Texas Barbecue Sauce

12 Serves

For her take on smoky Texas-style BBQ sauce, Martha uses coriander and cumin seeds as well as chile powder, plenty of garlic, and two kinds of vinegar. The result is a sweet, tangy, and spicy sauce just right for grilling season.


  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds

  • cup neutral tasting oil, such as safflower

  • 2 onions, diced (about 5 cups)

  • 8 cloves garlic, minced

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 teaspoons chile powder

  • cup unsulfured molasses

  • ¾ cup packed dark-brown sugar

  • 2 cans (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes, plus 2 ½ cups reserved juice

  • 1 ½ cups cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar, plus more to taste

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high until hot. Add coriander and cumin seeds and cook, swirling pan occasionally, until fragrant and toasted, about 1 minute. Let cool, then grind in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent and tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, spices, molasses, and brown sugar; stir to combine. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, reserved juice, and cider vinegar and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and dark, about 1 hour.

  3. Let cool slightly then puree sauce in a blender. Add white vinegar and Worcestershire; puree until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and white vinegar. Sauce can be refrigerated up to 3 days in an airtight container; let cool completely before storing, and reheat over medium before serving.

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