I used to have to travel a lot for work and on a fairly regular basis my travels would take me to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Right across the street from the hotel where I stayed was this jewel of a BBQ joint called Rudy’s. They started in Leon Springs, Texas and they have several locations scattered here and there. I have two sons that live in and near Tyler, Texas and they tell me there is a Rudy’s there, too. At their Rudy’s you can get a breakfast burrito that my son Justin says is unequalled. If you ever come across one of their locations, it would be close to criminal if you didn’t stop.
Nothing fancy; your queue up alongside a long trough filled with all kinds of cold beverages on ice, take a turn by the selection of cold sides (great slaw, three bean salad, and banana pudding) and step up to the counter and order your meat(s) by the pound. Your selection is wrapped up in white butcher paper and you’re asked: “White or wheat?” Their warm sides are back there too, and if you like creamed corn or pinto-style BBQ beans, don’t forget to ask for those either. You get your stack of bread with your selection, pay the nice server and head over to the picnic tables. This BBQ is so good…I particularly like how they do their brisket and they have a jalapeno sausage that will knock your socks off.
Now, about their sauce…you know how it is, a really good piece of BBQ can be made not so good with a mediocre, or mass produced sauce. Rudy’s, basically, has two kinds of sauce. The regular one, which has a little bit of bite to it, and the other one, which they call the “Sissy Sauce”… My BBQ sauce is a tribute to Rudy’s “Sissy Sauce”, only because if I were making it just for me, I would heat it up a bit. You can do the same with my tame version below by adding any kind of hot sauce to it, and/or chopping up some peppers real fine and slowing cooking them into the sauce, making it not so tame, kind of “un-tame”. I’ll leave that part up to you.
2 TBSPS Butter
2 TBSPS Olive Oil
1 large sweet onion (like a Vidalia, or Spanish White) chopped fine
3 big TBSPS garlic, chopped fine
1 TBSP dry mustard
½ TSP ground clove
1 TSP salt
1 TSP fresh ground black pepper
1 32 oz. bottle of catsup (or ketchup, whichever you prefer)
2 cups of brown sugar, firmly packed
½ cup of dark rum
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3 TBSPS of liquid smoke (I like the mesquite version)
Add the butter and oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté them until almost transparent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and stir to incorporate for a few minutes longer, being careful not to let the garlic burn. Add your other dry ingredients; the mustard, clove, and salt and pepper and stir to incorporate. Add all the rest of the ingredients and stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer and stir every 10-15 minutes or so, for about an hour. It’s a little “fumey” at first due to the rum and vinegar, so don’t go sticking your nose right in it at first. You will know when it’s ready…
You can absolutely play with this sauce, too! Experiment! Please! Whiskey instead of rum. More tomato, less sugar. Honey. Molasses. Hot sauce. Chopped peppers. I promise you, it will be hard to wreck this sauce, unless you make it so hot nobody can eat it, so if you’re looking for hot, ramp it up a little bit at a time, but don’t let the heat steal the flavor…put it on some meat and, Enjoy!