Basting Away

Standing around a charcoal grill while keeping the kitchen cool and the sink clear of pots and pans in the summer is one of my favorite weekend and holiday routines. I think it is an instinctive thing – like finding peace at the ocean. Fire and water must be in our DNA. They both compel us.

But grilling is incomplete without a proper basting sauce. Chicken, pork or beef; doesn’t matter. They are all better with a good baste. Here’s mine.

The base of any basting sauce is the same. It must have oil and vinegar, in about equal portions. Even better if you substitute, in whole or in part, the juice of good fresh lemons for the vinegar. Then add a raw egg for richness and “cling”. Here’s the best part – squeeze in a lot of honey. Then add copious amounts of garlic powder and black pepper. I finish it off with many dashes of Worcestershire and some store-bought BBQ sauce. I like Stubbs, but choose your own; but it should be a spicy not a sweet sauce. Just enough sauce to give it a slightly red tint. What you have as a result is sweet, spicy and tart. All of the complementary flavors you would want in any meal.

Baste away! It’s a good thing.