We spent a week on Nantucket with friends and family, going to the beach, going to town, generally going round and round. The blueberries were in, mostly protected by a weave of poison ivy. The blackberries were almost in but slim and sour pickings so far. Our big score was a bushel of hard shell clams, or quahogs, gathered off Madaket with our good friend Neil Paterson and his boat. We made chowder, pasta, and fritters. Neil owns and runs the island's premier stone yard and has top notch installation and fabrication crews from all round the world. If you need it and it is made of stone, he is your guy. He is also something of a business mentor to Sugar Bob, and his advice is always short, blunt, and sound. He is a guy who understands the value of service, both to his customers and to his community. He would do anything for a friend or stranger in need, and we threw him a pig roast as a thank you for his years of generosity. We fab up our pig roasters on site out of concrete block and steel, generally held together by gravity and good luck. We cook a pig for at least twelve hours and break it down and serve it up as pulled pork with, you guessed it, Smoked Maple Syrup barbeque sauce. Our sauce is both vinegar and tomato based. It is thin and tangy. It lets the meat speak and does not cling on and dominate like much of the glop you find at the chains and in the supermarket. It is, however, substantial enough to mark your meal as potential championship barbeque material. Ann has perfected the recipe over the years and I offer you a simple and regularized version of it here using as many one to one ratios as I can. You can use the Jumbo Number 10 can to make a large multi gallon batch for a whole hog roast, but I share this with you using a smaller 12 oz. can as my base unit. A perfect amount for several chickens, a shoulder or two, or half a dozen racks of ribs.
Smoked Maple Syrup Barbeque Sauce
1 12 oz. can tomato paste
1 can water
1 can cider vinegar
1 can diced onions
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon Harissa (North African pepper paste. You can also just use red pepper flakes)
1/4 (1/3 can) cup soy sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 can (or more!) Smoked Maple Syrup
Puree the onions, garlic, paste, vinegar, harissa, and water. Bring to a simmer in a pot over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. The sauce should be thin and somewhat runny, but will still burn if left unattended. Simmer for twenty minutes or so to cook out the onions. Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients. You are done. This sauce will both marinate and dress. It can be used as a dipping sauce, or a ketchup type condiment. It is very simple, and is supposed to be very simple. Like the Smoked Maple Syrup that is it's secret ingredient, it will elevate your barbeque to a new level. We wish you the best.