Mac's BBQ Sauce (sweet and sour)

I created this sauce through my many years of commercial cooking. I found that my family really enjoyed it when we had family reunions and I would either make BBQ Beef or BBQ pork slices with it. My Father-in-law loved it so much he would put it on anything he ate. I would prepare a gallon of it and ship it to him in California.


1 green bell pepper, chopped fine (optional)
1 medium Spanish onion, chopped fine (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil or cooking oil (not needed if you don't use onions and peppers)
1 8-ounce can of tomato paste
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 24-ounce bottle ketchup
1 quart cold water
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons granulated garlic
1 tablespoon mustard
2 tablespoons grated horseradish


In a Dutch oven over medium heat, saute pepper and onion in oil until tender. Turn heat down to low. Add tomato paste and cook for about 2 minutes; add tomato sauce and ketchup and rest of ingredients. Mix well, then bring mixture to a boil and allow to boil for about 4 minutes, stirring so that sauce doesn’t stick to bottom of pan.

Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occassionally, until sauce thickens and reduces.

For best results, prepare sauce one day ahead of serving. Bottle or freeze extra sauce. It will last up to 1 year in the freezer, 6 months in the refrigerator.

Note: For an even thicker sauce, mix 1 cup of water with ¼ cup of cornstarch and stir into sauce. Bring mixture back to boil until sauce thickens to desired consistency, then reduce heat and simmer until done.

Cooking & Recipes


2 gallons

Preparation Method

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