Top | Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

Mutha Sauce

(recipe, John Stage & Nancy Radke)


Just like the name says, this is the basis — the true mother of all the sauces we have in this book. It is a balanced blend of sweet, savory, spicy, and smoky flavors that acts as our leapin’ off point for creating a world of barbecue sensations. It can even stand alone as a traditional slatherin’ sauce for ribs and chicken.


  1. ¼ cup vegetable oil
  2. 1 cup minced onion
  3. ½ cup minced green pepper
  4. 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  5. Pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper
  6. 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  7. 1 can (28 ounces) tomato sauce
  8. 2 cups ketchup (preferably Heinz)
  9. 1 cup water
  10. ¾ cup Worcestershire sauce
  11. ½ cup cider vinegar
  12. ¼ cup lemon juice
  13. ¼ cup molasses
  14. ¼ cup cayenne-pepper sauce
  15. ¼ cup spicy brown mustard
  16. ¾ cup dark brown sugar, packed
  17. 1 Tbsp. chile powder
  18. 2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  19. ½ tsp. ground allspice
  20. 1 Tbsp. Liquid Smoke (optional)


  1. Pour the oil into a large saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Toss in the onions, green peppers, and jalapeños and give them a stir. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook til soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Dump in everything else except the Liquid Smoke. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the sauce simmers. Simmer for 10 minutes. Swirl in the Liquid Smoke and let the sauce cool. Pour it into a container, cover, and store in the fridge til ready to use.


Variation: Hot BBQ Sauce Add 2 or 3 seeded and minced habañero peppers (about 1 1/2 teaspoons to 1 Tablespoon) along with the onions, peppers, and jalapeños. Also add 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper along with the other ingredients for extra punch. Working with habañeros can cause plenty of personal pain and suffering if you’re not careful. Never touch the cut flesh or seeds with your bare hands. While it won’t sting your hands (unless you’ve got a cut), the volatile oils from the peppers get into your pores and can be transferred to your eyes or other moist, sensitive areas on your body long after you’re done cookin’. Even washing your hands doesn’t help. So wear latex gloves while working with habañeros and be sure to protect your hands while cleaning up your cutting board and knife as well. Then toss out the gloves.