03 August 2011
BBQ SAUCE OF THE WEEK: Shirley J
Just when you think you've seen everything...along comes just-add-water instant barbecue sauce. Seriously.
Although the idea of just-add-water barbecue sauce may seem unusual, to those familiar with the Shirley J line of products, it should come as no surprise. Shirley J offers a full line of instant just-add-water food products - everything from sauces and seasonings to all manner of doughs. The company sells the products through their website, but also through a network of home-based sellers.
Making the sauce really is just as simple as adding water. It's one part powder and three parts water, but you can tweak it thicker or thinner as you see fit. I mixed some up right here at work.
The sauce has a reddish brown color with flecks of spices suspended throughout. The texture is a little bit grainy, but I'm not sure if that's because it came from a powder or because of the spices. Flavor is sweet and tomatoey and tangy and vinegary at first, giving way to significant notes of mustard, onion, garlic, lemon, and pepper. The heat level is mild.
Overall, the sauce is much better than I was expecting it to be, having come from a powder, but still not on par with really good traditonally packaged barbecue sauces. I should note that the package mentions that simmering the sauce for 2-3 minutes will improve results.