp. unsalted butter

3 tbsp. honey

c. whiskey (divided)

Salt to taste


In a medium-high-heated pan, add the canola oil. Then combine onions, garlic, bell pepper, 1½ cups of corn, bay leaves, half the black pepper, half the red pepper flakes, and one teaspoon of salt. Cook all ingredients until onions are translucent. Then add the vinegar, honey mustard, ketchup, molasses, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Adjust heat to low to allow to incorporate, continuing to stir because of thickness.

While that is steeping: In a separate pan, combine butter, honey, 1 cup of corn, a splash of the whiskey (about half an ounce) and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Place on low heat to start to incorporate. (Do not let reduce, only allow to steep.)

After 8 minutes of incorporation, pull both pans off the heat, combine and purée with a hand-held immersion blender until equable. Pass puréed mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, ensuring to extract all the "juice" from chunks in the china cap. Save strained liquid and discard the chunks. Add remaining whiskey to smooth the sauce and set aside.

In a third pan, cook the rest of the corn in rocket-hot pan with no oil. Dry sauté until color of caramelization starts to appear, then add reserved smooth liquid to hot pan, stirring enthusiastically for 2 minutes. Purée a second time, pass through a fine-mesh strainer once again (to renew freshness, lighten the ending product and temper the "raw alcohol" flavor) then adjust seasoning.

Use sauce how you see fit.


Manny and I were teaching some clients who were getting married how to make their own barbecue sauce recently, and it made me re-think the whole concept of comfort food. This couple met at a backyard barbecue and wanted to theme their reception around barbecue. As we were all making this assortment of different sauces, it occurred to me just how awesome a simple backyard cookout can be, and how it brings friends and family together. It has been one of my favorite things to do in the whole world since I was a kid.

— Submitted by Grizzly Grill chefs Beau Green and Manny Medina

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