Inspired by the classic James River BBQ sauce used in many a North Shore roast beef shop, this sweet and tangy sauce starts with a housemade ketchup base before local apple cider vinegar, hard cider and molasses are added for an extra New England feel. A healthy serving of mustard is incorporated into the mixture, along with fish sauce for “a little sneaky umami,” chef Carolyn Johnson explains. While a roast beef sandwich is the favored vehicle, the sauce also pairs well with pulled pork, ribs, roast chicken and even drizzled on a pizza. “Like everything else we make in the Moon family of restaurants and concepts, it is a true labor of love,” Johnson says. “Start to finish, it usually takes a couple of days to make and is made daily.”

BBQ sauce at Cusser’s Roast Beef and Seafood

YIELD: 1 quart

2 cups ketchup
5 ounces tomato paste
1 cup molasses
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup hard cider
1 tablespoon fish sauce
6 tablespoons ground yellow mustard
1 tablespoon ground toasted cumin
1 tablespoon ground toasted coriander
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne

PREPARATION: Combine all the ingredients in a steel saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and then reduce the temperature to low. Cook for about 1 hour, stirring frequently to avoid any sticking on the bottom of the pan. The sauce is done when it’s been reduced slightly and darkened several shades. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and cool.


Cusser’s Roast Beef and Seafood 304 Stuart St., Boston (617-917-5193)

SAUCEPassion Fruit Caramel SauceBlack Garlic and Sweet Miso Tomato Sauce | BBQ sauce | Steak SauceStrawberry Habanero Sauce

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