Every October we looked forward to the annual St. Peter’s School Bazaar. Mama would fill our pockets with quarters and we would spend that Saturday running around with our friends playing games, eating and drinking lots of sugary, caffeinated drinks to try to quench our thirst. Buying bottled water was unheard of then.
The bazaar was a fundraiser for the Catholic school where my Mama taught and it was held in the school gym. The charming, old, yellow, stuccoed, Spanish-style, Catholic Church turned gym was where I received my first communion. It was later replaced by a newer, modern building down the street where the Parishioners of Gueydan, Louisiana worship today. The bazaar events included an on-going game of bingo, a dunking machine (so fun!), several booths of kids games, and the selling of home baked goods and hand made items. Oh, and of course “the food”! Popcorn, cotton candy, baked goods and those famous barbecued burgers!
I can still picture the men of the community in their white aprons standing around those large silver barbecue pits. They were deep in their conversations of Cajun French amidst the billowing smoke while cooking those famous burgers mopped with mustard barbecue sauce. Sometimes I have an envie (pronounced “ahnvee” which is a Cajun French word for strong desire) for one of those thin burgers with that tangy sauce on a white bun. So since I wasn’t able to find that popular jarred mustard barbecue sauce in my corner of the ArkLaMiss where I live, I set out to make my own. Now I can enjoy those yummy burgers any time the envie hits and also share them with my family and friends. My recipe is a little sweeter than the original with it’s generous amount of onions and some honey that helps to thicken it as it cooks. I can eat it by the spoonfuls. Here is the recipe along with how I make those cute T-Beef Sliders (T means little where I come from) just in time for your summer cook-outs:
Mustard Barbecue Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 cup water
3/4 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons chili sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon all spice
Melt butter in medium sauce pan on medium/low heat. Add onions and cook for 4 minutes then add garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the rest of the ingredients one at a time and bring to a simmer. Simmer on medium to low heat stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it cooks. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in a glass jar after it cools.
When I told Mama that I was working on this recipe she said she and Daddy used to throw some french bread on the grill and serve it topped with this barbecue sauce. I just had to try it and boy, was it good! The outside was crisp to bite into and the sauce was warm and tangy. This would be a great appetizer while grilling outside. I also topped a meatloaf with the sauce instead of tomato sauce or ketchup. Good, again! It’s delicious on hot dogs or grilled sausage on a bun. A very versatile sauce!
For the T-Beef Sliders, season 1 pound of ground meat with salt, garlic granules and cayenne pepper. Then add a raw egg and 4 tablespoons of bread crumbs, this makes them juicy. Using your hands, incorporate all the ingredients together and loosely make into 1 1/2 inch meat balls. Placing the meatballs in between 2 pieces of wax paper take a small black cast iron skillet and press them into small meat patties.
Place the patties on the grill and baste them with the mustard barbecue sauce on both sides during grilling. To serve, cut small buns in half and spoon the sauce on top of bottom half of bun, top with a grilled beef patty, spoon more sauce on top of patty cover with top half of bun and serve.
The more sauce, the messier, the better!
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis,
“Hydrangeas and Cord!” for your entertainment.