For those of you not from Texas, the DP stands for Dr. Pepper... and Dublin is the small town west of Fort Worth where it is still bottled with the original recipe. Like BBQ, the topic of soft drinks in Texas can spawn heated debates (and oh, okay, like pretty much everything else too). We feel very passionately about these sorts of highly important topics (I am only partially self-mocking, by the way). Anyone who lived through the whole New Coke debacle in the 80's can attest to the intensity with which Texans respond to having their favorites messed with (it's mighty reckless behaviour). Dr. Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885 (1891 was when the Dublin plant opened), and has long been considered at the top of the soft drink hierarchy (with Pepsi falling very much at the bottom). Dublin DP gets special honorary top billing.
Due to a franchise agreement, for the last 30-odd years it could only be purchased within a 44-mile radius of the town of Dublin, so getting one in your hands was a special treat (and let's think for a moment on how extremely large the state is, that is a very small area). In recent years, special arrangements have been made that have allowed it to be sold in a broader market, but it is still not available in just any old grocery store or convenience store.
Dr. Pepper has been used in more recipes than you can imagine, from beef stew to cake to the ever-dreaded Jello salad... and it of course was integrated into the world of BBQ. Sometimes it's used as a mop (a basting liquid... and a whole 'nother can of worms for BBQ enthusiasts) and sometimes in a sauce. Almost every recipe I found had ketchup in it, which... well, just no. So I made up my own.
Despite the jalapeños, this is actually pretty mild. I didn't want to mask the peach flavor too much... they are just too beautiful in high June, and it needed to be about the peaches as much as the DP.
Dublin DP-Peach BBQ Sauce
Yield: about 4 C
- 4 in-season peaches (don't you dare try this in the winter, unless you live in the Southern hemisphere)
- 1/2 of a Texas 101, cut into large pieces (that's a type of sweet yellow onion)
- 1 large or 2 small jalapeños, seeded and cut into large pieces
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 C cider vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 T brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp Hungarian paprika
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 2 8 fl oz bottles of flat Dublin DP (open the bottles 2 days prior to making this recipe in order to allow them to go flat)
- Bring water to a boil. Cut an "X" into the skin of the peaches, and blanch in the boiling water for 1 minute.
- Peel the skin off and cut into large pieces.
- Throw the jalapeño, onion, and the garlic in a food processor and pulse until chopped.
- Add the peaches and pulse until they are beginning to purée.
- Add the vinegar, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, paprika, and honey and process until smooth and well-combined.
- Transfer to a medium pot and add the DP. Bring to a slow boil and reduce heat to low.
- Simmer for 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend well.
- Transfer to bottles (you can reuse the DP bottles, just make sure they have been cleaned beforehand, and you'll need a small cork to cap them). If using a funnel, add the sauce slowly and just a little bit at a time. A vacuum can be created that will cause the hot liquid to explode out into your face if you're not careful. Hot liquid explosions are not fun, trust me on that one.
|Please pardon my messy countertop, there had been a hot liquid explosion.|
I like this with pork—the sweetness of the peaches just goes really well with it. And while I have not tried it yet, I'm thinking quail might be a winner as well. Not so much with brisket. To make this into a mop, add 2 more bottles of DP. The consistency will be thinner and you'll get the higher acidity of the cola to help tenderize the meat.
An interesting history of the Dublin plant before they were forced to stop producing Dr. Pepper... some good insight into the little guy vs. the corporate giant, among other things.
February 2012 Addendum: Dublin Dr. Pepper is no longer available due to a lawsuit with the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group. They apparently broke their franchise agreement, but rather than just force them to behave the DP/Snapple Group made sure the Dublin variety was no longer available. I've now got a big ol' boycott on all DP/Snapple products (with the exception of those that come out of the Dublin bottling plant) for being excessive meanies and ending a long-beloved Texas tradition, you'll have to decided for yourself how you feel.