Recipe: Raspberry-Chipotle BBQ

I was going to put this on Cornish game hens, but I couldn’t find any in bulk, so it ended up on pork loin.

I received about a cup and a half of raspberry sauce in trade for a big container of weird soup, so I’m guesstimating on the amounts there. I had too much leftover sauce, so I cut it back to a cup.

I’m a convert to the rub-and-sauce school of BBQ. Sauce chars if you leave it on grilling meat for too long, but if you just add the sauce at the last second, the meat isn’t flavored properly. Put the rub on the (thawed!) meat for a few hours so the salt can do its magic. Then grill the meat, adding the sauce for just the last few minutes, so it can carmelize but not burn. Brilliant, I tell you, brilliant!


Recipe if you have a mortar and pestle:
4-6 T ground up chilis–not pre-mixed chili powder
2 T cumin seeds
2 T coriander
1 T ground sage

Stirring more or less constantly, toast the chilis, coriander, and cumin over dry heat until the chili powder is brown but not black. Working with a small amount at a time if you have a small mortar, crush the spices and grind them into powder (adding the sage) with about a third as much salt as you have spices. You should end up with about 1/3-1/2 cup of mixture. Finesse is not really required here.

Recipe if you don’t:
Halve the whole spices. Toast and mix with salt as above.

The mortar and pestle are really easy to use and easier to clean than a coffee grinder. Also, spices keep better when they’re not preground. The cumin seeds were a nose-awakener when I ground them the first time. I’m going to have to try it with whole dried chilis next.


1 c. pureed raspberries (about 1 pt. whole), seeds left in.
1/2 c. honey
1/4 c. soy sauce (caution: don’t add all at once)
4-6 canned chipotle peppers in adobo (one small can)
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 T sage

Wear gloves or wrap a sandwich bag around your non-knife hand–chipotles are smoked jalapenos and will burn your eyes if you touch your face; this effect lasts about a day after you’re done cooking, whether you wash your hands or not.

Pull the chipotles out of the can, discarding onions (if any).* Slice the chipotles in half and scrape out the seeds. Mince the chipotles and add them to a small saucepan with the raspberries, honey, garlic, and sage. Bring to a slow simmer. Add soy sauce to taste. The sauce should be very thick. Simmer longer if you think the sauce is too thin.

If something tastes off, you probably need a little more soy sauce. If you want to finesse the sourness, you can add vinegar – balsamic, good sherry, champagne, or fruit. (Don’t use red wine or distilled.)

When you’re ready to grill, split the sauce into two containers. Use one to mop the meat during the last few minutes of grilling; save the other to serve with the meat.

*Maybe you’d like the onions, but they gross me out.

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