When you fail to finish off a keg, you’ve clearly shirked your responsibilities, and there is only one way to redeem yourself: turn it into to a thick and smoky barbecue sauce. Contrary to popular opinion, that brown sugar, hickory ooze is not such a mysterious undertaking. Here’s an intermediate recipe that will make use of those cups of keg beer and boost your self-esteem. The only problem is that once you’re going ape shit smothering everything in your fridge with this sauce, you’ll wish you had a keg of beer to go with it.
1. Tap what’s left of the keg and throw 4 cups of beer straight into a medium saucepan and onto the stove. Bring to a slow, rolling boil and reduce by half. Set aside.2. Heat the butter or oil in a large pot over medium heat. Toss in the onion, garlic and celery leaves, and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Pour in the shot of bourbon, cover and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and let cook for about 10 minutes, squishing with a slotted spoon.3. Meanwhile, combine the broth, mustard, Worcestershire, vinegar, hot sauce and smoke in a small bowl. Add this to the hot tomato mixture on the stove. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add the brown sugar and simmer it for one hour, covered, or until reduced by about an inch.4. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the reduced keg beer and molasses. Cook off for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste. If it seems too tart, add 1 tablespoon more of molasses.5. Make a slurry to thicken. Fill a small bowl with the cold water, add the corn starch and stir until milky and clump-free. Bring the beer sauce up to a hard boil and add the slurry 1 teaspoon at a time, stirring vigorously. Set aside to cool slightly, where it will thicken considerably more. Use immediately, or store and use on everything for a week.
Beverage: Lagunitas Censored Ale
Soundtrack: Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street