Cherry-Fennel Pollen Barbecue Sauce

With all the grilling going on this month, you’ll need a lot of barbecue sauce. Store-bought sauces can be great, but it’s fun and easy to make your own custom blend, keeping your cookouts interesting. This barbecue sauce has a bold, tangy flavor, and you can try your hand at using fennel pollen without fear of ruining an entire meal. Remember: The flavor of the fennel pollen will bloom once it’s in the sauce, so taste, and taste again.

Cherry-Fennel Pollen Barbecue Sauce

Yields | 2½ cups |

  • 2 Tbsp neutral cooking oil (grapeseed or vegetable)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small dice (approximately 1 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups fresh sweet cherries, pitted
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¹⁄₃ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1½ tsp ground mustard
  • 1 tsp fennel pollen
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

| Preparation | Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, approximately 5 minutes. Add cherries, ketchup, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce; bring to a bubble, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a blender; purée on high until smooth, approximately 30 seconds. Return to saucepan and stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to medium low; cook until sauce has thickened, approximately 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, 30 minutes. Transfer to glass canning jars to store.

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.

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