I love molasses. I love the savory/bitter/sweetness of it. So, naturally, I also love the “maple molasses” we ended up with as a result of not monitoring the temperature of our first batch of maple syrup closely enough. I’ll probably put it right on pancakes, and I also plan to bake with it. But the first idea that struck me was to make it into barbecue sauce.
The only question should have been what meat to use with it, but I had set out a bear roast the day before, and well. It just seemed right.
I braised the bear roast in a mix of red wine (any would work, I used Pinot Noir), a little rice wine vinegar, and some water for about 5 hours. I then shredded it with two forks, mixed the barbecue sauce in, and put it back into the oven to heat up for a bit. I sadly don’t have any pictures of the sandwiches I made with it, but I toasted some buns with butter on them, and the meat went on them. Sadly, no side dishes with it, as all 4 burners of my stove were occupied by maple sap pots, and I didn’t think to make any potatoes.
The warm I put in the spice mixture ended up being some Jamaican jerk seasoning, plus a little curry powder and red pepper flakes. The sauce came out sweet with some heat. In the future, I might try something else to give the sauce body (which was why I used tomato paste). I’ve made thick barbecue in the past with applesauce, but I think that would be overwhelmingly sweet. Maybe pureed red peppers or butternut squash? It definitely deserves some tinkering- it isn’t as viscous as molasses and can’t stand on its own.
Sweet/heat sauce made with my own maple syrup, plus tender, falling apart braised Northwoods bear? Wonderful dinner, and even better as leftovers. I’ve been putting the leftovers in sot tortillas with avocado.